Internship Program for Accountancy Students Places 68 Seniors Across U.S. and in London

OXFORD, Miss. -­ From billion-dollar private equity funds
and hedge funds that are invested in everything from real
estate in Bulgaria to wind farms in Germany, Jan Eftink is
learning international accounting principles firsthand in
the London office of Deloitte & Touche and it’s not even a
real job.

Eftink, of Chaffee, Mo., is among 68 senior accountancy
students at the University of Mississippi who are interning
this spring semester across the U.S. and in London, thanks
to the Patterson School’s highly successful internship
program. Besides getting real-world experience, the interns
are paid for their work and earn three hours of academic

“We continue to be extremely pleased with our internship
program,” said Interim Dean Mark Wilder, who has been
helping students “test the water” since becoming the
program’s director in 2004. “It’s a growth experience that
gives the students a whole new perspective on the field,
and places them at a competitive advantage in the job

Feedback from the firms accepting interns and from the
interns themselves attest to the caliber of students from
the Patterson School. For one, Gerilynn Petty of
Starkville, interning with PricewaterhouseCoopers in
Dallas, the experience is giving her confidence that she
will be competitive in the job market.

“I’m learning new things with each audit engagement ­ both
about accounting and about me as a person,” Petty said. “I
can truly say that my professors from the Patterson School
have prepared me well, as my abilities have proven to be
very comparable to those of my counterparts from top
ranking schools such as Texas A&M and the University of
Texas. I am grateful for this opportunity.”

Unlike her fellow student interns who are learning the
American ways of accounting at U.S. firms ­ from Dallas,
Houston and St. Louis to Shreveport, Nashville, Birmingham
and Mobile ­ Eftink is being exposed to the British tax
system in her work with the firm’s Tax Services Group. She
chose the location because of the unique learning

“Our main clients for the busy season are multi-million to
billion dollar private equity funds and hedge funds that
are investing in everything from real estate in Bulgaria to
wind farms in Germany,” said UM accountancy alumna Holly
Prater, who has worked in Deloitte’s London office since
2004 and recruits student interns for the firm’s tax group.
“Interns not only will learn the tax laws in regards to
these investments, but they will also be learning the
economic aspects of how these investments work.”

Prater said they received more than 50 resumes and
interviewed around 30 students interested in the program
before making offers that included UM’s Eftink and Jeannie
Blair of Dallas. Blair is interning this spring in
Deloitte’s Nashville office, with plans to intern this
summer at Deloitte’s in London.

Besides the unique learning experience, interns who travel
abroad have the added advantage of seeing the world.

“I am really enjoying London,” Eftink said. “I have visited
a few places near my flat, like China Town, Covet Gardens
and the large shopping area on Oxford and Regents Street. I
have also been to the pubs and bars, watched rugby and ice

While sightseeing in Alabama may not match that in the
U.K., Stephanie Henson of Jackson is enjoying immersing
herself in audit practice at KPMG in Birmingham.

“My favorite part of the internship so far has been
learning about various industries,” Henson said. “I have
had the opportunity to audit a car manufacturer, a real
estate company and a bank, and have found it very
interesting to see how different auditing can be for those
different industries.”

Networking with professionals in the hosting firms and with
students from other schools is another opportunity for the
interns. Mark Adcock of Jackson, who is interning in
Memphis with Ernst & Young, said his favorite part so far
has been the firm’s intern training program in Atlanta and
the friends he made there.

“I got to meet a lot of other interns from across the
Southeast and I plan to keep in touch with them,” Adcock
said. “Also, the training prepared me for the work I am
doing (at the Nashville location) and helped me know what
to expect on my first job.”

Katie Farris of Vicksburg, agrees. “I have learned a ton,”
she said. “I feel like this internship will put me a step
ahead in my future career. It’s really been interesting to
see everything I’ve learned in school come together.”

Upnik Patel of Cleveland, who is interning in Jackson with
Smith, Turner & Reeves, considers his experience as a
direct stepping stone to his first job. “It’s a great
opportunity to get my foot in the door,” said Patel, who
plans to work an extra two months with the firm after his
internship ends, then bank on his record there for nailing
his first job with STR.

Brittney Whidden of Oxford, an intern at Dixon-Hughes in
Memphis, feels like she is on her first job. “I am
definitely not just observing; I am getting to do the work
just as if I were a first-year associate,” Whidden said.
“They are doing a fantastic job at ensuring that I get the
most out of my internship.”

Wilder said he expects the school’s internship program to
continue to gain momentum as more students opt for the

For a complete list of Ole Miss accountancy students
interning this spring semester, including their hometowns
and intern destinations, go to

To learn more about the Patterson School of Accountancy, go