By: Guest Bloggers, PAG Summer Interns
Published August 27, 2019
When choosing a career path, internships are more important than ever. Taking classes and studying a subject in a book is one matter, but actually gaining real-life experience in the day-to-day field is another entirely! The financial services industry can be a draw for many because of the meaningful work and ability to provide a valuable service that can make a significant difference in people’s lives. That being said, it’s not an easy road to take. The dynamic environment of financial markets and fierce competition make it a challenge. Internships provide an opportunity for young adults to gain valuable experience and explore various roles within the industry. This hands-on experience can give these students clarity and direction in their career, as well as the opportunity to enhance skills they will use upon graduating. Let’s not forget the host organization learns a lot about the next generation of advisors too! If you haven’t read our blog on the benefits of utilizing interns in your advisory practice, be sure to check it out. Then come back and hear from our incredible team of interns from summer 2019 and their experience as part of the PAG team.
Alex Arakelian | Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Studying Finance with an Accounting Minor
Prior to beginning my internship at Private Advisor Group, I expected I would be doing busy work no one else wanted to do. Shortly after starting, I realized that all the tasks I was assigned really did matter. Interning for PAG allowed me the opportunity to develop my professional skills while also gaining exposure to aspects of the business and finance world I had not yet encountered in the classroom. Writing standard operating procedures for different roles in the office helped me learn how everyone at PAG works in conjunction to deliver the best service possible. Weekly intern meetings gave us the chance to learn about different types of financial analysis and have discussions about the markets and economy in general.
I enjoyed our trip to NYC where we visited the trading floor of the NY Stock Exchange as well as the Goldman Sachs headquarters to watch a live taping of Fast Money. I am thankful for the opportunity to work in such an open, supportive office where everyone wants you to succeed.
Brendan Finney | Providence College, Providence, RI
Upon completing my sophomore year at Providence College, I was looking forward to starting my internship here at Private Advisor Group. It was my first opportunity to experience and learn more about business and finance outside the classroom. Many of the projects we worked on throughout the summer were informative, and I was able to get something out of each of them.
I also enjoyed working with the other interns and getting to know them on a personal level. I learned new information from our weekly intern meetings about financial markets and how economies as a whole operate. Working here this summer and going on the New York City trip to Goldman Sachs gave me a better understanding of what working in the business industry is like. Overall, I am grateful for the wonderful opportunity to work at Private Advisor Group this summer.
Mike Hillebrecht | Villanova University, Villanova, PA
My summer at Private Advisor Group was one that I truly enjoyed. Individuals around the office were eager to give fellow interns and me tasks to complete. Kevin Sullivan gave us multiple homework assignments that I found mentally stimulating. In these assignments, we got to read the short story of “I, Pencil.” This text shows the connections between different parts of the economy. Another interesting assignment given to us was pitching a stock, with a brief introduction to technical and fundamental analysis. Along with homework assignments, Bob Vogt gave me interesting work to do. In his assignment, I went through the client’s LPL financial accounts and confirmed that clients were in the correct asset allocation.
My most memorable day at Private Advisor Group was the field trip to New York City. Through this program, I learned about the financial industry and developed strong relationships.
Brendan McCormick | Providence College, Providence, RI
Studying Finance and Management
I was a bit nervous starting my first real internship at PAG, as I have spent the previous six summers caddying. My concerns and anxiety soon went away as I was welcomed with open arms into the office. I developed great relationships with my fellow interns as well as the other employees in the office.
Over the past ten weeks, I have become very comfortable working in an office environment and have learned valuable skills that will help me when I graduate. From becoming proficient in Excel to giving presentations, these are skills that will be incredibly valuable when trying to get my first job. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work at PAG and wish the whole office nothing but the best.
Lily Sutton | Villanova University, Villanova, PA<
Before starting at PAG I wasn’t sure what to expect, which made me a little nervous. However, on my first day, I was warmly greeted by everyone and immediately felt welcomed. Throughout my internship, the tasks and projects I was assigned related to many different aspects of PAG. From helping to prepare for remote audits or researching Health Savings Accounts, I was always doing meaningful work.
Our weekly intern meetings and sitting in on the market update and quarterly compliance call helped me learn more about how PAG runs as well as various aspects of the market. The environment at PAG made working here enjoyable, as everyone was so friendly and eager to help. I gained valuable experiences this summer and met so many amazing people. I’m very grateful for the opportunity PAG provided me.
Steven Leung | University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Before beginning my internship at Private Advisor Group, I was not entirely sure about what to expect concerning the role that I would play in their day-to-day operations. Upon my arrival to PAG, I was welcomed with open arms, as everyone in the office made it a point to introduce themselves and make me feel as comfortable as possible. This speaks to the unique culture of PAG, which greatly contributed to the positive experience that I have had over the past six weeks. For example, PAG not only provided experience within their own business, but they made a concerted effort to teach the interns about the financial industry as a whole. During our trip to New York City, we were able to speak with people on the trading floor about their careers and how the stock exchange and the financial industry have evolved over time. This is just one example of how PAG goes above and beyond when it comes to creating a thriving culture.
Furthermore, there was rarely a time where I was not busy working on a project. One of the great things about this internship was that it exposed me to many different aspects of the business through projects that I would work on. Being able to gain this valuable experience through hands-on projects will surely help me in the future. In retrospect, I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience at Private Advisor Group and am grateful for the opportunity to have been here as an intern.
Gillian Klein | Providence College, Providence, RI
Studying Finance, Political Science, & Health Policy and Management
I am so grateful for the internship opportunity I had this summer with Private Advisor Group. As a finance intern, I was given real job responsibilities, which afforded me the opportunity to apply my college coursework to real-life experience and see what a role in finance entails. I was so impressed by the warm, friendly culture and immediately felt like a member of the team. I really appreciated the mentoring and training that I received.
Throughout the eleven weeks that I spent at PAG, I worked on many different assignments including creating new client accounts, performing account transfers, assisting with client payroll, preparing for the upcoming audit, working with clients and many other special projects. The internship exposed me to invaluable learning experiences and broadened my critical thinking and leadership skills. One of my favorite experiences as an intern was visiting New York City. The day consisted of visits to Goldman Sachs, the New York Stock Exchange and a taping of Fast Money to hear from industry professionals and get an inside view of the finance industry.
Overall, I had such an amazing experience interning at the Private Advisor Group, and I am so thankful to everyone for teaching and mentoring me this summer. After completing this internship, I am certain that I want to pursue a career in finance!