Enrolling in the Flores MBA Program with a specialization in internal audit allows students to be a part of two nationally recognized programs. The Flores MBA Program continues to be ranked annually by organizations such as U. S. News & World Report and Princeton Review, while LSU’s Internal Audit Program is regarded as the #1 program in the world. LSU students can start the internal audit program at the undergraduate level, but they also have the option to complete the program coursework as MBA students through our traditional, two-year program or in our one-year program through the internal audit specialization.
Why Do Flores MBA Students Choose to Specialize in Internal Audit?
“I decided to attend an information session and from there on out, I was sold on LSUCIA. I knew the program would push me out of my comfort zone, expose me to a wide range of opportunities, and launch my career,” commented Mary Catherine Watkins, Flores MBA Program student and LSUCIA graduate assistant.
Among the 11+ specializations that the LSU Flores MBA Program offers, internal audit remains a popular choice among students interested in assurance and consulting. In fact, 30% of LSU MBA students choose to specialize in internal audit and the majority benefit from high internship and full-time placement as Flores MBAs. For those with business undergraduate degrees, the internal audit specialization is a no-brainer since students can earn an MBA in only one year and concentrate in internal audit by adding just one extra semester to complete the specialization course requirements.
According to https://www.accounting.com/careers/internal-auditor/how-to-become/, internal auditors often pursue a master’s degree to become more competitive when applying for high-paying positions. The academic and experiential opportunities offered by the Flores MBA Program and LSUCIA Program gives our students a competitive edge against other applicants when entering the workforce. Our internal audit MBA students land roles at well-known companies in Baton Rouge and across the country serving in operation, compliance, and financial evaluation roles.
What is the curriculum like for one-year and two-year MBA students who specialize in internal audit?
MBA students who specialize in internal audit are required to take three core courses beginning in January and ending in December:
- ACCT 7233 Graduate Internal Auditing: This course takes place in the spring semester and focuses on theory of internal auditing standards, efficiency, effectiveness, and economy audits.
- ACCT 7232 Case Studies in Internal Auditing: A week-long summer course where students study case studies in performance, compliance, prudence, and fraud audits.
- ACCT 7234 Operational Auditing: This course takes place in the fall semester. Topics include operational audit methodology for management audits, functional audits, risk and analysis, and auditable unit analysis.
Upon conclusion of the case studies course, students are eligible to receive (3) hours of course credit for completing an internship in internal auditing. The LSUCIA internship program places 60-80 students each summer on internal audit teams of companies all over the country. Through internships, students receive valuable professional experience, potential job offers, and insight for their upcoming fall course. For more information on internship benefits, recruiters, and locations visit: https://www.lsu.edu/business/cia/resources/employment/internships/index.php .
A Guide to LSU’s Internal Audit Draft Process
Each year, 15-20 local and international companies sponsor the LSUCIA program, and recruit its students for internships across the country, with participation in the LSUCIA draft. These students are placed in jobs through the draft process each spring.
In the draft process, students first submit their resumes to participating companies of their choice. Next, the companies conduct interviews for internship placement. After interviews are completed, each company sends a representative to the draft. During the draft, the companies pick a student through each round until each representative has their desired number of spots filled.
“Through the LSUCIA draft I received an internship with KPMG in Houston, TX. My internship with KPMG was an amazing experience. I was able to learn more about internal audit, tie in several concepts I learned in class, and expand my network. Following my internship, KPMG extended me a full- time offer. Upon graduation this May, I will be moving to Houston, TX where I will begin working full time for KPMG,” said Watkins.
How Does an MBA with a Specialization in Internal Audit Prepare You for an Internal Audit Career?
Throughout the LSUCIA program, students gain the technical and soft skills that are critical for the long-term success of professionals today.
“The LSUCIA Program has taught me increased professionalism, heightened my critical-thinking ability, refined by communication skills, and allowed me to learn how to successfully collaborate on team projects. The program pushes students to “be comfortable with the uncomfortable”, which consequently forces us to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances.”- Abigail Bourg, Flores MBA Program student and LSUCIA graduate assistant.
MBA students who specialize in internal audit benefit from dual networking opportunities that both programs offer. Like the Flores MBA Program, the LSUCIA program is also known for its robust networking opportunities which allow students to gain relevant insight of the applications of internal audit in business in addition to gaining meaningful connections along the way. LSUCIA students attend exclusive presentations given by industry professionals each night during the first half of the spring semester. Following the presentations, students have an hour-long networking event with the company representatives. Over the past five years, the program has placed about 300 students in 25 cities across the U.S.
The LSUCIA program also focuses on students’ personal brand and professional development through opportunities like interview skills workshops, one-on-one resume reviews, career-fair events, membership in global and local professional societies, and preparation for certifications like the CIA exam.
How to secure a graduate assistantship with the internal audit program?
The LSUCIA Program offers graduate assistantships for students interested in further involvement with the program. Bourg, a current GA for the program along with Watkins, quickly realized in her first semester the impact that LSUCIA would have on her career and knew she wanted to be a part of that for the next class of students. Throughout her LSUCIA experience, she looked to the mentorship and guidance of former grad assistants who had been in her shoes just two years before.
“I often sought their advice as I went through the recruiting process, and they were always great at giving honest feedback and helping me set realistic goals and expectations,” said Bourg.
After interviewing for an open position, Bourg landed her role in fall 2020. As primary graduate assistants for the program, a few of Bourg and Watkins’ responsibilities include recruiting companies for participation in the LSUCIA program, scheduling and planning events, and acting as a liaison between students and recruiters.
Advice for Prospective Students from a Current LSUCIA Student
“I would encourage anyone considering the internal audit specialization to give it a chance. While the program is designed to be challenging, the benefits outweigh the costs tremendously. LSUCIA prepares students professionally more than any other program that I know of. It teaches a set of non-technical skills that you will not have the opportunity to learn anywhere else and opens doors to more opportunities than you can imagine,” commented Bourg.
The combination of an MBA and internal audit specialization is a solid option to ensure quick career success post-graduation. For more information about specializing in internal audit at the Flores MBA Program, visit https://www.lsu.edu/business/cia/academics/mbaspecialization.php
The LSU Flores MBA Program provides you with a flexible path to advance your career. Our nationally ranked program currently administers a traditional, two-year, full-time program, a one-year, full-time program for business majors, a part-time online (no residency requirement) program, and an Executive MBA Flex. For more information, visit mba.lsu.edu.
The LSUCIA Program is open to undergraduates in any major with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 30 hours of coursework, and graduate students who are admitted to any LSU graduate program. To register, students should be enrolled at LSU A&M as a full-time or non-degree seeking student. Graduate students admitted to any LSU graduate program are also eligible to register for the program.