Just Another Day at the Office

Yesterday I am sitting at my desk around 8 AM getting acclimated for the day as I normally do by catching up on the news for the day by reading the Wall Street Journal, sorting through emails and printing out some reports to get started on a few deliverables for my team. As I am in the middle of all this one of the associates comes over and tells me that some of the lawyers that work closely with our group are in town from Atlanta and that they are taking our team out to dinner tonight. He then invites me to come along. Aside from the fact that I am a college student open to getting a free meal whenever I can, I accept this invitation because I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to get to know the members of my team better outside of the office as well as connect with some of Key’s business partners. Fifteen minutes later, one of the senior bankers comes over and informs me that he is going out of town on Thursday and needs to stay in the office all day tomorrow to finish up some work before he heads out and therefore will be unable to play golf with the Atlanta lawyers. He asks me to fill his spot in the golf outing. Without hesitation I let him know that I would love to play in his place. About ten minutes later he forwards me an email that has all of the info I need for the tee time. Little did I know, I had just signed up to play golf at Firestone Country Club, the home of the World Golf Championship’s Bridgestone Invitational! You can only imagine how pumped I was.

After listening in on several conference calls regarding some of the deals my team was working on, I wrapped up my work for the day and headed over to the restaurant with the rest of my group to meet up with the lawyers. We enjoyed a nice meal about fifteen minutes outside of downtown in a suburb called Independence and I had the opportunity to connect with the attorneys as well as get to know my team in a social setting. I fit right in with everyone and I realized that I had made a great decision in accepting an internship for the summer with Key. Everyone’s friendliness and hospitality affirmed the welcoming and open culture that I had been told Key had during my recruitment process. After dinner I headed back to my apartment to watch the Cavs put together a dominant victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and went to bed earlier than usual since I had to get up at 6 AM the next day for our tee time.

I rode over to Firestone with one of the associates in our group. Upon arriving I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. We had an absolutely perfect day for golf at an immaculate venue. The grounds crew had already set up the grand stands for the Bridgestone Invitational, which will happen in a few weeks, and the course was in excellent condition. I took some warmups at the driving range and on the practice green with the members of my group for the day and I could barely contain my excitement to finally tee off. As I approached the tee I was definitely intimidated by my surroundings. I felt like a PGA Pro with the bleachers surrounding me and the massive Rolex clock next to the tee box. I even had a a caddy guiding me around the course offering me club suggestions, fairway specs and reading the greens for me before every putt. Besides the fact that I was nervous as all be playing with some of our partners and my superiors, I ended up playing the best out of our foursome and shot an 88. I had to pinch myself a few times to remember that not only was I playing an incredible course, but I was technically at work and getting paid to do something that I love.

Once we finished the round, all the groups met up back at the clubhouse and we had lunch together before the lawyers had to head over to the airport to fly back to Atlanta. This was truly an unforgettable day and an opportunity that I definitely do not take for granted. I am so fortunate to have been placed in an internship that allows me to take part in fun activities like these. Slightly depressed remembering that tomorrow I had to go back to the office and actually work, I headed back to my apartment for the day and rested up. Overall, I think I am going to like this whole banking thing.



When the Interns Become Friends

You always hear people say, “If you love the place you work, you will never work a day in your life.” Well, it’s not that simple. Everyone in the whole building doesn’t automatically become your friend and you definitely aren’t automatically the best at everything you do. To throw another cliché out there, it takes practice.

You don’t have to become best friends with your co-workers but at the very least, it’s good to have a few people to have lunch or walk out to your car with. That sense of camaraderie isn’t always easy as an intern, especially if you are the only intern in your department. Through most of the day I am either working with full time associates or at my desk working independently. So I’ve learned that if you want to get to know your fellow interns, it’s up to you!

5 Ways to Have a More Enjoyable Internship with your Co-workers:

1) Facebook: Luckily the HR team made a Facebook page a few months before we started so that we could get to know each other. Now, it’s not like I messaged each intern and asked about their lifelong goals and aspirations before even meeting them, but I did help a few find housing near OSU’s campus.

2) GroupMe: Another intern asked for people to leave their numbers on the Facebook page so she could create a GroupMe. We use this almost everyday to ask if anyone wants to have lunch together.

A screenshot of our GroupMe planning our daily lunch!

A screenshot of our GroupMe planning our daily lunch!

3) Lunch: At DSW there is a huge cafeteria, so a group of the interns and I have started to have lunch together around noon everyday. Have a set time that becomes precedent so if you are free, everyone always feels welcome to join!

4) Happy Hour: Start to get together outside of work. If you don’t want to plan a big event to the zoo or a baseball game, start with drinks or appetizers for an hour or two after work. It’s a great way to get to know each other outside of the workplace. PSA: Deep Fried Mac and Cheese Bites at Fourth Street are amazing.

5) Fun Events: If you know other interns who are in a new city, don’t forget to show them around town, or conversely, ask the local interns to show you around! This past Memorial Day weekend another intern and I went to a country concert at The Bogey. Last week, some of us went to King Makers which is a board game parlor — sounds weird, I know, but super fun!

Another intern, Macy, and I at a Kane Brown concert. She brought the idea up to me at a Happy Hour. It was a blast!

Another intern, Macy, and I at a Kane Brown concert. She brought the idea up to me at a Happy Hour. It was a blast!

Some interns and I (I'm taking the picture because I looked super gross that day) at King Makers!

