Career Recruiting Advice for Fisher School of Accounting Students

Accounting students are encouraged to explore all career opportunities in public accounting, industry, financial services, and government. Students should strike a balance between recruiting activities and other responsibilities (academic, extracurricular, social, and work related). Prospective employers are on campus and in Gerson Hall regularly. The School Calendar provides details about these events, and HIREWarrington includes information about these events and others that are open to accounting students. As time permits, attend recruiting events to build relationships with prospective employers, but do not devote too much time to recruiting activities because, if your academic performance deteriorates, your marketability will be adversely affected.

Students are encouraged to utilize two career portals. Both portals offer the ability to sign up for career fairs and apply for jobs and internships.

All employers interested in hiring accounting majors are encouraged to post their job/internship opportunities, as well as recruiting events, in HIREWarrington. You are encouraged to log in and review your information, upload a current resume, keep your profile up to date (including reporting your internships and full-time job placement), and explore the information available to you. Check back often for more employment opportunities and events throughout the year.

All students in the Warrington College of Business are encouraged to access resources offered by Business Career Services (BCS). In addition to the HIREWarrington career portal, BCS offers Career and Peer (CAP) Mentors, which include accounting student mentors who are familiar with the unique accounting recruiting process described below. They also offer one-on-one Career Coaching and recruiting events beyond those that are exclusive to Fisher School students.

In addition to seeking the advice of CAP Mentors and Career Coaches, students should still discuss the timing of their recruiting activities with an academic advisor in the Fisher School, to ensure their plans match the timing of their coursework.

Accounting majors should recognize that the standard recruiting process is very different than it is for many other majors. For example:

  • Unlike other business majors, the accounting major does not require an internship. Therefore, students should not feel pressured to complete an internship prior to completing the BSAc requirements, unless they are considering changing to another business major. With that said, some students do complete an internship during the BSAc. Students interested in doing so are strongly encouraged to discuss their plans with an academic advisor.
  • Most accounting majors plan on completing a Master of Accounting degree. Because of this, they are typically looking for full-time employment to begin after their fifth year and an internship at the end of their fourth year (either after completing the BSAc, or while enrolled in the 3/2 Program).
  • Recruiting starts very early. Many students are accepting internship offers that will (hopefully) lead to full-time positions, over 2 years before graduation!

Summer Leadership Programs (SLPs)

SLPs are an excellent way to build relationships with accounting firms and companies. The programs are typically two to three day retreats where students focus on learning about the culture of the profession including: team building, networking, professionalism, etiquette, and client service. Some students who attend an SLP may be offered an internship with the employer for the following Spring/Summer.

Recruiting for SLPs takes place during the beginning of the spring semester and typically involves a campus or virtual interview. SLPs are recommended for students who have completed Financial Accounting and Reporting 1 (ACG3101) and Business Processes and Accounting Information Systems (ACG3401) prior to the spring semester in which they are recruiting for an SLP. See below for more information on timing of courses and SLP’s.

Students currently enrolled in ACG 3101 and / or ACG 3401 during the spring SLP recruiting period are off-cycle. It may be possible for these students to get back on cycle by taking Summer courses. If these students stay off-cycle, attend an SLP, and it ultimately results in an internship offer for the following spring or summer, their MAcc graduation will be delayed one year if the offer is accepted.

For students enrolled in class during the summer, SLPs, though only two or three days long, can conflict with class meetings, assignment deadlines, quizzes or exams. Class commitments should be a priority. Instructors are not required to make accommodations for students who are attending SLPs.

Note: Many firms have stopped offering SLP’s, and instead are making earlier internship offers. For example, in Spring of the third year, a student may be offered an internship for Spring/Summer of the following year. For the upcoming Summer (after the third year), instead of an SLP, the employer may hold a special celebration event for newly-hired students who will intern the following year.


