I was an Analytic Solutions intern at Russell Investments in the Investment Practice team from 2016-2017. I started out simply granting access to tools and performing somewhat repetitive reconciliations, but my role quickly evolved as I gained team-specific knowledge. I had the opportunity to take ownership of multiple data projects where I investigated and tested investment performance metrics. I also learned to write VBA macros to build tools that made reporting and analysis more efficient. Since my team consisted of just me and my two managers, I had a lot of autonomy over how I completed my projects. Additionally, my manager always made it a point to tell me where my reports were being presented and what decisions were being made with them. These factors kept my motivation high and made me feel like an independent and impactful contributor.
At the end of last summer I gave an intern presentation explaining my team’s main projects, how I contributed, and what I learned. When I first showed my draft to the intern recruiter she said that it was way too complicated, especially for the wide audience we were presenting to. I realized that I did not understand my content well enough to explain it simply. So I put together a list of questions and had a meeting with my manager. As a result my presentation was clearer and well received. Outside of my small team I also collaborated with two other teams where I attended bi-weekly stand up meetings and performed testing on key projects. Through these experiences I learned to communicate complex concepts to a variety of groups.
My top advice to someone searching for an internship is to know your story for each potential position. You should be able to weave together each area of your resume to show what interests you, how your experiences fit, and why the role makes sense as a next step. I think being able to articulate my story in the interview made a strong first impression and answered several questions right off the bat.
Lastly, I actually landed my internship the day before I was going to fly home for summer. I lost the cost of my flight, but it was well worth it. So my other piece of advice is do not give up because it is never too late.