The on job learning experience is acquired while working in a job setting which boosts career aspiration. They are positions in the public or private organizations which are structured and supervised for understanding the industry norms. Engaging in an internship program is a source of acquisition of knowledge and abilities for the participants. In the industry the participants get jobs on the basis of academic records and the relevant work experience which they possess. The acquired skills and experience ensures that the students succeed in securing jobs upon graduation. Participating in an internship program is considered as a best way for starting a career.
In this report a discussion will be placed describing the basic elements of internship. Summer internship taken in American Sports Management (ASM) which is a company located in DC will be presented. Details of the work performed and the major procedures will be discussed. Application of the accounting disciplines and contribution of technology for facilitating the process will relate to the learning from the internship experience. Besides learning the challenges undertaken and accomplished will also be discussed.
BASIC ELEMENTS OF INTERNSHIP
The elements which are essential for making an internship program successful include delivering work ethics and a drive of excelling for goal oriented students. The firms which recruit the interns take the responsibility of guiding and training them with appropriate methods by providing them responsible assignments. It is essential that the progress of the interns is constantly monitored and that they are assessed for the work which they produce.
Internship is considered as a period which the students serve to gain practical experience and understanding the professional environment. This provides an elaborate understanding of the operational processes within the corporate environment. Multitasking and creating interrelationship between several assignments is a skill which can only be developed by working in a professional environment. Internships provide an opportunity to the students for understanding the diversity in the work environment.
EXPERIENCE ACQUIRED THROUGH INTERNSHIP AT ASM
The experience which was acquired while working as an intern at American Sports Management (ASM) located at DC, USA in the accounts department was very helpful in grooming the skills and acquiring firsthand knowledge of how the accounting professionals work in a professional working environment.
The company provides individual groups tennis lessons in DC all year round. In summer the company expands its operations by setting two camps in the DC area and one camp in Moscow, Russia. The duration of this camp is one month only.
DISCUSSION OF THE WORK PERFORMED AND LEARNING ACQUIRED
The major job description of an intern in the accounting department is to assist the senior accountants working in the DC office and managing the entire records of operations. Other responsibilities include assisting the seniors with reconciliation process, preparing balance sheets, preparing folders, recording the journal entries, sales management and tax filings. The other associated responsibilities include managing sports events and recording expenses for billing the advertisers. Processing credit applications and forming expense reports assist in forming the month end closing reports of the organization. Organizations have started using accounting software’s which facilitates in performing and recording the tasks. Ms word and excel are used in organizations which polishes the skills and application. Interacting with senior accountants and managers improves understanding and makes the interns detail oriented, motivated towards work and actively proficient.
The benefits of this job are that a tennis fan can get a chance of meeting professionals and can become a part of a world class tennis program. The coaching and training acquired while working in a professional environment enhanced the understanding of reconciling and storing the data appropriately.
APPLICATION PROCEDURES AND PROCESSES
The organization uses several different policies and procedures which form the basic operational structure. It is essential that the interns develop an understanding of these policies and procedures which are developed and applied on the particular department. The accounting procedures used by ASM were designed in such a way that they were considered as essential tools for performing the daily tasks. SAP which is a German software corporation provides software’s for managing complex business operations is used for managing the tasks.
List of some most commonly used accounting procedures include
Accounting policies of the organizations vary according to the reporting standards set by the organization. Some of the policies which require to be defined and continually follow require following the financial reporting standards, inventories, intangible assets, impairment of assets, noncurrent assets held for sales, provisions and tax recorded. Organizations make sure that accounting practices used are uniform and consistent. This makes it essential that organizations design appropriate travel related policies and procedures. Policies and procedures for managing the workforce are maintained for ensuring uniformity.
EXPLANATION AND DISCUSSION
The major accounting processes used by ASM are very important for ensuring transparent recording of accounting details. The organization ensures that general accounting practices are efficiently managed and appropriate financial reports are formed. Bank reconciliation statements, recording and controlling of billing for managing the expenses, controlling the fixed assets and recording the depreciation keep the cash inflow and outflow transparent. Recording payables and receivables along with tax payments are the major functions of the accounting practice for transparent recording and managing. These are the major accounting processes which are performed by the organization.
