2 answers

What are some of the skills necessary for a career in finance?

Asked Boston, Massachusetts

I am a junior at Boston Collegiate Charter School and, as part of our curriculum, all 11th grade students are doing a two week internship. As of now, my internship may be at State Street Corporation and so as a person not fully aware of the field of financing, what are some skills necessary to succeed at an internship such as this one? #business #finance #economics #intern

2 answers

Donald’s Answer

Updated Alexandria, Virginia

Bryan: I was a math and science teacher for many years and then moved to banking where I spent almost 30 years dealing with "finance". State Street is a wonderful institution and respected throughout the world so you have a great opportunity. I found that liking "numbers" is crucial in the financial world. Numbers tell a lot about businesses and being curious about what they say is important. It would be very helpful if you understand spreadsheets since financial analysts use spreadsheets to get behind the numbers and look at various ratio. This includes seeing the big picture - I worked with an employee who used a spreadsheet to add 10-12 lines of four digit numbers and the sum was four digits! She could never seem to understand that she could immediately tell that her answer was wrong since adding 10 four digit numbers results in a number greater than 4 digits. So, like working with numbers, be familiar with spreadsheets, and ask a lot of questions. This could be an opportunity for many more years with State Street. Good Luck.

Thank you for your advice, I will definitely look into understanding spreadsheets before my internship.

Joe’s Answer

Updated Redwood City, California

I was a psychology student in college and then went on to get an MBA after working for a couple of years. Both degrees have helped me greatly. I worked for a couple of years at Bank of America and the at two different consumer finance companies for several years afterwards.

As an intern, you will have the opportunity to learn from a number of different people. So ask a lot of questions, most importantly, ask what you can do to help. Get the tasks assigned to you done quickly and with a high degree of quality. You will then find that you are given more challenging projects.

Show up early, work late and interact with everyone at the company. Finance people are not always the most outgoing so it may be challenging to connect with some. Make an effort to find ways to help out in all areas - even if it is not your assigned responsibility. Again, make sure you get your assigned work done well at the same time.

Create a LinkedIn account and try to connect with your co-workers. Make sure you write thank you notes after your internship is done so people know you appreciated the effort they tok to help you. An internship is your time to learn but the employees are looking for people who can help them and contribute to the company.

Good luck and enjoy it!

Thank you for your advice, I will try to ask as many questions as possible and will try establishing connections with co-workers. I look forward to the experience and will try to show it during the time I am there.