As many of my fellow students and interns have addressed in the past; it is imperative that as students we not only put effort into our studies, but also put an equal effort towards building our professional experiences and mindset. In my time at Saint A's I have worked hard to secure multiple internships over the summers, and was lucky to be selected to assume the intern responsibilities previously held by a former classmate of mine with a UBS Wealth Management team. No internship has been more fulfilling than my current position as I not only hold real responsibilities that contribute to the group's ongoing success, but I have been treated as an equal and have felt welcomed since day one.
Finance, Econ, and Business majors across the country and even the world compete for an internship like the one I currently have, and knowing that keeps me on my toes. UBS is the gold standard when it comes to wealth management and private banking services, and to have experience contributing to this global powerhouse is not only humbling, but also a catalyst that has opened many doors throughout my job search. Looking at college from a return on investment perspective, internships provide you with far more salary leverage and earnings potential in the first years of employment versus those who simply chose to go the easy route. I argue with classmates and family members that the degree you earn is worthless in this, good but very competitive, job market, unless you utilize your personal and school connections to find applicable real world experience. Fortunately I constantly reminded myself of the importance that out of class experience played in finding the job I wanted.
Landing the job that was right for me was my goal all senior year, and by working closely with my boss and coworkers on asset allocation, portfolio management, and specifically equity research, I was able to realize that I was meant to work in investment research. Shortly after I graduate I will relocate to Stamford, CT where I will be working as an analyst for a boutique research firm that specializes in independent institutional research and long/short strategies for hedge funds around the world. Where would I be if I hadn’t chosen to do internships? I don't know, but I do know that every student at an institution like Saint A's should be actively engaged in some off campus and out of class professional experience.
Pro Tip: You'll often learn more from internships than you will in your classes. Visit the Academic Internship Office.