RELATE THE INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCES TO THE LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The Bachelors of Science program in the field of accounting by NIU makes it essential that the students are prepared for entering the professional world and hence indulging in internship programs have been made mandatory. The graduates of this program demonstrate exceptional skills in the fields of financial accounting, accounting information system, cost management and taxation. The graduates are effective problem solvers, good communicators and deal with ethical accounting practices. This requires using analytic problem solving skills and teamwork.
The internship program sufficiently helped in understanding and applying the concepts learned at the university. The internship program helped in developing strong analytic skills which gave firsthand experience associated to accounting and business practices. From this program technical expertise were acquired which enhanced competency in the field. Analytical skills helped in developing problem solving skills and presenting solutions. Application of the tools and enhanced technology helped in assisting with solving the problems. Communicating with the managers and senior staff enhanced the skills and motivated teamwork. This contributed towards the development of a professional code of conduct. These skills were developed during the internship program which can easily be categorized as learning outcomes.
The biggest advantage of an internship program is that it teaches multi tasking and improves interaction between the employees of different departments. Understanding the importance of teamwork and developing analytical skills are the biggest learning benefits associated to internship programs. The students get a chance of applying what they have learned in the class room by developing their personal and professional skills. The students get a chance of analyzing, appraising and classify what they have learned in the class rooms. They can evaluate the situation, express the skills which they have acquired and implement the theoretical application in a practical scenario.
The most importantly classified learning objectives include the following
- Enhances the communication skill both orally and in written of the employees
- Apply business knowledge for applicative problem solving
- Promotes collaboration and team work
- Adapting and motivation in a professional business setting
- Demonstrate leadership and show accountability towards completion of the tasks
- Apply ethical performance in the entire job culture
This shows the significance of an internship program and the learning outcomes which interns develop from working. These outcomes are not limited to the departments but they are the overall outcomes developed. There are several internal procedures and policies which require to be assessed and interns must acquire developing an understanding of the overall internal environment.
PROBLEMS OR DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED
During the internship program several problems and difficulties are faced frequently. These challenges are elaborated below
- Lack of work
During the internships in most cases the interns feel that they are not awarded proper or quality work. Interns feel bored and underutilized. This requires that the interns become proactive and search work or method for making themselves useful for the departments.
While working at ASM sufficient work was offered to be performed. All the work was appropriately guided and monitored by the supervisors.
- Excess work
In a vice versa situation some interns feel that they are being given excess work. This is the point where the manager takes advantage of the interns and offer them long hours of repetitive and dull work. This is often motivating for the interns and it makes them feel motivated that their efforts are being realized and helps them with the career which they wish to pursue.
The work allotted for performance included both office and field projects. Teams were assigned for performing the jobs and healthy competition amongst the workers was given preference.
- Lack of questions
Under certain situations the employees are afraid of asking certain questions. It is the pressure of work which makes them feel that they must deal with the hurdle and the challenges individually. It is essential that questions are asked and appropriate plan of action is sought for solving the problems.
All the supervisors at ASM were very cooperative and encouraged questions and provided appropriate guidance for performing the tasks.
- Supervisors fail to understand that intern is new to the field
In some cases the tasks assigned to the employees don’t possess appropriate guidance. This requires that in such a situation all the directions are sought from the manager before the work is performed.
The supervisors were very cooperative. They understood the fact that the interns are new to the work environment and provided sufficient guidance. This provided learning opportunity for the interns and polished their skills. Innovative ideas were encouraged by the supervisors.
- Peer Competition
In environments where the interns work in groups there is excess competition. At ASM the interns work as teams and it is ensured that all the interns take full responsibility of the work which is assigned to them. This promoted healthy competition.
- New life style
Engaging in the environment and getting accustomed to the new 9 to 5 routine is very important. This change affects the social life badly and the overall practices change.
At AMS initially these problems are faced by new interns but if they are goal oriented and they are motivated towards working then different objectives can be attained. This practice is also called as decorum of working in an office environment.
Internship is an important part of starting a professional career. It is essential that the applicants accept this fact and try developing learning outcomes from the environment they are engaged in. This report discusses the benefits of internships and the experience which the individuals develop. The work performed and the internal policies, procedures and processes related to accounting are discussed in this report. Several learning objectives are developed and challenges are faced which are discussed elaborately in this report. The role of supervisors and managers and the experience which the individuals develop in the field is essential from laying the foundation of a progressive career. This process makes internships important for the graduating students.