Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Flexibility and Breaking the Mold

I work at a financial consulting firm. Stereotypically, you would imagine a bunch of serious men and women, dressed in suits, 3 espressos deep, and crunching some ridiculous formulas into Excel. I’m here to tell you that a position in finance does not have to be that way. As an interpersonal, extroverted person, I am happy to report that at CFR, we laugh, have great banter, and yes, we even crack jokes at work! Although plenty of work gets done everyday and it is a very productive space, the group here breaks the mold of the finance office you would expect.

This culture also helps in making asking questions a much smoother process. Everyone is willing to answer questions and I am never in a position where I don’t feel comfortable asking something I need help with. With such an interpersonal culture, the way I see it is if I am learning, work is being completed and being done well, there is nothing holding the men and women of this office back from having a good time while working. Whether its talking about how Lonzo Ball’s Lakers are much better than the Celtics, or about recent resignations at the White House, the entire office has something unique to contribute to the conversation. It makes for a great environment filled with many different perspectives, which, in today’s world, is common and expected. Being social is primal human nature, and with more and more offices turning into quieter and quieter environments, it’s almost like a breath of fresh air to be able to work in a finance firm that carries itself like a startup.

Speaking of startups, which are places renown for the fact that every employee does everything and anything they can, CFR has some of those very characteristics. For example, since acquiring a new building (which happened a little before I started interning), I have seen the development of a brand new conference room, selection of furniture and upholstery, internet-of-things implementation, and new IT infrastructure all being done. Being an intern, I am encouraged to help out with interior design, technology setup, and other light improvements whenever I want a break from analytical software and Excel. These breaks increase my knowledge in areas other than in finance, and are especially helpful in preparing to be a full time adult after graduation. I have done many tasks to help with projects around our office space as I want to be as helpful as I can to advance the firm’s causes.

Being an intern primarily focuses on learning and personal development. If you go into every task with the mindset of learning something from it, everything you do can potentially be a new lesson or a new experience that can further your knowledge and repertoire. I have embraced that mentality this summer and it has been extremely helpful in maintaining productivity and professionalism while having fun and enjoying work. If you are an intern, there is a few weeks left of your internship. Try to finish off strong and make the most of your time at work.