AC: Explain to us what exactly your internship entails.
FD: I work for Pyramis Global Advisors which is the institutional branch of Fidelity Investments. I am an investment compliance intern. I, essentially, work with a team that monitors portfolio management ideas and investment actions. Some of my achievements during this internship were the implementation of a firm wide error database, created a comprehensive reporting/trending package for quarterly review meetings with senior management, and performed conflict monitoring to test allocation of investment ideas across multiple accounts on the alternative investments platform. I am very fortunate to be continuing my work at my internship during this school year.
AC: That sounds like an amazing experience. Which courses at Bryant would you say prepared you the most for this internship?
FD: I think it is a combination of courses at Bryant that prepare for working in firm, such as Fidelity. In my day to day operations, I encountered excel analysis, team communication, and ethical decisions. All the business courses at Bryant, as a whole, integrate these techniques. Especially my computer information science and management course.
AC: How did you learn about your internship?
FD: I was first introduced to the Fidelity college relations manager during the final round of the Excel competition for my CIS class. I applied for my internship through Bryant Career Connection or BCC. I addressed my cover letter to the college relations manager and sent her an email indicating that I was applying. I was surprised to hear back after sending my resume because they mostly were looking for juniors. Understanding my competition, I immediately called The Amica Center for a mock interview. I believe that this preparation, helped to ensure my acceptance into the position and I would definitely recommend it to all students looking for employment.
AC: What, if any at all, were some of the company culture “rules” you had to adjust to?
FD: Company culture is extremely professional in financial services. I was used to the dress code because of the presentations in classes at Bryant. Basically, my understanding of Fidelity’s culture is that one should embody professionalism, character, and intellectual curiosity in all their interactions inside and outside of the workplace. I used technology that I have never seen before. My advice is that one should have an open mind, accept all challenges, and ask for help. In regards to power structures, I would try to treat every person with the same respect you would treat upper management. It is important to keep in mind that everyone in an organization plays a vital role in getting objectives accomplished and you never know when you might need something from someone.
AC: That’s a very good way to look at it. What were some challenges you faced in your internship and how did you overcome them?
FD: The greatest challenge I faced was that I was the youngest intern there with the least amount of knowledge on financial services. I came into my position as an accounting major without taking Finance 201. I had very little background knowledge on the industry I was working in, however I consistently took act to bridge the gap between myself and the other interns. I have an incredible manager who taught me the basics. To supplement his support, I read industry news and followed breaking current events involving these topics I was working with every day.
AC: Last question, any advice for underclassmen?
FD: Get started looking for internships early! Go to the career fair as a freshman just for the experience! Also, make connections with some of the professors who also have some great connections.