DSW Interns at King Makers!

Overall, if you want to have a good relationship with your coworkers make sure that you are initiating get-togethers, trust me, people will follow.


The Intern Perspective

Today was the first day of my internship, and throughout this week I will be training with the rest of the local interns. On Day 1, we mostly talked about PwC’s culture, its career opportunities and had special ice-breakers around Time Square. From day one I can tell that PwC is a diverse and talented place to work in, as it was very common to find other interns who spoke more than one language.

Since no real work has yet happened, I will use this blog to talk about what is like to work in the City of New York. While you may have been in NYC before, your perspective truly changes as an intern. If before Time Square was the first place you wanted to see as a tourist, it becomes the last place you want to walk by when  trying to make it in time to work. Central Park becomes more than a cool spot to take pictures, but your running track where you get your daily work out. And my favorite change as of now; remember the serious people in suits that marched between skyscrapers? Well, some of them are your colleagues now and you get the chance to become friends with them during breaks. There are always things to do here, and the best part, a lot of it is free! From street concerts from major artists to late night shows, even  museums hold special days where admissions are free.  Having said that, budgeting is a serious matter. If you didn’t have the opportunity to learn how to budget as a college student, the learning curve will be steep. However, one thing is clear, NY does deserves the big red heart that comes in the shirts.



Welcome to Cleveland

Hey everyone! I wanted to take the opportunity in my first post to tell you who I am, what I will be doing this summer and why I chose to pursue an internship with KeyBank. My name is John Browne and I will begin my third year at Ohio State this fall. I am studying finance and have pursued many courses within Fisher that explore the real estate industry. Within Fisher I am a brother of Alpha Kappa Psi and I am a Vice President within Buckeye Capital Investors. Since coming to OSU, I have been particularly interested in a career in investment banking. Prior to my internship with Key, I interned with Ohio State in the Accounting department my freshman year and with Diamond Hill Capital Management as a Product and Sales Support intern during my sophomore year. Both of these positions, along with my academics and extracurriculars, have prepared me well for an internship this summer with Key.

When searching for an internship for this summer within investment banking, I targeted firms that had a strong arm in the real estate sector. The primary driver for my interest in real estate is that it combines many of the same metrics used to value stocks and bonds, but puts a tangible asset to that analysis. Key provided me with an opportunity to work in real estate banking at one of the top middle market real estate banks in the country.

At Key, I am working in the Real Estate Capital division in the Institutional Real Estate group. This group primarily deals with fielding, underwriting and financing deals with Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and other large scale commercial real estate projects. I have been placed on two very different deals since I began my internship that have provided me with the chance to work with other analysts as well as senior level bankers. At times it has definitely felt like drinking water from a fire hose, but I am very open to the challenges of the industry and my superiors have been extremely helpful with steering me in the right direction and answering the many questions that I have. The hours can be a bit strenuous, but I find that the days fly by and I thoroughly enjoy being pushed to help my team and the firm on these various projects.

While in Cleveland, I am living at an apartment at Cleveland State University that is a 20 minute walk or 5 minute bus ride from downtown. I have had the opportunity to attend a few Indians games, Cavs watch parties, eat at some of the many restaurants and play a little golf on the weekends. I could definitely see myself living here after I graduate and enjoying life in downtown Cleveland as a young professional. I look forward to keeping you all updated on my 10 week journey in Cleveland with Key!


Intern Education

DSW is amazing in that they make sure that a finance intern doesn’t only see finance or a marketing intern doesn’t only get exposure to marketing. About once a week there is an hour-long meeting with a different department within the corporation.

Last week I was able to sit in on an ABG meeting. ABG stands for Affiliated Business Group, which is the department where DSW develops partnerships between businesses. For example, DSW partners with Steinmart and Gordmans to provide access to hundreds of brands of shoes. DSW has a deep understanding of the product, what the customers want and how to get it there; therefore ABG creates low risk, high reward solutions.

This week the interns took a trip to the Polaris DSW store (there are 3 in the Columbus area including Polaris, Easton and Dublin-Sawmill) where we walked through the store before it opened with the MOD (manager on duty). Although I have worked in a DSW store, most the interns had not, so it was a great opportunity to see where the action really happens. I’ve quickly realized the more connected the head quarters is to their stores, the better the company does as whole.


The Polaris DSW location where my intern group took a tour of the behind the scenes action!

At OSU I am majoring in marketing with a minor in communications, although who knows where I will end up in 10, 20 or 30 years? That’s why I love this aspect of my internship. I’ve heard other students mention that they just make copies or get coffee, but I’m always either working on something in my department or getting exposure to other aspects of the company. I am looking forward to learning about HR, Merchandising, Store Operations, getting a tour of the DC (distribution center) and more.

Fun Fact:

DSW is moving internationally! They now operate in Puerto Rico and have a partnership with Town Shoes of Canada. Hopefully more to come!

Tip of the day:

When interviewing with a company most people remember to ask what they will be doing for the company but don’t forget to ask how the company will help you grow.

Embarrassing moment:

Want something even more embarrassing? I was walking from one end of the building to the other when I dropped (and broke) my new water bottle. Not that embarrassing you say? …I was right outside the CEO’s office and water was EVERYWHERE. Luckily an employee stopped and offered to warn people of the lake I had created while I ran and got paper towels.

Lesson? Clutch your water bottle like your life depends on it.

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See that caution sign? Yep…that was because of me. Oops!