• Career Center

    Prospective Intern Wants to Know if Firm Will Let Him Go on Vacation During Internship

    By | September 30, 2014

    Yes, this was actually posted over at /r/accounting and no, it doesn't seem this person is a troll:

    Next week is when Big4 interviews happen and I hope to not only be interviewed but also get offered an internship, but…

    At the beginning of August I have a week long trip that I had planned for two years.

    Is this a situation where I just have to suck it up and choose one or the other? Will an internship be understanding to a pre planned trip? If they will understand would it still create negative feelings about me in their eyes?

    Our advice was that the firm will totally be understanding because what's more important, their business or this clown's vacation? I mean, he planned it for two whole years!

    Besides, it's not like interns actually do anything of great importance. No one will even miss him.

    So go ahead and bring it up during interviews, what's the worst that could happen besides not getting an internship and being relegated to A/P clerking your life away because you sabotaged your career before it ever got off the ground? Oh, and be sure to ask them about work/life balance while you're there.


    • Big4Veteran

      Yeah, I don’t know about this one. On one hand, I’d like to say that if you disclose it up front the firm would be happy to accommodate you.

      But on the other hand, I lost my faith in humanity a long time ago.

    • Really Michael Vick?

      The guy asked an honest question, appears to understand this could be bad and doesn’t want to torpedo his opportunities, and wasn’t a dick about it. Your issue is…?

      • Maury Brovich

        New here? Welcome.

        • Tim Tebro

          +1 for your name

    • Little Bhuda

      I say fuck it and go on vacation before you take your place in hell. Maybe you’ll obtain enlightenment during and realize that your original plan to be a beach bum and sell cheap crafts to the locals to finance your next meal is far more rewarding than public accounting suffrage….or not.

    • The Great GASB

      I know EY does a global intern conference toward the end of the internship, and I think other firms do something similar — so if it doesn’t interfere with that, I’d say it might be worth asking. If they like you, I don’t think that would kill your Big4 career.

      • Anon

        Yeah it’s kind of like with a girlfriend, if (she) likes you a lot, you can pull some stupid stuff. If not, you’re dumped.

      • big4dropout

        EY still does this? When I interned with Green Dot 10 years ago I was told we were no longer having one of these because it turned into a giant free booze-fueled orgy.

        • The Great GASB

          As far as I know, yes. But it’s a “dry” event now.

          • PwC Guy

            PwC still does this. It’s not dry but the firm won’t pay for or provide the booze anymore. You’ve gotta buy your own. They also intentionally short-change you on sleep every night by keeping you at events till say 11 and requiring you to show up in the morning at 6. Cuts down on the partying significantly, but there are inevitable a few morons who still do it and cost themselves their offers.

          • EYguest

            Yes. EY still does this event, and the attendees are not allowed to drink at all while in FL. Of course, some still do, and those that are caught lose offers. Same as PWC…they schedule so much stuff that you don’t have a whole lot of time to get out anyways. Lots of people just stay down there with friends and party afterwards.

    • cool story brah

      Is your vacation to Disneyworld?

    • 080080

      Don’t say anything about it to anyone. Rock your interviews and get in on that internship goodness. When it comes time for your trip, mysteriously come down with the flu.

    • Big4DropOut

      I wouldn’t disclose this until AFTER you’ve gotten the offer. That way you know they like you and are willing to make the investment of extending you the offer.

      • Amber Setter

        This is the exact advice I would offer.
        The reality is the firms don’t actually have enough work to keep the interns busy. Recruiting top talent is fiercely competitive. Firms don’t up the number of intern hires based on demand for their services. They hire more interns to ensure they have enough FT staff for the following year.
        Get the offer, then ask permission to miss the week. If the firm says no, you probably don’t want to work there anyways.

        • Guest

          I agree 100%. Good advice Amber!

    • accountingmajorprobs

      There was an intern in my big 4 group that took a three and a half week vacation with his family. He was up front in the interviews, and the firm must have been completely understanding because not only did they extend an internship offer, he ended up receiving an employment offer as well.

    • I’d rather post as guest

      A summer internship is essentially a (paid) vacation….

    • Guest

      I’m sure it will be fine. If I were you I wouldn’t go out of my way to tell them during the interview process, but I also wouldn’t lie or try to conceal the fact that I had a trip planned. If they ask you about commitments or your schedule or anything like that, be open about your trip. If you get an offer, that would be the time to discuss it with your recruiter. I had to take a day off during my internship (I know I know, it’s not exactly the same) but it was 100% okay.

      Bottom line is that it sounds like this trip is really important to you, and you’re probably going to regret it down the road if you don’t go. On the other hand, if it really isn’t a big deal and you’re not going to regret not going, then maybe it’s not worth the stress of working it into your internship schedule.

      • Guest

        Also, I want to add that there is no ‘right’ thing to do in this situation. You can ask as many people as you want for their input, but at the end of the day you have to do what you feel is right. Welcome to the real world – full of ambiguities and uncertain decisions (though I have to say, I think you’re probably mentally inflating the consequences of this particular decision).

    • DoOver

      “…not getting an internship and being relegated to A/P clerking your life away because you sabotaged your career before it ever got off the ground?”

      I’m having a hard time getting an internship. Are you suggesting I have no chance at making a career in public accounting? Thanks a lot Obama!