EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION
From Internship to Career: Accounting major lands job prior to graduation
Senior Katie Thompson knows all too well the importance of attaining and completing internships. In fact, her eight week internship at Ernst and Young in New York City turned into a full time job offer for the fall of 2013, just after she graduates next May.

Thompson is majoring in accounting and economics, so her internship at one of the largest professional accounting firms in the world was a perfect fit. She worked on a team to assist with tax due diligence on behalf of a private equity firm and to prepare tax returns for a large financial client. She will re-join the same team next year to begin her career as a tax accountant in the Financial Services Office.

"Katie is a strong team player and very pleasant to work with," says Fiona Yan, Thompson's manager and senior of the engagement team. "As an intern, her learning curve was remarkable as she picked up specific tax concepts related to each assignment she was asked to complete. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her and look forward to working with her in the future."

Thompson says her time at HPU helped prepare her for this position.

"The overall experience of HPU has allowed me to focus on doing well in the classroom, as well as flourishing outside of it," she says.

Eric Melniczek, director of the Office of Career and Internship Services, says the kind of experience that Thompson gained through this internship is exactly what he encourages others to obtain. In fact, his office begins working with students as soon as they arrive at HPU to develop a career action plan.

"Two career-related work experiences, such as internships, externships, field study, practicum, or others should be completed," Melniczek says. "We are seeing more and more companies rely on their internship pool to fill many full-time openings. Therefore, it's essential to gain experience early and often during college."

Securing a job before the start of senior year takes a lot of pressure off a student, but for Thompson it doesn't mean giving up. "Knowing I have secured a job before the beginning of my senior year is incredible, but with that said, I will continue to strive to do my best and continue to use my relentless determination and motivation to always live up to my fullest potential," says Thompson.

Thompson knows that a liberal arts education is important in the real-world, as well as communication skills, teamwork, integrity and people skills. She hopes to focus her senior year on building her skills to reach future goals.

She says she is also thankful for the knowledge she has gained through faculty in the accounting department at HPU - knowledge she will use first-hand at her new job.