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Only 8% of KPMG internship applicants are successful. Here’s how to beat the odds.

Everything you need to know to land a coveted KPMG internship in the U.S.

Landing an internship at KPMG in the U.S. is no easy task. Between fall 2021 and spring 2022, KPMG received over 50,000 applications for internship positions in the U.S., leading it to hire 3,900 interns for this year. That equates to an acceptance rate of approximately 8%.

The firm has been increasing the size of its internship cohort – back in 2016 it took on 3,000 people. However, only 27,000 applied for these roles, so aspiring KPMG interns now face a lot more competition for places than they did six years ago.

Once you’ve completed an internship, your chances of getting a graduate job at KPMG are high. Almost 90% of interns receive offers to join the firm full-time after graduation, and over 85% of interns accept those offers.

If you're thinking of applying for an internship at KPMG, here's what you need to know.

The application process for KPMG internships

KMPG offers internships within all its core divisions: audit, tax, advisory, and business support services.

Most of its winter programs, which run from January through March, are filled during the spring semester one year in advance, says Kathy Schaum, KPMG executive director, university talent acquisition. Summer internships, which are hosted from June to August, are primarily filled the fall semester before they begin.

KPMG screens the resumes and transcripts of applicants so they meet the standard eligibility requirements for each role. However, it also “prioritizes candidates with strong communications skills and the ability to multitask and manage their time between competing priorities”, says Schaum.

“Recruiters also look at candidates’ technology skills, the classes they’ve taken, leadership skills, extracurricular activities and organizations, honors, awards and scholarships, any relevant experience or skillsets – basically, the whole package,” says Schaum.

If selected for an interview, students participate in two virtual interviews with KPMG partners and professionals. “Following interviews, offers for internships are extended. Students who receive an offer are invited to an in-person program held in KPMG offices. This event provides them an opportunity to experience our culture, meet and network with future teammates, and learn more about KPMG,” says Schaum.

You don’t need to be at an elite college to apply for a KPMG internship. “Eligible students from any university” can apply, says Schaum. The firm runs in-person recruitment events at around 200 campuses across the U.S. as well as many virtual events. It offers a “match your degree” tool which pairs students from a variety of majors to open positions.

KPMG also hosts and attends programs and conferences to attract and promote internship opportunities to underrepresented talent, including the KPMG Rise Leadership Institute, KPMG Embark Scholars Program, KPMG Future of Tech, and KPMG Women in Advisory Summit, as well as the NABA, ALPFA, Ascend and Out 4 Undergrad National Conferences.

“Internships are an opportunity for students to learn business skills, find a mentor, build their network and get real-world experience before graduation. The internship is also our largest pipeline to fill our full-time entry level roles,” says Schaum.

Photo by Sven Piper on Unsplash

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