By: Guest Bloggers, PAG Summer Interns
Published August 22, 2018
While we provide relevant, practical advice for independent financial advisors, much of it has been tested and approved by our own firm. We recently published a blog this year about the benefits of utilizing interns in your advisory practice. This summer, we took our own advice and added several extra pairs of hands to help us complete all the tasks on our list. It’s important to remember that the purpose of hosting an internship program is not only to accomplish additional tasks; the true purpose is to provide a space for the next generation of our industry to explore, learn, and discover their gifts and talents. We were honored to invest in these individuals, and host seven of the next generation’s finest financial professionals. This week we are giving the floor over to the interns themselves to let you hear about their experience firsthand.
Brooke Crawford, Centenary University, Hackettstown, NJ
Studying Business Administration; Concentration in Finance and Marketing
Prior to starting at PAG, I was definitely nervous. This was a part of the industry with which I was unfamiliar, and I wasn’t sure of what to expect. As soon as I came in on the first day, I was greeted with warm welcomes, and I knew I would have a great summer. What I enjoyed most was the variety of tasks and projects I was given. By working on each aspect of the company, I was able to gain the most knowledge and become comfortable with all of the software used. Not only did I enjoy the work, but also I enjoyed the environment and individuals with whom I got the chance to work. I formed great friendships with all of the interns and look forward to keeping in touch with them once the summer is over. I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to intern at PAG this summer, and I’m so excited to put to use the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the last 11 weeks.
Sean Dempsey, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
My first day was a nerve-wracking one, full of foreign material, a whole new language to learn, lots of new faces, and the anticipation of what the summer would hold. As the days and weeks went by, I began to settle in. I felt more and more comfortable with the terminology and tasks, such as learning how to navigate BranchNet and ClientWorks. A major project of mine throughout the summer was creating Cheshire Reports for clients nearing retirement. These reports detailed items such as the timeline of the client’s pensions and social security, their annual expenses, and their assets. I was fortunate enough to work in the same office as Kyle Colwell, an advisor at the main office in Morristown. Kyle quickly took me under his wing, letting me sit in on meetings with wholesalers, and motivating me to ask questions, which helped me better grasp the scope of the business.
In my experience, summer interns are often given “busy work,” such as data entry, so my expectations for this summer were limited. What I received instead was an interactive, educational experience that I know will guide my future career plans. I am leaving this internship more confident and capable, thanks to the team at PAG.
Katherine Fuchs, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Studying Business Administration; Concentration in Accountancy and Business Analytics
The internship was an enriching experience. In several weeks, I was exposed to the world of compliance and the financial market, collaborated with other interns, and formed connections. The projects I completed allowed me to apply my knowledge while learning more about my potential field. What was even more rewarding was the structure of the projects; I was given the freedom to pursue my interests and curiosities. Our team of interns was also invited to sit in on conference calls, such as the Quarterly Compliance Call and the Market Update Call.
I had the opportunity to learn more about the financial market firsthand during our trip to the city. We visited the New York Stock Exchange, Goldman Sachs, and a live taping of FastMoney. Between our group projects and our daily lunches, I formed great connections with the other interns. The welcoming, friendly culture at Private Advisor Group gave me real-world experience, as well as lasting friendships.
Kelly Flanagan, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Through my internship experience, I have not only met amazing people this summer, but I also gained knowledge about the business world. As you walk into the office, it is clear these are friendly faces of people who are passionate about their jobs and care about their work. This made it easy to work every day, eager to work hard and learn more. Our weekly meeting taught me about how PAG is run as well as the market in general. Our trip to New York City gave us the opportunity to interact with people in the industry and gain insight into what the future may hold for us in the business world.
I did not expect to leave this internship with new friends that I hope to work alongside again in the future. From working on group projects to our daily lunches, we grew closer not only as colleagues but also as friends. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work at Private Advisor Group and for the relationships I made and the lessons I have learned.
Justin Hayes, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
Studying Business Administration; Concentration in Finance
Before I started my internship at Private Advisor Group, I expected a stale environment much like at most internships. What I did not expect was to be welcomed every morning by a “family” of co-workers who worked hard, simultaneously enjoying what they did. The work ethic and positivity at PAG is contagious, and the people are very approachable. Individuals consistently went out of their way to ensure that this internship wasn’t just a resume builder, but rather an experience in which the interns can learn and take away valuable information and skills to further their career aspirations. Weekly meetings and research assignments were designed to educate us on core concepts of the market, attendance for the quarterly compliance call provided insight on PAG’s operations, and most notably, the trip to New York City offered me a new lens into the financial industry. In all, my experience at Private Advisor Group was very memorable, and I thank everyone in the office for such an enjoyable internship.
Katerina Kreutler, Providence College, Providence, PI
During my time at Private Advisor Group as a marketing intern, I was able to see firsthand how innovative and exciting financial marketing truly is. I was given several projects that encouraged me to think outside of the box. I designed products for PAG’s conferences, as well as researched the latest technology that could be utilized at various events. I learned how to use different databases and became proficient in Microsoft Excel. I not only learned invaluable marketing techniques but also was wholeheartedly accepted into the Private Advisor Group community. I was able to meet so many amazing people and expand my network through my internship. I am so thankful to Private Advisor Group for taking me under their wing and teaching me so much this summer.
AJ Torrioni, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Studying Finance and Business Analytics; Minor in Economics
My time at Private Advisor Group thus far has been nothing short of fantastic. At PAG there is no coffee jockeying, no meaningless or senseless tasks—only work, and work that matters. This internship has exposed me to all aspects of this business: compliance, marketing, accounting, and, my favorite, financial analysis. I have been allowed to learn and develop while exposing myself to many aspects of the business world that I previously have not encountered. This internship has been especially fantastic because of the amount of time and effort PAG devotes to its interns. Weekly meetings consisting of lessons in financial analysis, both fundamental and technical, and meetings with industry professionals have allowed me to develop professionally in ways I did not think I would from my first internship.
All things considered, my favorite aspect of this internship, as corny and hallmark-y as this may sound, is being able to work with the people at PAG. Everyone I have gotten to work with, regardless of standing or stature, has welcomed us interns with open arms and supported us continuously along the way. The long workday is not so long if you get to work with people who want to work with you. It was a great experience.