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Unfortunately in today’s competitive market there are not enough opportunities for every student interested in completing an internship. Therefore it’s important to continually think about building your CV while at university. In this article, we look at alternative work experience that may be available.

Volunteering as a treasurer for a university society?

Being treasurer of a sports club could prove useful in an interview situation and on a CV. This role demonstrates to employers that you will have experience of budgeting, basic accounts and expenditure. It will show that you can balance work, study and outside interests as well as hold a position of trust, accountability and authority.

Asking to be involved in company stock takes?

work experienceOK, no one likes working late, but if you have a part-time job for a retailer, chances are that they will do regular stock takes. Putting this in your CV shows some of the key skills required for an audit. This will show that you are committed, able to take on extra responsibility and have a good understanding of a commercial business. You’ll be able to comment on which products sell well and potentially which are a bad investment, all from your Saturday job.

What you did on your gap year?

If you have travelled, maybe taught English abroad, think about how this could benefit a future employer. You can work cross cultures, work alone or as part of a team, meet different people and possibly speak foreign languages.

So the truth is, while internships, work experience and placements are useful to securing a training agreement, there is other work experience you gain through university life and in part-time jobs can also benefit future employers with transferable skills and commercial awareness.

Top five places to find internships, placements and work experience:

We’ve all heard stories of desperate graduates painting their faces or sending pizza boxes to employers in a last ditch attempt to find their dream job. Fortunately a career in chartered accountancy does not require such drastic measures:

  1. Accountancy Careers
    Find and apply for accountancy internships, placements and insight days.You can also find accountancy company profiles and graduate jobs here.
  2. ICAEW Training Vacancies
    ICAEW provide an online portal detailing many internships, placements and work experience opportunities. For up-to-date listings visit
  3. University careers centres
    Your careers service will be able to help you with CVs as well as give advice about applying for work experience. They may even know of firms looking for dedicated students. If you are studying accountancy, why not ask your lecturers and personal tutors for names of firms and useful contacts?
  4. Campus events and visits
    Make the most of employers visiting your campus. Many chartered accountancy firms, along with ICAEW, will hold presentations, networking sessions and exhibit at university careers fairs. Often ACA students attend, which is a great way to find out about opportunities and to find out what the role involves, so take advantage of face-to-face networking.
  5. Your own research
    Research online which firms cater for internships, placements and work experience. A polite call or good covering letter could reveal a bespoke opportunity. Avoid blanket applications though – a few targeted and well-researched applications will yield more results.

About the Author

  • Name: Accountancy Careers
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