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RSM US LLP Internship Program


Vault’s Verdict

RSM US LLP is ideally looking for hardworking, personable, motivated team players who are eager to learn. The firm’s internship program provides students with valuable hands-on experience, treating them like full-time staff and thus giving them an accurate picture of what a full-time role looks like. RSM provides extensive career development opportunities for its staff. There are many mentoring opportunities, internal mobility options, and numerous trainings.

RSM places a tremendous amount of importance on work/life balance and schedule flexibility, and its culture is very supportive. However, busy seasons do mean long hours and demanding work. Meanwhile, the firm’s compensation and benefits are competitive. Insiders say they feel fairly compensated in general, but some say the pay could be better. Benefits get stronger reviews, with the unlimited PTO policy and new parental leave policy (recently extended to 12 weeks fully paid) specifically getting rave reviews. Wellness offerings are extensive, and include free counseling, virtual meditation and yoga, gym reimbursements, and webinars on mental health, among other benefits.

DEI is a focus at RSM. The firm strives to create an inclusive work environment and has several Employee Network Groups that provide safe spaces for employees. However, despite making strides at the junior levels, the firm is still not diverse at more senior levels. With respect to the firm’s overall business outlook, it is bright. RSM is growing, has strong near- and long-term plans in place, and has a new CEO and leadership team that has created a high level of excitement among staff.

Hiring Process

“Interview process is an initial meeting with one of our HR representatives, and then a virtual interview with two or three of our higher-level audit personnel (manager and above). There’s a formal approval/denial from the interviewers within a software system used for evaluating interviewees. Official offer would be provided to interviewee after all interviewers have submitted feedback into the system. Ideal candidate is easy-going in the interview, has thought-out responses to questions, asks good questions of their own, and is eager to learn.”

“We have dedicated people who focus on recruiting to ensure that the hiring process is effective. Ideal candidates are self-motivated individuals who want to grow in their technical ability and people skills, enjoy working in teams, and are willing to take responsibility.”

“Ideal candidates are interested in mid-market clients, are very team-oriented, value work/life balance, care about our clients as much as getting the work done. Interview process starts early (freshman/sophomore year) and generally involves campus recruiting events followed by campus interviews and then office interviews.”

“During my interview, I remember answering one or two basic interview questions, but the rest was more like a coffee catch-up meeting than an interview. I felt comfortable just talking with my interviewer, and that was a big part of why I picked RSM. My interview was part of a matching program in college, so my ‘callback’ was more of an email from my professor that I was matched with RSM (meaning I chose them as my No. 1 firm, and they chose me as their first-choice intern). The ideal candidate RSM is seeking is not afraid to go up to a partner to ask questions, is a critical thinker who doesn't just do something to get it out the door, and likes to have fun even during the 60-hour busy season weeks (we like to take little breaks in the office to have a putting competition).”

Interview Questions

“What brought you to accounting or RSM? Where do you spend your time when not working? If you were to get two things out of your internship, what would they be?”

“Conversational interview. I ask a candidate about their path to where they are in their educational experience at the time of the interview.”

“What are you passionate about? Where do you want to live? How do you show people you care? What are you looking for in a career? How have you resolved conflict experienced in a group dynamic? Can you talk about your project management skills when meeting multiple deadlines in a similar time period? Describe an experience you were potentially going to miss a deadline and what you did.”

“Can you think of a situation where you were paired with others and had to work through a conflict? Can you think of a time when you saw that the way someone was doing something was inefficient or you knew of a better, easier way, and what did you do to help that person? Describe a situation where you didn't have all the information needed to make a critical decision. How did you work through it? Give me an example of a time you turned an idea/dream into a reality.”

Internship Experience

“My internship was a great glimpse into what a full-time career looked like at RSM. I met so many individuals within the firm and learned many valuable skills that transferred to my full-time role.”

“Best aspect was the willingness of my peers to take their time and teach me everything. I was treated much more like a first-year staff than an intern. I was really involved from the moment I started. I met friends at the onboarding national training that I still have to this day. Was a great experience. I received a job offer before returning back to school to get my masters and accepted the same day it was offered. Was a wonderful place.”

