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Consider what you are getting into beforehand

Published on
Friday, February 10, 2012
Written by
Wong Yat-hei [1]

Accounting student Alex Leung Ka-cheong (below), intern in assurance at Ernst & Young, wanted to get a taste of an accountant's life, so he frequently attended the company's recruitment talks. He was offered an internship after a written test and group interview. Leung talks to Wong Yat-hei  

What is your academic background?

I'm a Year Three student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and majoring in accounting. 

How do you start your day? 

I don't have a routine. Sometimes I go straight to the office, sometimes I visit clients at their offices. 

What does your job entail? 

As an intern, my role is to assist the senior staff in finishing the audit work. For instance, I was responsible for checking the simplest section of the accounting report. 

What are the major challenges you've encountered so far?

The accounting knowledge I learned in class is limited, compared to the skills required for my work. Fortunately, Ernst & Young is renowned for its on-the-job training. 

What have you learned about your career? What are your plans? 

Accountants need to be responsible and should consider what the objectives are before getting the audit work done. Also, teamwork is important. I hope to land a job with Ernst & Young as an associate after I graduate and prepare myself for the qualification programme. 

Any advice for interns?  

Those planning to be accountants should get an idea of what their duties will be beforehand. A great way to do so is to attend the business forums or events held by accounting firms.

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