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: Olivia Moeller
Graduation Year: 2021
Majors: Finance / Advertising
Hometown: North Andover, MA
Intern Company/Title: Citi – Sales and Trading Summer Analyst Intern
Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
Given the transition to work from home, the internship program was reconstructed entirely to fit a virtual format. Under normal circumstances, the program runs for 10-weeks and rotates interns across three different teams/products within sales and trading. This summer, the program was shortened to five-weeks, during which we spent the first week in training and each week after that with a different asset class. Every day started by dialing into the morning meeting of the teams we were speaking with that week, followed by Zoom calls for most of the day where we would hear from various traders and salespeople about the products they work on and how their day-to-day looked. In the afternoon, we were given time to network and work on the group projects assigned at the beginning of each week.
How did you land your internship?
I landed my internship through the Whitman on Wall Street program. We traveled to NYC over winter break during my sophomore year. The Whitman Career Center connected us with alumni at various companies such as BlackRock, Bank of America, PIMCO and Citi! I made sure to ask insightful questions at each company visit, which is how I caught the eye of the Syracuse University alumni at Citi. They invited me to shadow on the trading floor at the end of the week and eventually mentored me through the interview process.
What did you learn from your internship experience?
Besides a deeper understanding of financial markets, one of the most valuable lessons that I learned from my experience is the importance of adaptability. Being the first entirely virtual intern class in Citi’s history, we were given a unique opportunity to contribute to the firm. Learning how to network and collaborate with other interns in a remote setting was a large part of my role this summer. As we move forward in these uncertain times, I’ll be able to apply this new set of virtual social skills that I’ve developed.
Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
I feel like a common preconception surrounding sales and trading is that you can only survive in the business for a few years before burning yourself out. Something that really surprised and reinsured me this summer was meeting so many senior people within markets at Citi that have been with the firm for over 10 and even 20 years since they started in the intern program. Another common presumption is that men in finance outnumber women. Again, this notion was proved false to me this summer. I was surrounded by countless fellow female interns, mentored by female professionals and introduced to the RISE network at Citi, which focuses on uplifting women in the workplace. Overall, the company culture reinforced my interest in the business. Moving forward, I’m very excited to be accepting an offer to join Citi in the full-time sales and trading analyst program next summer.
How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
The experience has given me a better understanding of how to network and make connections. Moving forward, I’ll reach out to the people that I connected with at the firm to figure out where my skills can be best applied within sales and trading and advance my understanding of financial markets based on what I learned this summer.
How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Whitman does a fantastic job of providing students with a strong foundation in the core elements of business, which helped me understand the business that I worked in as a whole this summer. Even if you don’t see yourself majoring in accounting or supply chain, it’s essential to take those classes your first-year and sophomore year just as seriously as your major classes later because you will have to apply the skills that you learned.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
Being able to connect with the other interns. After being cooped up in quarantine for a few months, it was refreshing to meet other people my age from all around the world. I learned so much from my peers while working on our group projects this summer and looking forward to meeting them personally.
Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
Take advantage of the networking opportunities that Whitman has to offer. The Orange alumni network at Syracuse University is so supportive and they want to see us succeed. Connections truly are so meaningful when applying for jobs and internships, so don’t be afraid to reach out and start conversations.