Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

What I Have Learned and What I Would Do Differently

My time at CFR has come to an end, after 11 weeks working full time as a financial analyst intern. I have learned a lot and worked on many projects during my time at the firm, and I wanted to highlight some of my key takeaways from the summer, as well as give some advice to future interns.

  1. Go into the job with an open mind. I went into the position knowing that I would be working in finance, but not knowing what the exact things I would be doing were. I did not know what technology I would need besides Bloomberg and Excel, and I was not sure what to expect during my first few days. Although it may be a little scary or frightening to walk into a place not knowing what is happening, by keeping an open mind will allow you to embrace whatever tasks come before you and help you complete them to the best of your ability.
  2. Have a positive attitude. This is very similar to keeping an open mind and I would say that the two of them go hand in hand. People in finance, and in many other industries, work long hours and have lots of stressful activities that take place. Thus, by being an intern with an enthusiastic attitude, positive mindset, and cheerful composure will go far in getting on everyone’s good side and showing that you are happy to be there and happy to help. No one wants to see someone upset or disappointed the whole day; your demeanor can impact the rest of the office.
  3. Be a fast learner. This might be easier said than done. This might mean paying extra attention during a lesson or walk through. This might mean asking smart questions and noticing small details. Whatever it may be, it is so important to be a fast learner on the job. With more and more standout applicants each year, one of the fastest ways you can set yourself apart from others is to learn quickly and be able to adapt speedily to changes. No matter what industry you are in, there is nothing negative about learning new things quickly.
  4. Have fun and make new friends. Although the people in the office are your coworkers, nothing says they can’t be your friends as well. Get to know them, talk sports and hobbies, and become more than just coworkers. If you are going to be spending so much time with them in the office, it just makes sense to work with people you can get along with well. Also, try your best to have some fun at your internship. Think of all the things you are learning and all the experience you are gaining. All the hours and work are going to be worth it.

Good luck with your future internships! I hope you enjoyed your summers and had a good experience at your summer endeavors. Keep working hard and achieving your goals.