“You get firsthand exposure to what a career in audit really was. You really can’t understand the job until you do it. RSM allowed me to experience a variety of clients and tasks as an intern. The only downside is there was some downtime where I had periods of not much to do.”

“The best aspect of my internship experience was seeing how a public accounting firm works across tax, audit, and consulting. It was interesting to see how each team works with each to help serve our clients the best. The tax team I was on seemed more like a close-knit family than just coworkers. The most challenging aspect of my internship experience would have to be the long hours. I interned during busy season and went right in to 60 hours a week by mid to late January all the way through April 15th. I knew that it was expected to work more hours, but I never realized how early that actually starts until my internship. I always thought it didn't get that busy until like mid-February.”

Career Development

“Lots of mentoring opportunities, and people genuinely want you to succeed. I've been given lots of opportunities for various internal and external conferences, and there are many on-demand trainings. The firm also dedicates resources to ensure employees have the research tools they like and can learn from efficiently.”

“There are so many opportunities available for those who would like to take advantage of them. The only negative part is that sometimes we're too busy to take advantage of these career development opportunities. However, we try to communicate to our staff how important it is to prioritize them.”

“With seemingly endless lines of business, there is so much opportunity to find the role that is the best fit. RSM promotes transferring departments so employees and RSM both find the best fit. I was able to seamlessly transfer offices and departments to enable me to continue growing with the firm, but in a role and location what was the best fit for my personal life. They also provide opportunities and time allocations for ample continued learning and skill advancement.”

“The firm does have a lot of internal mobility, whether that is changing lines of business or industry, or pursuing national office rotation programs in audit quality, audit methodology, or other. Over my 10-year career, I have noticed that promotions have become more ‘time and grade.’ I understand there are reasons for this, but it is a little disheartening to know others are moving along to the same role with less effort/results, and especially frustrating to view the next promotion as simply ‘waiting your turn’ and hoping people with a little more experience either move on or get promoted. There seems to be less incentive to be an extremely high performer in such an environment.”

Quality of Life

“The culture at RSM can't be topped. We put inclusivity at the forefront of our values and also attempt to promote the well-being of our people. Quality of life is top priority. As with most public accounting firms, the worst aspects of firm's overall quality of life are the busy times of the year where more hours are worked and there is less overall flexibility. However, the addition of a hybrid work environment (part in-person, part remote) helps quality of life.”

“Lots of flexibility around where we can work and ability to take time off. But it can be hard to manage time off with client expectations and internal expectations (needing to always be available and/or plugged in).”

“The firm places a tremendous amount of importance on work/life balance and flexibility. Since Covid, they have extended self-managed time off to all titles/levels, and have provided an additional week of closed office time between Christmas and New Year’s. This has given all employees the flexibility to decompress from work, spend time with family, and come back refreshed for the new year.”

“Public accounting is demanding. The firm does promote off season downtime, and there is a lot of flexibility once your teams trust you to get your work down. Nobody is looking over your shoulder once that trust level is there, which allows you to get your work done in times that work for you.”

Salary and Benefits

“Salary is competitive compared to Big 4 firms. Beyond health insurance, the benefits and perks are average/nothing special.”

“Wide range of benefits. But it feels as though salary/monetary compensation is a bit low for the hours worked.”

“I feel that we are fairly compensated for the most part, other than the bonus structure. I feel that the bonuses should be higher.”

“I feel like I’m fairly compensated at RSM and that I also have a ton of extra benefits. They recently increased their parental leave from seven weeks to 12 weeks fully paid. Short-term disability is also offered, so mothers who give birth are able to take an additional six to eight weeks. I personally take advantage of the remote work, along with the flexible work option to reduce my hours. You are also able to work whenever works best for your schedule, especially as you get promoted. They recently moved to self-managed time-off, so you effectively have unlimited PTO, as long as you are hitting your figures.”

