BDO Internships

Real Projects. Real Impact.

It’s a familiar story: interns toil over busy work, grind through spreadsheets, and just when they’re on the brink of burning out, they leave. Maybe they learned something, and maybe they made an impact. And maybe not.

At BDO, our interns build the foundation for a career. Yes, the work will be challenging, but it will be meaningful as well. We never forget that our success depends on the caliber of our people, so we provide real support and diverse learning opportunities designed to help you grow.

There’s no such thing as an average BDO internship, or even an average day at the office. But there are a few things that all our internships have in common:

More Clients, More

As the world’s fifth-largest accounting and consulting network, BDO serves an enormous range of clients – from start-ups to billion-dollar corporations, in industries ranging from banking to biotech. As an intern, you’ll get exposure to many of them. You’ll get to think analytically and creatively about the unique needs of your clients. And you’ll leave BDO with a broader base of experience, and better prepared for your career.

Not Coffee Runs

You may be an intern, but you deserve to do real accounting work. Not only will you learn what you need to know, you’ll have the opportunity to put that knowledge into practice – making a real impact on important projects. You’ll work directly with high-level professionals, and often even the clients themselves.

Mentors who
Actually Mentor

When you’re just starting out, you need mentorship, not just an occasional performance review. At BDO, you’ll find mentors who will be there to answer your questions, provide advice, and do their best to help you learn and develop.

Before you start your internship, you’ll be matched with a mentor, or “Buddy,” (generally an associate or a senior associate) to help you as you begin your internship, and even take you out to lunch every once in a while. Later, you’ll also be assigned a career advisor, who will provide guidance and wisdom as you navigate the early stages of your career. INDUSTRY LEADERS AS TEACHERS & MENTORS

Not Competition

At BDO, we believe that people work better when they work together. Your fellow interns and staff should be sources of support and collaboration, not competitors. For example, you’ll participate in a variety of team meetings with fellow interns and associates in which you’ll have the opportunity to talk about the week’s work, and solicit advice from a range of perspectives.

Meet Our Interns


Tell us a little bit about your internship experiences, and what kinds of projects you’ve worked on.

LC: During my first internship, I worked on a lot of different companies – I saw a lot of partnerships, S corporations, individuals, and trusts. This year has been really interesting. I’ve been able to do some consulting work, and I’ve also been working with one of the directors here in the Grand Rapids office on his prospects in the banking industry. It’s nice to see the world of tax beyond just grinding out tax returns.

ED: I get to talk with clients, and I really enjoy that. The international projects are also very rewarding. I work with one of the senior managers directly, on international compliance with international clients. I get a little bit of everything here. I feel that makes me a more well-rounded professional and accountant.

NH: Since I’ve started, I’ve gotten to work on a large variety of clients, from private equity, to colleges, to public companies, all of which are different. I think that’s important – the more experience you get, the better off you’ll be when you start your full-time job.

The office is growing so fast. It’s really exciting, and it’s also given me room to grow and more opportunity to succeed.

What’s been your most memorable experience so far?

NH: Last week, Wayne Berson, our CEO, came down to the Raleigh office to talk to all of us. It was pretty neat to talk to him, and really nice for someone who had so much going on to take the time to come down to our office to speak with us.

Why BDO? Did you ever consider other internships?

LC: I liked the recruiters from BDO the best. Some of the other firms seemed so conservative to me – BDO is a cool office, and I got that impression right away. I was offered internships by a number of firms, but chose BDO. And after the internship, I really wasn’t interested in working anywhere else.

ED: I went to other interviews, but the other firms didn’t seem as invested in me, or as interested in helping me succeed. The reason I chose BDO is that I enjoy coming in every day. Everyone’s here to help you out. I feel comfortable asking people questions, and not just the associates – even the partners and managers.

NH: Over the summer, I attended several leadership conferences for both large and small firms. I feel like with BDO you get the best of both worlds. You get the opportunities of an international firm, but also they’re very personally involved in you and your best interests.

Any advice for future interns?

LC: Be open to changes, and things that you’re not expecting. Everything is very new, and can be a little overwhelming. But don’t panic!

NH: I would say have an open mind. It can be kind of overwhelming at first – there’s just so much information thrown at you. But the employees at BDO, they understand that you’re a clean slate, ready to learn and take advantage of what they have to offer. If you just give it time and keep your focus, it’s easy to learn and to succeed.

What are some of the challenges you faced as an intern?

LC : Your internship is really trial by fire. You don’t know very much. I had taken a tax class, but a lot of my fellow interns had not. BDO does a great job of training you and getting everyone up to speed.

ED: When I first came here I had no experience – I hadn’t even filled out my own tax return. I really had no idea where to start. But early on one of the then-tax associates (she’s a senior associate now), sat down with me and went through an entire return and showed me what to do. It helped to have someone sit down and talk through all my questions.

How would you describe your average day?

LC : It’s kind of hard to answer that question, because one of the cool things about public accounting is the variety of clients and projects you get to work on, and with how many different people … A normal day is juggling lots of projects and talking to the people you’re working with. It’s a real hive of activity.

NH: It depends on the client I’m on. I guess I would compare my work to a first year. I’m not doing stuff like getting coffee, or any of those stereotypical intern duties. I’m working hands-on, assisting with a lot of the audits. I get to talk to our clients and work with them.