Leah McNamara ’13
Major(s): INBM, Economics
Internship Site: Wells Fargo Global Financial Institutions - Philadelphia, PA
Dickinson was my main ally in securing this internship with Wells Fargo. Two of the senior manager in the group are Dickinson alumni and they hosted information sessions and interviews in Carlisle. After an application process, on-campus interviews were held. I was studying abroad in England at the time, but I was fortunate enough that the Career Center accommodated me with a Skype interview. Shortly thereafter, I heard back with an internship offer. Many thanks to the Career Center who made this internship a possibility!
Much of the summer was spent learning about the niche industry and about other lines of business in Wells Fargo, so it was a great opportunity to learn about finance. I had the chance to work on some really interesting projects, my favorite being when I helped on the underwriting process for a major Russian bank. I analyzed the banks’ financial strength and the fact that the work I completed was useful to the group meant a great deal to me. I also worked on analyzing reports and data for presentations, summarizing negative news, and writing excel programs to help other team members.
One challenge I encountered was overcoming cultural differences in professional settings. Interactions with teammates made me reflect on the social differences among cultures especially in professional settings. I learned to give people the benefit of the doubt and communicate as much as possible.
A basic accounting class is really helpful for any internship in business. Managerial Economics and Corporate Finance were a good foundation for Excel and analytical work. To dig deeper into financial forecasting, I did an independent study which really introduced me to the nuances of financial statements. I also took a few computer science classes, which were helpful when trying to program Visual Basic in Excel.
This internship helped me evaluate my future career goals. I had somewhat pigeon holed myself within investment banking and while I think I would enjoy the projects and deals in investment banking, I am glad to have had the opportunity to explore and thrive in international banking. This experience returned me to my passions for all things foreign and expanded my future career goals to focus around international finance. Lastly, I saw the value of work life balance in the work ethic of senior management.
Tips from Leah:
Start looking for internships and networking early. The spring semester comes quicker than you think and many employers are sifting through applications over winter break. Also, networking isn’t confined to specific events, in other settings when you met people ask about their work and actively listen. Family and friends are also huge networking assets. Lastly, be open to new fields or work, an internship opportunity may not be what you originally pictured yourself doing, but it may end up being something you are even more interested in pursuing.
*To find out more about how to get an internship, make an appointment with a career counselor. Just call the Career Center at 717-245-1740 or stop by Biddle House.