Aidan ’11 reports on his 2015 summer internship experience.
I would first like to personally thank the Middlesex Alumni Association for their support in my endeavors this past summer. What I thought would simply be a Strategy and Operations Internship at Inspiring Capital evolved into a Consulting Internship that provided me with a uniquely intimate exposure to the financial services industry. For the 10-week program, I was assigned to Guggenheim Partners, a global investment and advisory financial services firm that engages in investment banking, capital markets services, investment management, investment advisory, and insurance services. During these 10 weeks, I functioned as augmented staff at Guggenheim Partners, working from 8:30am – 7:00pm daily out of their offices at 310 Madison Avenue. I was integrated into the formal internship program at Guggenheim, participating in their employee outings, volunteer events, and lunch-and-learn programs. I was paired with an MBA student from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, also an intern at Inspiring Capital, to establish ROI metrics for the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives at Guggenheim Partners, to contribute to the Corporate Social Responsibility Communications Plan, and to identify opportunities to integrate Corporate Social Responsibility across the firm.
In order to understand the broader Corporate Social Responsibility ecosystem and reporting methods at Guggenheim Partners, I conducted interviews with key staff internally and researched various reporting structures, including secondary research, and a focus on expert interviews through the Inspiring Capital network. This milestone resulted in a Corporate Social Responsibility map within the financial services industry and an inventory of best practices within CSR. Next, I analyzed current and future Guggenheim CSR practices relative to the desired outcomes. This milestone was achieved by completing deep-dive research into internal Guggenheim data related to their signature CSR initiatives. I next needed to communicate the reasoning and financial opportunity of the Guggenheim CSR division’s strategic initiatives. I studied past internal communications material and various data analysis explanations models. This step resulted in a board presentation and 35-slide deck, an annual report outline, and a newsletter outline to be distributed internally at the firm. Finally, I proposed recommended next steps to the CSR division at Guggenheim, including a step-by-step plan for the next 3-12 months.
In addition to the hard skills I learned while at Inspiring Capital and Guggenheim Partners, I gained invaluable soft skills related to successfully functioning in a corporate financial office environment. While on the trading floor, I gained connection to various employees working in different business units, thus expanding my knowledge and interest in financial services. I was chosen to attend a Finance Division Recruiting Event at Goldman Sachs, thanks to a recommendation from my supervisor at Guggenheim. I had the opportunity to experience the office atmospheres at various influential companies – such as CitiGroup, Fast Company, Warby Parker, BNY Mellon, and Bloomberg while conducting my expert interviews. To conclude, my summer was both educative and expansive in that it has undeniably strengthened my candidacy for a career in financial services.