Climbing the corporate ladder requires one to gain a lot of experience, not only to get started, but also to obtain promotions. The former is often the greatest struggle for recent graduates at all levels (from high school to graduate school programs). Although I was very active in extracurricular activities, during my undergrad and even now at graduate school, I struggled with the obstacle of lacking the experience required to attain certain job opportunities. This cycle persists for many due to the dwindling availability of comprehensive training programs in the workforce, coupled with a greater emphasis on skills gained from work experience.

As Lily wrote in a previous post, Winternships have remedied the aforesaid vicious cycle by giving students the ability to generate valuable experiences within the workforce and apply the skills that they gained through the MMS coursework.

Learning the Ropes in New York

During my winter recess, I had the privilege of working for Owen May (Daytime MBA ’83), founder of MD Global Partners, LLC in New York. I’d previously heard great reviews about this specific Winternship experience, from both current and former MMS students. I wanted to gain experience in investment banking, specifically mergers and acquisitions, due to my previous engagements on the wealth management side of finance. I wanted to see how one experience compares to the other, while also gaining a perspective of business development from a banker’s vantage point.

Owen was very gracious over the course of the month that I worked in his office. He instilled confidence and humility within the fellow winter analysts and myself by imploring excellence in our daily tasks. Harmoniously, Owen offered teachable moments, both in regards to the technical and practical facets of investment banking. It was the perfect complement to our recently completed courses in capital markets and corporate finance, as it gave us the opportunity to experience the linkage of financial theory and practice. Also, as I had hoped, I ended the Winternship with a new perspective on business development, by learning the technical and presentation skills needed to initiate and facilitate acquistions.

Despite the fact that my last day in the office was in January, Owen has still been very present in my development and understanding of finance, specifically facets pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, and the venture capital industry. He regularly sends me emails/texts on topics to research within the framework of the VC industry, most of which are relative to my interest in sustainability and information technology. As a result of the internship, I realized that my fundamental practical and technical understandings of business strategy afforded me a knowledge base that can be applied to a myriad of industries.

The internship was the Christmas gift that kept giving, and I would highly recommend it to anyone that has a strong interest in finance.