Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain important real-world professional skills through internships. In each installment of this series, you’ll hear firsthand about how one Lerner student secured their internship, what their experience as an intern was like and what comes next!
Amanda K Manuola, Class of 2021, majoring in financial planning and wealth management, spent her summer in Mount Laurel, New Jersey at Merrill Lynch, Bank of America.
Q: How did you find out about this internship?
Manuola: This is what I want to do, I want to be a financial advisor (FA).
Q: What is the most exciting task that you have undertaken in your role?
Manuola: Cold calling— which has helped me grow as a professional.
Q: What did you learn through this internship that you don’t think you would have learned anywhere else?
Manuola: How to negotiate with executives and be “hungry” to bring back leads.
Q: What is an example of a time you were able to apply something you learned at the Lerner College to your role?
Manuola: Being at Merrill Lynch means that I am in an environment where the stock market is on nearly every television in the office. The stock market plays a pivotal role in the economy and in every broker’s career. So many different factors affect the growth of any business; this is something I learned in class and now am applying to everyday decisions. If I want to give financial advice on investment strategies in the future, then this is something I need to have knowledge in. Luckily, Lerner has given me a push forward for awareness on how the economy works and what impacts it.
Q: What has been the most fun part of your internship?
Manuola: The most rewarding part about my internship was being able to set up a meeting for my financial advisor with a potential client regarding her 401k portfolio. This was a great learning experience because I had to use my negotiation skills to convince the client that this was a good opportunity for her financially. Our meeting with her is quickly approaching and I am hoping we will be able to close her account in the near future!
The overall personal connections I strive to make with potential clients has been another interesting part of the job. I have learned that a potential client can understand my tone of voice and realize if I am confident in the service I am offering. It’s extremely difficult to gain immediate trust from strangers to invest their hard-earned savings, but after my experience at Merrill Lynch, I have learned strategies to help me connect with potential clients and gain their trust.
Q: How do you think this internship will help you with your professional goals?
Manuola: This internship will help me with my professional goals as it is a great way to begin learning how to be a successful financial advisor. In this line of work, you need to be able to communicate well with people. I will have to be comfortable speaking to clients and using negotiation skills to develop leads and encourage a partnership between potential clients. I would explain the benefits of 401k planning and see if clients have an interest in what we have to offer. Some people are quick to say no, but that has taught me to be resilient and motivated. I know that if I put the work in, then I will eventually land a client who shows interest in the service we have to offer. This internship has shown me that this career choice could be a proper fit for me.
Q: What are your plans or next steps once this internship is over?
Manuola: Get another internship next summer!