A Plea for Clarity

I need a little help here. I need to find out if I am mistaken, or the other nine people who were part of a recent conversation were mistaken

I was floored by a comment made the other day. In fact, I was involved in a two-part flooring. Flooring the first. I was talking to some other members of our local chapter about involvement of colleges in internal audit programs and students’ approaches to internal audit . Someone made the comment that nobody was hiring auditors straight from college any more, and college students were not looking to go straight into an internal audit role. I picked myself up from that proverbial floor when I was knocked down by flooring the second. Absolutely none of the other nine people privy to the conversation disagreed.
Take me at my word here. I did not misunderstand what was said, nor did I misunderstand the intent of the statement or the implication of the others’ silence.
I am perplexed, befuddled, and bewildered. I know I have antiquated concepts of what it means to be an auditor (not to mention my anciently decrepit concepts of what it means to be a college student), but I hate to think that I am so out of touch that I missed the announcement that internal audit is no longer a valid career choice for college students. Even worse, that companies do not see internal audit as a true career path. I was living under the (apparently) false assumption there were companies who see audit as a good introduction to the company - an opportunity to come straight from college, learn how the company works, and learn solid analytical and leadership skills. I was under the (apparently) false assumption that there were students out there learning about internal audit and recognizing the career opportunities that existed. I was under the (apparently) false assumption that companies recognized the value of internal audit as a source of talent (particularly with the new emphases on risk and operational reviews).
Please set me straight. Am I wrong or am I right?

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 by Mike Jacka

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  1. With a strong relationship between our Company and UNLV, we have the school doing the screening of intern candidates and sending us their best for our internship program.  We have more interest in these interneships than we have spots.  We then turn nearly 80% of these interns (measured since 2003) into permanent staff upon their graduation. 

    Who says there's no interest in the internal auditing profession by students?

  1. Utah Valley University is starting a new internal audit emphasis. Part of this was hosting a conference for the Salt Lake City Chapter of the IIA. Many students (including myself) became very interested in Internal Audit once we learned what it really is. I think the biggest danger to the internal audit profession is a lack of understanding of what internal auditors do.
  1. Josh, nice to hear from a student; in particular, a student who learned some of the value of internal audit through the local chapter.  And you have definitely nailed one of the big issues.  I know this is why the IIA emphasizes those university relationships - to help students understand what the heck it is auditors do for a living.  And, when portrayed correctly, it can be an exciting prospect.  (Spoken after sticking with the profession for 27 years.)  I just still find it fascinating that there may be a group of people out there that don't understand the value

    I'd be interested to know if there are any other students out there who have similarly good, or even bad experiences

  1. And Bob.  It doesn't surprise me that your team would be that actively involved.  You are talking about the true future of internal audit.  And I think that may be what bothered me most about the original conversation.  Somehow it dismissed students, the profession of Internal Audit, the role of internal auditors, and (in my opinion) the IIA in one fell swoop.  Nothing will make us more inconsequential than taking actions that make us irrelevant.

    Thanks again for the input.

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