Another day, another list, another instance of us typing “another day, another list.” The list-making powerhouse that is Vault released their 2024 100 Best Internships ranking and while it isn’t a surprise to see it packed with accounting firms, it is surprising that one of them topped said list. With a score of 9.597, PKF O’Connor Davies Internship Program outranks all 99 other players as the best of the best for interns and jumped from the 70th spot in 2023 to first place in 2024.
“I never felt stressed being a part-time worker and a full-time student. The balance was great, and my advisors were always so understanding if I needed a day for school. What I really found extremely helpful is the trainings this office holds, and I have learned a lot from having specific training days on certain topics.”
“As interns, you are only expected to work the hours when you are able to work. Even though it was the busy season, no one ever pressured me to work long hours, I was also told to put school first. If I need to take my scheduled day off for school or any reason, it was always approved immediately.”
“Everyone in the office was very welcoming and helpful. This was the first time that I was doing auditing, and the office was small, so there wasn’t a lot of room to hide if I made an error. However, each person who I worked with never failed to walk me through each process and answer any questions that I might have had. There was never a time when I felt like I couldn’t reach out to someone for help. Each person, all the way up to the partners, was always willing to answer a question or steer me in the right direction.”
“Everyone is extremely approachable and friendly. It feels like a nurturing environment; there is no competitive or cutthroat air. I feel that the culture at PKF OD allows me to learn and become more comfortable and useful.”
Warms your heart, doesn’t it?
Not only did the top firm kill it, accounting firms took half the spots in the top ten. Those firms are:
- 4. Weaver (2023 rank: #14)
- 5. Frazier Deeter (#25)
- 8. Lumsden & McCormick (#76)
- 9. Elliott Davis (#12)
- 10. Freed Maxick (not ranked in 2023)
Honorable mention: Grant Thornton coming in at #12 (2023 rank: #24). Actually, let’s grab all the firms on the list. Haters of the Big 4 oligopoly will note only one Big 4 firm made the list and it doesn’t appear until the bottom. The remaining best firms for interns, their respective ranks, and their rank on last year’s list are:
- 14. Frank Rimerman & Co. (2023 rank: #2)
- 19. Baker Tilly (not ranked in 2023)
- 22. Aprio (#4)
- 26. CohnReznick (#35)
- 28. BDO USA (#40)
- 32. Moss Adams (#20)
- 41. Cherry Bekaert (#71)
- 43. Wipfli (#56)
- 52. EisnerAmper (#17)
- 57. Marcum (#54)
- 61. Ryan (#84)
- 70. Armanino (#43)
- 72. PwC/Strategy& (#59)
- 94. Eide Bailly (#86)
- 97. Withum (#52)
To calculate scores, Vault surveyed thousands of current and former interns in the summer of 2023. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, respondents were asked to rate their internship experiences in six core areas:
- Quality of Life (company culture, hours, work-life balance, flexibility)
- Compensation & Benefits (pay structure, subsidized expenses, technology resources, office space, perks)
- Interview Process (application process, requirements, number of interviews)
- Career Development (including four separate ratings for training and mentoring, quality of assignments, real-life experience, networking opportunities)
- Full-time Employment Prospects (opportunity to obtain a full-time job with this organization)
- Diversity (including four separate ratings for diversity with respect to women, racial & ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and other underrepresented groups)
Vault scientists then assigned relative weights based on what interns said they value most in an internship. The overall scores are based on the following weighted formula: 30 percent career development, 20 percent employment prospects, 20 percent quality of life, 20 percent compensation, 5 percent diversity, and 5 percent interview process.
Although accounting had a heck of a performance overall this year, as you can see from the ranking above some firms are really killing it while others appear to be slipping and might disappear off the list altogether come 2025.
Interns of any of the listed firms are welcome to share their experiences in the comments or via editor mail.