As long as it does not delay progress towards graduation, students are encouraged to complete an accounting internship one year before graduation. This would typically be the Spring/Summer at the end of the senior year, before the final year of the MAcc program. The internship experience provides students with the opportunity to apply the accounting concepts they have studied in the classroom. It helps develop practical skills that will be required of entry-level professionals. Finally, an internship exposes the student to the culture of the profession and reinforces the importance of communication and interpersonal skills. To be on-track for a spring or summer internship, students should complete TAX 5025, TAX 5027, ACG 5637 and ACG 5647 during the fall semester of their senior year. See below for more information on timing of courses and internships.

Although it varies by employer and city, there are typically more spring internships available than summer. Spring internships can often provide a richer professional experience, particularly in the audit area.

Many employers are actively recruiting accounting students very early, with the hope of hiring them after they graduate from the MAcc. The following information describes the typical timeline of recruiting activities for many of the large employers, and the accounting courses students should plan on completing in order to remain “on-cycle” for completing an internship and earning the MAcc in five years. We recognize that some students may choose to forgo a master’s program, join a different type of graduate program, or seek a job/internship that follows a different timeline. Students should discuss their plans with an academic advisor, especially if their plans deviate from the timeline below.

YearSemesterAccounting Courses to CompleteRecruiting ActivitiesNotes
1 Fall None Attend recruiting events, seek career advice, explore options
1 Spring None Attend recruiting events, seek career advice, explore options
2 Fall ACG 2021 Introduction to Financial AccountingAttend recruiting events, seek career advice, explore options
2 Spring ACG 2071 Introduction to Managerial AccountingAttend recruiting events, seek career advice, explore options
3 Fall ACG 3101 Financial Accounting and Reporting 1; ACG 3401 Business Processes & Accounting Information SystemsBegin to focus on type of employment desired, attend recruiting events, prepare for Spring applications
3 Spring ACG 4111 Financial Accounting and Reporting 2; ACG 4341 Cost and Managerial AccountingApply for SLP’s (to take place Year 3 Summer) or internships (to take place Year 4 Spring/Summer)Students who do not complete both courses with a C or better by this term will be off-cycle, and will need to attend class over the Summer to get back on-cycle. Classes/exams/etc. should take priority over SLP’s or other activities. SLP’s or other activities could conflict with classes.
3 Summer Attend SLP’s if invited and not already offered internship for next year
4 Fall ACG 5637 Auditing 1; ACG 5647 Auditing 2; TAX 5025 Federal Income Tax 1; TAX 5027 Federal Income Tax 2Apply for internships if no offer yetStudents who do not complete these courses by this semester and choose to do an internship will delay their MAcc graduation by one year.
4 Spring/Summer Required MAcc Courses/Internship Start MAcc courses Spring, intern Summer, or vice versa
5 Fall Required MAcc Courses Apply for full-time job if no offer yet
5 Spring Required MAcc Courses

Senior Internships

Because the FSOA is a highly-structured program, it is critical that students remain on cycle with all accounting coursework to complete an internship without delaying graduation. Being “off cycle” (ahead or behind) by one accounting course, as early as your sophomore year, can delay graduation by an entire year! Off cycle students can get back on cycle and graduate on time by remaining on campus in the summer of their senior year instead of completing an internship.

For example, to be on-cycle for a spring or summer internship, students must complete TAX 5025, TAX 5027, ACG 5637 and ACG 5647 during the fall semester of their senior year. The chart above gives a brief overview, and the Course Sequencing Chart for the 3/2 program describes the timing of courses in more detail. Students who are off cycle (completed TAX 5025, TAX 5027, ACG 5637 and / or ACG 5647 during the spring semester of their senior year) must start the MAcc program in the summer to get back on cycle. If these students complete a summer internship, they will miss the required foundation graduate-accounting courses (which are prerequisites for most graduate accounting courses taken during the fifth year).

As described above, many firms are making internship offers during Spring of the third year for the Spring/Summer of the following year. However, internship recruiting also occurs at the beginning of the Fall semester. Students who do not obtain an internship offer prior the fourth year, but are on-cycle, should plan on applying for internships in early Fall for the following Spring/Summer.