Wellness Efforts

“Counseling is offered through Modern Health, as well as some meditation and other mental health resources. I believe there are some gym discounts/reimbursements offered for certain offices. Modern Health is fairly well communicated and supported by the firm. I see a lot of emails on this and reminders from RSM. Previously we also had a mentor/coach that helped with one-on-one professional coaching, but this was discontinued with the implementation of Modern Health. I found the coach very helpful and would love for her to be a resource again, as the Modern Health coaches are not as well-versed in corporate culture and how to navigate professional counseling (in my experience).”

“Free counseling and other support programs are offered to employees. There is also an initiative to encourage employees to be more vocal when they need additional help or unique circumstances due to factors outside of work.”

“Virtual meditation and yoga, stretch breaks, webinars on mental health, external coaches/counselors you can take advantage of, etc.”

“The efforts for wellness (access to counseling as a component of benefits, subscription to modern health, etc.) is great. There are a lot of tools/awareness/discussion about these benefits. I also think that the support is there but the firm could still do more. This is a highly stressful job, and it's hard to balance wellness with the constant demands of this industry.”

Diversity, Philanthropy, and Green Initiatives

“We have a comprehensive culture, diversity, and inclusion program that is rolled out at a national level and supported by various executives. We have several employee network groups that also support these efforts. There are numerous events to support these efforts throughout the year.”

“We strive to create a work environment that is inclusive for all, with respect to all matters of identity. We have multiple Employee Network Groups that provide a safe space for our employees, depending on how they identify. There are a lot of partners that buy in to this process, whereas I think to truly have an impact and be as inclusive as we can be, there needs to be more buy-in from the remaining partners that aren't as involved in these efforts as others.”

“If you look at the diversity of the employees at RSM, and particularly at the director/partner level, there is minimal diversity. RSM is actively working on addressing this, but it is challenging for members of diverse groups to see a career path when there is little/no representation at the highest levels of the company. I do think the philanthropic and green practices are good here, and RSM does well communicating these efforts.”

“RSM’s ‘Birdies Fore Love’ is RSM’s charitable giving platform for The RSM Classic, a PGA tour event for which RSM is the title sponsor. Each year, RSM offices commit to raising funds for local charitable organizations aligned with the missions of the RSM US Foundation and the Davis Love Foundation, the host organization of The RSM Classic. These efforts are supported by matching donations from the RSM US Foundation. Not only does this allow RSM to make a difference nationally but also allows individual offices to make a difference locally.”

Business Outlook

“We are proactively adjusting our approach to gaining new business and retaining clients through new service offerings, technology enhancements, and increased training. Brian Becker recently took over as CEO, and has laid out his plans for RSM over the next five to 10 years. There is an extreme level of excitement for the business outlook for RSM under his leadership, not only over the next 12 months but also over the next decade.”

“We have a new CEO and executive team that I have heard speak on the direction of the firm and it makes me excited to be here. We are moving to a more ‘digital accounting experience,’ which includes utilization of the new technologies that are available. My main concern is that we won't be able to keep up with the competition regarding salaries. The market in public accounting is so competitive that it will take a concentrated effort by the partners to allow for more allocation of overall funds to paying our talent.”

“New business growth is happening, which is being driven by leadership and improves the business outlook. Staffing is a constant challenge, so will be a weakness to overcome moving forward.”

“The firm has a laser-focused plan for the future and is ahead of industry trends in many areas. They invest in fast-growing industries and service lines and offer opportunities for its employees to move into those areas, keeping morale high for those looking for a long-term career at RSM.”


30 S. Wacker Drive
Suite 3300
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 634-3400

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Partnership
Managing Partner and CEO: Brian Becker
Chief Financial Officer and Chairman of the RSM US Foundation Board: Doug Opheim
Employees (All Locations): 16,000

Major Office Locations

Chicago (HQ), IL
New York, NY
Dallas, TX
Minneapolis, MN
Charlotte, NC

Major Departments & Practices

Assurance, tax and consulting, with focuses on a variety of industries.