Mutually Beneficial Experience Ends on a High Note

George Morris ’15 reports on his summer internship at Fidelity Investments.

This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Fidelity Investments in their Boston, MA office. I spent nine weeks with their Asset Management Division, dealing mostly with mutual funds. I was responsible for preparing meeting materials used by Fidelity Board Members to evaluate Fidelity Fund and Portfolio Manager performances. When I first took the internship, I was expecting to be put on an industry team where I would be able to learn more about the metrics Fidelity uses to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze securities they decide to buy and incorporate into their mutual funds, but I found myself more focused on the regulations side of things. I began the summer catching up on the DOL fiduciary rule started under the Obama administration to understand its effect on the mutual fund market. I was then put on a project that looked at the concepts behind a new pricing structure for mutual funds, called clean shares, a concept that emerged out of the DOL rule. I was tasked with researching what clean shares offer to the mutual fund market and seeing how Fidelity competitors planned on unveiling them.

As a student in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, it was really important for me to have the opportunity to intern with a company so well regarded in the world of finance. Though asset management is not the area of business I intend to work in, being at Fidelity allowed me to experience different facets of business. A key highlight from the summer was meeting with an equity trader at Fidelity. Through a chat over coffee, he recommended a friend who would be happy to sit down with me on his trading floor in New York. He was happy to set up the meeting, which resulted in a visit to the trading floor at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Throughout the summer, I was able to connect with people in the industry who had different experiences and outlooks on the places I am headed post undergraduate degree.

Boston also allowed me easy access to New York. This past summer for me was extremely productive. Outside of the work I did for Fidelity, I spent my time studying for investment banking interviews and networking with different banks. Because of successful phone calls and networking events, I found myself in New York nearly every weekend. I was able to leave work and hop on a bus to make sure that I was able to attend networking events that are very critical in obtaining an investment banking internship. Had I not been in Boston over the summer, it would have been difficult for me to access these networking events and gain the contacts that are so important to make.

In closing, I would like to thank you guys for extending me a stipend for last summer. The amount of industry knowledge and access incredible individuals already established in the field was an experience that could not be gained in the classroom. Had it not been for the stipend, I would not have been able to take advantage of the network I assembled over the summer. The stipend allowed me to challenge myself over the summer and encouraged me to work hard at my goal of entering the finance industry, particularly Wall Street. The summer ended on a high note, where all of my hard work was rewarded with an offer to join Bank of America Merrill Lynch next summer as an intern in their Investment Banking Division. A lot of my success can be traced back to this stipend for putting me in the right position to succeed. Once again, I appreciate your generosity in awarding me the Middlesex Alumni Association Stipend.