Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Finance? As a Freshman? But How?

Hi, my name is Bahram Tavakoli; I am from Annapolis, MD, and I am a rising sophomore at Babson. This summer I will be interning at Search Fund Accelerator as a private equity investment analyst. During my 11-week adventure, I will be conducting due diligence on companies, working with brokers for sales, analyzing financial statements, and primarily evaluating acquisition targets for the firm to acquire.

In a few days I will be heading off to Boston to get started on this next chapter of my life. As I enjoy my last set of nights home, I would like to utilize this first blog to highlight how I found and secured this position as a freshman to help other underclassmen who might be struggling to find internships that are predominantly filled by junior or seniors. I hope that my blog provides any individuals looking for guidance with clear takeaways and actionable steps to take to reach their goals.

To begin, I first learned of this internship from a peer who interned at SFA. After he described to me what his work is like, I instantly knew I wanted to follow his steps and learn from the SFA team as well. Conveniently, there was an event that day where a SFA manager spoke at a investment panel. I attended this event without hesitation, took detailed notes, and eventually went up to the manager and asked questions demonstrating my interest in the firm.

Following this, I spent time on my application, thoroughly edited it, and waited a few days to hear back. From there, I had to do two rounds of interviewing. After this, I heard back from them in the coming days with a formal offer.

Through all the scheduling emails, phone call, and the main interview. I would say the whole ordeal took about 2-3 weeks.

For those that are looking to secure internships in the future, some advice is as follows:

Do your homework on the firm. This was critical for the application questionnaire, phone screening, and the final interview. It allowed me to have a much clearer view as to how the firm operates and also helped me think of questions to ask. You also not be shy. Do not hesitate to speak to individuals in high positions to leave an impression and show interest. This will make you stand out among other applicants despite the fact that you might be younger in age.

Act early. The sooner you apply and reach out, the better. It will save you time and stress in the long run and have your info in the firms hand sooner than later.

Networking, Luck, and Action: An overarching aspect that I think is often excluded is the element of luck. I was at the right place at the right time with a short time horizon to apply for the job, but don’t feel that you must depend on luck. Instead, always utilize your networks and actively listen and seek guidance from individuals interested in the same areas as you. In the process of simply following your passions and learning from others, you might land an opportunity you’ve been dreaming of.