White Nelson Diehl Evans Internship Program a Success
For a quarter century, the internship program at White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP has been going strong. The firm reaches out to accounting students at local area colleges, including Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach and Chapman University, Orange, with the opportunity to work 20-24 hours/week during the busy tax and audit season, January through April. The end goal is to hire those students for full-time positions upon their graduation.
“Our interns get to know all levels of our staff, our computer software, our way of doing business, as well as the corporate environment, its fast-pace nature and the client demands associated with public accounting,” remarked Partner Greg Coleman, who oversees the program.
“If they develop and progress within the program and market conditions allow, there is an excellent chance they will have a job offer upon their graduation.”
White Nelson Diehl Evans partners and staff meet prospective students at a variety of on and off-campus functions, and when they express an interest in working for the firm, students go through a full interview process. For 2012, many students were considered and interviewed for internship positions, and, as a result, five audit and five tax interns were hired. Other accounting firms have internship programs, but they often occur during the summer, when workloads are far lighter.
Working only part-time, students can make earning good grades a top priority, and, should they later be hired, there is little or no “learning curve.” Many students, Coleman added, “don’t know what public accounting really is until they’ve actually worked in the firm environment.”
Many of the firm’s senior staff are former interns, including Lynne Houri and Candy Huie, who are both Cal State Fullerton graduates and are both now partners with the firm. Additionally, in the current tight job market, working as an intern is a far more likely way to land a job with White Nelson Diehl Evans as opposed to merely mailing in a resume.
Coleman noted, “Our formal internship program has been our greatest success in hiring talented staff. We see every new intern as someone who has the potential to one day be a partner.”