The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants held a unique program in Greece last month, in which recent college graduates competed for a chance to intern with some of the world's top firms.

Forty graduates were invited to participate in an Internship Competition sponsored by the association last month, with two stages of activity. The first stage involved producing one-minute videos responding to the question, "‘You have just been made Prime Minister of Greece. What is the first decision/step you will take to improve the country’s economy?" The second stage involved an "Assessment Day" in Athens, in which 16 students were ultimately chosen for paid internship programs with Top 100 Firms including EY, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, and Mazars. The internship programs began October 2, with placements lasting 40 hours per week for three months.

“This is the second year ACCA has collaborated with organizations in Greece to create the [program]," stated Julie Hotchkiss, ACCA director for Europe and the Americas. "These internships are a great opportunity for graduates interested in accounting, business and finance careers to gain valuable experience at the very top of the industry. Unfortunately the job market in Greece remains very difficult at present. However, access to paid work experience like this will further support the skill and career development of these ambitious individuals, impacting positively on the Greece economy’s strength long term.”

“It was an excellent opportunity for us to promote the audit profession to younger people," said Sofia Stamatelou, senior audit manager at EY, per a statement. "I believe that this kind of initiative supports the development of young graduates with limited or none prior working experience and foster employment in a currently weak market.”

Those present for the Assessment Day also participated in a round-table discussion, worked on an audit case study, and participated in a group task to build a theoretical business in 90 minutes.

ACCA

For more on the ACCA, head to the association's site here.

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