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.

 

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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!

JB

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.

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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!

My First Week at Boenning and Scattergood

On the way to the first day of my internship with Boenning and Scattergood, I thought a lot about how the next 10 weeks would help me develop professionally, learn more about finance, and most importantly if I would enjoy my experience. I arrived at the office building 15 mins early, and headed upstairs to the small suite where I would be spending over 400 hours of my summer only to realize that I was locked out. Anxious to not appear late on my first day, I tapped on the glass door a few times and eventually caught the attention of one of the analysts.

The first day was filled with a tour of the office, getting acclimated to where I would be working, and getting to know my new co-workers. After lunch, I was able to help another analyst revise a proposal to a client and make stylistic changes to a power point template. Although the work that I was doing on the first day wasn’t incredibly intriguing, I was able to learn more about the role of an investment banking analyst and was happy that there was real work that I could do. We began wrapping up around 7pm and I arrived home exhausted, but very relieved that my first day went well.

The rest of the week I worked on client presentations, learned how to navigate the financial database, helped work on a model, and continued to modify power point templates. Each day I learned more about finance and accounting, about the specific challenges that come with working with small companies, and realized the infinite amount of information and ongoing learning that investment banking entails. It was a fairly calm week, with four of the senior bankers out of town until Thursday, leaving myself, an analyst, and an associate in the office. Although we were about to leave around 6pm each day, everyone assured me that it was an unusually calm week, and that I could expect longer hours to come.

Although I will definitely need to long weekend to recover, I am looking forward to the remaining nine weeks and am assured that this summer will be, at the very least, a tremendous learning experience.

What are you Plans for this Summer?

Written by Director of Undergraduate Career Consultation and Programs, Sarah Steenrod

As the academic year winds down, it is likely that college students around the world are being asked, “What are your plans for this summer?”

Interning at your dream company?

Taking classes?

Studying abroad?

Feeling speechless because you have no idea?

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If this question makes you cringe, it might mean that you don’t…yet…know what you’ll be up to this summer. The good news is you are in control of how you spend your time this summer and there is still time to make a plan to make the most of it!


Conduct Informational Interviews – Reach out to family, friends, or alumni from your university who work at a company/organization of interest to you and set up a time to talk with them about their work, their company, or their city. This is a great way to network and people love to talk about themselves. People also like to help college students because it give them a chance to “pay it forward,” so do as much of this as you can while you’re still a student. LinkedIn is a great resource for expanding your network – www.linkedin.com/alumni


Get Experience – While many students put pressure on themselves to get an internship as early as freshman or sophomore year, most companies target juniors for their internship programs. While you may not land an internship, there are so many opportunities to develop transferable skills through more traditional jobs. For example, being a server in a restaurant may help you develop strong customer service or communication skills and working as a camp counselor may help you develop teamwork or problem solving skills. It is important to value your experiences and be ready to tell potential employers how you can add value to their company based on your experience from previous employment.


Develop a Skill – Perhaps you’ve been meaning to learn some new Excel formulas, get familiar with a social media platform, or brush up on a foreign language. Summer is a great time to focus on the things you have been putting off.

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Be Strategic – Many students want to work for large companies or organizations after graduation, but they don’t always think of ways to get insights into the company. For example, if a student is interested in a career with L Brands, it could be very beneficial for them to get some in-store experience at Bath & Body Works. This would be a great way to show that you understand the company culture and the customers in an interview.


Volunteer – Approach volunteer opportunities as if you’re applying for your dream job. Write a personalized cover letter and send it along with your resume to local organizations and offer your help. Even if you don’t land a gig in the marketing department, you never know how much you may gain (both personally and professionally) from the experience of giving back.


Do Something that Makes You Interesting – What do you like to do for fun? What would you enjoy talking to people about in a casual setting? Training for a half-marathon, learning a new instrument, perfecting your cooking skills, or taking a cross country trip? The opportunities are endless, but you are the only person who can decide what makes you interesting.

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Read – “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~Dr. Seuss

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Best of luck making your summer a meaningful and memorable one. Hopefully when you head back to school in the fall and someone asks, “What did you do this summer?” you will have plenty to talk about!