A few weeks ago, I began my summer internship with one of the biggest wealth managers on Wall Street. I’ve had two internships previously, but so far this is proving by far the most helpful and educational.
The great thing about the internship I’m on is that it’s a combination of work and an academic program. The academic part is like an online course, where I can choose which lessons I’d like to learn. I have to do some required courses – like compliance and security – and then I can go onto whatever I like. So far, I’ve chosen an introduction to financial markets and a course on corporate valuation. I’m trying to take courses that relate to the classes I’m taking so that I can get ahead for the next semester.
When I’m working during the internship, I’m mostly looking up contact information of professionals across the U.S. and cold-calling them to pitch our products and services. Usually, I’m forwarded to voicemail, but occasionally I’m able to speak with someone who is interested in pursuing a relationship with our financial advisors. At that point, I’m supposed to ask them a few questions about their financial standing and their investment strategies so that I can connect them to the best advisor possible.
To be completely honest, cold-calling freaked me out a bit. Initially, I was afraid because I assumed that I’d need to know about everything that our advisors are doing. – Things like investment portfolio management and 401K rollovers. Actually, this hasn’t been the case. It also turns out that I’m always taught about the product or service I’m dealing with before I pitch it.
What I really love about this internship is that I am not just simply given instructions – I am told the purpose of the task I have to complete and given an explanation if I don’t understand the concept. I enjoy knowing how I am helping the company and the mechanics behind my work. It’s made me much more motivated and taught me far more than my previous internships and just reading information in a book.
*Lewis Bradbury is a pseudonym