Peter Sisson ’14
Internship Site: Stratetgos Capital Management - Philadelphia, PA
Finding an internship was very difficult, especially as a sophomore. I researched companies in my field that were located in areas in which I would like to intern for the summer. I sent emails with a brief introduction, and my cover letter and resume, after it had been reviewed by my family, friends, and the Career Center, starting in early March. It was a very trying process, as I got very few responses and all but one said that the company did not need an intern or had already filled the positions. Luckily I received one email inviting me to Philadelphia for an interview, so I researched the company and had a sit-down interview at their office, which went well and I was able to secure an internship position.
The class that prepared me the most was Managerial Decision Making, mostly because of how much it taught me about Microsoft Excel, which is incredibly important in the business world, especially in finance. Knowledge of Excel and its functions made the manipulation of data and generation of all the various charts, equations, and other necessary materials much easier. Also, the demanding and stressful nature of the class helped prepare me for work in a higher stress environment than I am used to, which made the transition into working a 9 to 5 easier and the accompanying rise in stress levels easier.
The company members were willing to help me adjust and taught me about how the company runs, what the company does, and helped me to better understand the nature of the investments that the company makes. My supervisor and the other members of the back office were very helpful in explaining to me what I was doing and why it was being done in a certain way. One of the company members also gave me a basic introduction into how the bonds they invest in work and what he looks at while analyzing the bonds to place his bid.
This internship has given me valuable experience that will hopefully allow me to secure another internship position the following summer in which I can work on a broader range of tasks and acquire some hands-on experience working in the investment management industry. It has also shown me that to accomplish my career goal of being successful in the industry requires many hours of work beyond the traditional 40 hour work week, and a willingness to take risks.
Tips from Peter:
Connections are critical, so start out with family and friends to see if they know anyone that you could contact about an internship possibility and then move on the opportunity as quickly as possible. Have a resume and cover letter that are almost ready to go at all times.
Searching for an internship is a long, hard, grind and it is very easy to get discouraged, but the worst response you can get is a no, but now you have contacted the company and maybe next year they will offer you a position if you contact them again. Getting started early is also critical. January and February are the best times to get out your resume and cover letter. Keep researching companies or areas that interest you and fields in which you would like to gain experience. It is never too late for someone to offer you a position, I was officially offered my position in early May after contacting the company in late April. I was very lucky, but things like that do happen, so just keep your head up and always be on the lookout for opportunities to connect, or even just “cold-call” firms. If they don’t respond, keep your head up and move on; if they do respond, then your foot is partially in the door for next year, or they are willing to consider you for a position. Any email can be the one that sets you up for an internship, so don’t be shy when it comes to contacting companies and trying to get an internship, and understand that the process can be a very long and difficult one.
*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.