Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain valuable professional-level exposure through internships. This year, young scholars were able to traverse the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic by pursuing an array of internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. Each profile of this series will detail a Lerner student’s experiences working on business-oriented projects.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you choose it?
Hanson: I found out about the internship program after I worked with the National Association of Black Accountants to plan an event and ended up working closely with the hiring manager from Tradeweb. This led to getting offered the opportunity to apply for the internship from the hiring manager and eventually getting the position. I chose the position because it was a good opportunity to work closely with the finance department at a public company and get some professional work experience on my resume.
Lerner: Did the coronavirus pandemic impact your internship search and working experience? If so, how?
Hanson: If anything, the coronavirus led to more time allowed when it came to the intern search to do more in-depth research into the firms and the work that you would be doing. As far as working experience, most of the internship was virtual, although I had the chance to go up into the office for a week.
Lerner: What did you learn from this internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Hanson: How to communicate effectively and how to ask good questions. Oftentimes during the internship, I was asked to present a topic and, with that, I had to learn how to communicate in a way that was getting all the information across but also with respect to time. Asking detailed questions was also really important because, as an intern, mostly all of the work you are doing is new so you will naturally have questions. Also, many of those that you are working with have tons of experience so leveraging their experiences to learn more about the industry is really important.
Lerner: What is the most exciting task or project that you have done or are currently doing in your role?
Hanson: Given my interest in financial modeling heavy roles, it is really important to have strong modeling skills. After working through a quarter model as a project, I got the chance to go over the project with an employee who had experience on Wall Street doing similar work that I am interested in and who was able to give me high-level insights to improve my capabilities as a prospective analyst.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Hanson: A lot of the base knowledge and references that were made over the duration of the internship I was first introduced to in ACCT207 and FINC311. Without the foundation that was provided in the introductory finance and accounting classes, a lot of the work that I did would have been significantly more difficult.
Lerner: How do you think this internship will aid you with your professional goals?
Hanson: This internship was a great stepping stone into what a career in finance can offer me and it really highlighted the importance of some of the soft skills that are frequently overlooked. Networking and communication are both skills that can constantly be improved and it is apparent that your investment into the two can have an apparent effect on your career trajectory.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps in your career once your internship is over?
Hanson: Moving into the fall semester, I have begun interviewing for investment banking internships for the summer of 2022, so right now I am reviewing technical material as I prepare for the next step in my career. Right now my goal is to have an internship for summer 2022 by midterms this fall.