In this “Internship Experience” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they return from summer internships.
Name: Lauren Mueller
Graduation Year: May 2021
Major(s): Finance / Real Estate
Hometown: Baldwinsville, NY
Intern Company/Title: BlackRock – Wealth Advisory Sales Intern
Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
My internship was originally supposed to span nine weeks in Princeton, NJ, but ended up being four weeks online. Because of the shortened program, my days were filled with lots of virtual meet-and-greet sessions with different leaders and managers across the USWA desk. We also spent a majority of the time in training sessions learning about the different products and funds that BlackRock offers.
The three big events during my internship were presentations. The first being a two-minute pitch to sell your school, the next was a debate between the interns on trending investment topics and the third was a quick pitch competition where the interns all competed in pitching BlackRock funds.
How did you land your internship?
I attended the Whitman on Wall Street trip my sophomore year. We visited a bunch of different finance firms in NYC. After the BlackRock meeting, I loved the company and what they stood for, so applied online and was lucky enough to get the interview and ultimately offered the role.
What did you learn from your internship experience?
I learned so much throughout the short four weeks I interned! Through all of the training sessions, I learned a lot about how the asset management industry works, different investing styles and different products. I also learned about the different funds that BlackRock sells and about the different career paths, both within USWA and BlackRock as a whole.
Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
My experience solidified the fact that I want to start my career in asset management on the sales desk, and I’d love to go back to BlackRock next year.
How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
This internship program has helped me step outside of my comfort zone and become more confident in myself and my abilities. I gained so much confidence in being able to talk about the finance industry in an educated way and have become a much more inquisitive person. I feel like this experience has taught me a lot about myself and what I’m capable of, which will help me to get a job after graduation and be more confident going into future jobs.
How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Whitman definitely helped me network with the right people to be able to know what exactly I want to do within the finance field and what companies I was interested in working for. On the Whitman on Wall Street trip, we met Adam Bobker ’93 at BlackRock and I was able to reconnect with him throughout the course of my internship. He was a great connection to have as he has been working for the firm for almost 20 years and had great advice and insights. I’m really glad Whitman started that introduction and Adam was my mentor throughout my internship.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I really enjoyed meeting so many people at the firm, including my intern class. Everyone at BlackRock is so willing to meet with you and spend time getting to know you, which was incredible to me. I was able to meet one-on-one with some of the leaders of USWA as an intern, which I think really speaks towards the culture at BlackRock. Everyone was so willing to help and offer advice which made me feel like a part of the team, even as an online intern, who is only there for four weeks.
Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
I would advise everyone to try and make as many connections with people as you can. Network. Network. Network. If you reach out to Syracuse alumni, they’re more than willing to offer help in finding internships.
Another piece of advice that I have is to apply to as many companies as you can and never hold yourself back because you think a company wouldn’t hire you. I never thought I would be working for a company like BlackRock, but I applied anyway and it ended up being the best experience.