Congratulations! You got yourself an internship at a public accounting firm. As your first day quickly approaches, the first day jitters begin to set in. The butterflies of entering a new work environment as the new kid are always intimidating. Before you grab your bag and head to the office for your first day, here are a few things to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your public accounting internship.

1. Go to Coffee

One of the most fun parts of my accounting internship was getting to go out to coffee with various team members. While it might seem strange to ask a busy professional to stop working and go to coffee, everyone is more than happy to discuss all things accounting with you.

Learning people's story of how they got into accounting and their path to the firm showed that everyone's journey is different. It's also a great time to ask for advice on how to succeed in accounting and for general life advice.

2. Ask for Help

You will be learning a lot over the course of your public accounting internship and most of it will look unfamiliar. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions!

You aren't expected to know everything, and asking for help will only better your understanding. A best practice is to compile your questions as you work through your project and then ask them all at once to the staff or senior who checks in on your progress. This can save time going back and forth with multiple questions and get you your answers in one go.

3. Work Together

If you're as lucky as I am, you will be working alongside some other amazing interns who know exactly what you are going through. Use them as a resource to ask questions and work through any areas that you get stuck on. Working together as a team will help you build a stronger relationship with each other. And it is always fun to work alongside your friends.

4. Get Involved With Firm Events

Most businesses have events, both formal and informal, to help build teamwork and camaraderie among employees. As an intern, you are now a part of that team. If the public accounting firm that you're interning at offers off-site events like this, you should try to go to as many firm events as possible. They are a great way to meet new people and make connections in a more informal environment than during normal working hours. The earlier you are able to get involved with firm events the better.

5. Have an Open Mind

The exact setup of your internship will depend on which accounting firm you're with. You may have one supervisor or work on projects for various people. Either way, be open to helping anyone with anything. Picking up projects is a great way to meet team members you might not ordinarily interact with and a good opportunity to learn.

At times, I did feel bad when working on projects because I felt as though I was slow and taking too much time asking questions when a more experience staff member could finish the project in less time. If you ever feel that way, just remember that your supervisors are aware that you are learning and don't expect you to be an expert when they assigned a project to you.

6. Have Fun

Above all, have fun during your internship; you will be surprised how quickly the time goes! Experiencing a public accounting internship is a great opportunity to get exposure to your future career and meet professionals at the firm.

Learn more about Delap's internship program. If you have specific questions about applying, contact Recruiting Manager Matthew Hilton.