In March, Northern Illinois University will offer its Accounting 370: Accounting Career Planning Seminar class onsite at Elgin Community College. This eight-week course will prepare ECC students and make them eligible for an accounting internship while finishing their degree at NIU. ECC is currently the only community college to partner with NIU for this class.
“Normally, this class is taken during a student’s junior year,” said Dave Packard, professor of accounting at ECC. “Allowing students to take the class on our campus as sophomores will move them up a semester or two in their internship readiness.”
ECC students must be planning to major in accounting at NIU, earn a grade of ‘B’ or higher in Accounting 200, and have an overall grade point average of 3.0 to enroll in this course. The course will assist students with resume writing, hold mock interviews with real employers, and teach non-technical skills like social etiquette.
“The internship recruitment process is intense,” said Angela Gray, undergraduate advisor for NIU’s accounting department, “and firms are looking for strong interpersonal skills as well as technical skills.”
Internships are a critical part of an accounting program. “Most firms recruit directly from their internship programs, so landing a good internship is the key to a great start for your career,” said Packard.
NIU’s accounting department is offering 20 scholarships to ECC students taking this course. The scholarships cover the $500 tuition and waives the $40 admissions application fee.
“The first semester of junior year can be extremely hectic for students,” added Gray. “Courses are more challenging, students are preparing for the recruiting process, and transfer students are adjusting to a new campus. Taking this course now, at ECC, gives students more time to absorb the information and prepare for their future.”