Early Internships

While the most common internship for accounting majors takes place at the end of senior year (with the hope of an offer for full-time employment to start the following year after earning the MAcc), many firms also recruit students to complete special internships one or two years earlier. These can be excellent opportunities for students to learn more about the profession and the firms, and to gain some professional experience. With that said, because the accounting major requires a significant amount of rigorous coursework, some students may not be able to complete an earlier internship and also remain on-cycle for completing a second, senior internship before earning the MAcc. This is especially true if the student has to drop and retake an accounting course. Students interested in pursuing an internship prior to their senior year are strongly encouraged to discuss their schedules with an academic advisor prior to applying for early internship positions. The advisor can help you decide whether you have time in your schedule for such an experience.

Don’t be short-sighted. MAcc graduates who do not complete an internship have virtually the same placement rates as students who complete an internship. Forgoing a few thousand dollars from an eight-week internship pales in comparison to the cost of losing an entire year of professional wages and paying for an extra year to remain on campus. In addition, employers traditionally expect students to graduate one year after their internship.

Students facing delayed graduation are strongly encouraged to have a frank conversation with their prospective employer, academic advisor, and family about consequences of accepting an internship under these circumstances. Depending upon the relationship built with students, employers may be willing to consider full-time employment without an internship.

Off-cycle students should never be tempted to unintentionally misrepresent their graduation date by hoping there may be a way to accept an internship and graduate on time. The School regularly meets with employers to discuss the optimum timing of recruiting activities. Most employers who actively recruit FSOA students will be able to determine if students are on-cycle simply by viewing transcripts; unrealistic graduation plans of study based upon hypothetical course offerings may prove to be embarrassing or even jeopardize prospects for employment.

Remember when academic performance deteriorates students lose marketability. Students are often intimidated by the recruiting process and will never ask for an accommodation when employers schedule events that create conflicts with other commitments. Employers want our students to succeed. They will do their best to make changes to scheduled activities (e.g., office visits) whenever possible. Employers also understand that students cannot attend every recruiting activity they host on campus. Students facing conflicts, especially with School-related activities, need to communicate conflicts with their recruiting contacts. Recruiters can’t help resolve conflicts if students are afraid to ask for help.

It’s okay to say no. Office visits are time consuming for both the student and the employer. Students should carefully choose among offered visits and only accept those from potential employers for which the student holds a serious interest. This may also open opportunities for your classmates who may still be seeking employment. Recruiters are aware that students are talking with more than one potential employer. This is not something a student needs to hide.

Recruiting for employers is simply a business decision. If students are not a good fit for the firm or company, then the employer will end the recruiting process. Students should approach the recruiting process in a similar way. Is the employer a good fit for you and your career aspirations? A few signals that commonly indicate the employer may not be a good fit include:

  • Exploding Offers—all offers must have a deadline, but is the employer forcing me to accept an offer before I get an opportunity to visit with other firms or companies?
  • No Flexibility in Scheduling—does the employer expect students to attend an office visit that conflicts with a major exam?
  • Expects Students to Complete Graduate School Elsewhere—does the employer recommend that students graduate with an undergraduate degree from UF and complete their education at a program of lesser academic caliber to accommodate their needs?

Accepting an offer, whether for a job, an internship, or a Summer Leadership Program (SLP), is a firm commitment. If you are not sure whether you can make that commitment, you should not accept the offer, or at the very least, you should discuss your situation with your company contact. If you are waiting for offers from other companies, ask for an extension. If you have every intention of following through, but there is a chance something may come up (maybe you are considering dropping a class and retaking it over the summer?), make that clear before accepting the offer. It is much better to be up front and honest, than to indicate you can commit to the offer and then back out at the last minute.

Remember that you were given a spot that could have gone to another student, and it may be too late for them to replace you. Backing out of offers can reflect negatively on you, the Fisher School, and your fellow students. With that said, everybody understands that things do come up. If you have accepted an offer, and find out later you are unable to take the position, contact the company representative immediately, explain your situation, and provide a sincere apology for your change in plans. Be sure you receive an acknowledgement of your withdrawal so that you are sure they know not to expect you. In most cases, they will be understanding of your situation and appreciate your timely, professional notification.