by Peter Samuelson
I started my first day as an intern at Sawston on May 20th. Going into it, I did not know what to expect. I had been told what was expected of me, and what I would be doing during my interview for the internship but I had no idea what to expect or how to go about doing any of these tasks that I was going to be assigned. Even being a third-year finance student, a lot of financial terminology and portfolio management ideas are still very foreign. On top of that, I was going to be using technology and programs that I had never used or even heard of before. Beginning my first day, I was introduced to multiple new tools that are used to analyze and measure everything we do at Sawston. Trying to navigate through everything was a difficult task for a good week but it was a big achievement when I finished my first little project without having to ask for help.
One of the things that I learned right off the bat that I had never really thought about before was what portfolios are made of; what a mutual fund is made up of; and ways to see how your portfolio is performing. All of this was very interesting and eye opening because you can dig as deep as you want into any given security but if you don’t know what you’re looking for everything is useless to you. Of course, I thought I had a good idea of what made a good stock or mutual fund, but I learned very quickly a lot of what I thought wasn’t quite right. My first larger project I completed were performance reviews of accounts to make sure that they were working like they were supposed to. This was a great project to really get me into the swing of things. It allowed me to do research, compile reports, and start to gain a good knowledge of what Sawston looks for when evaluating their portfolios. The research aspect was very interesting to me because I was able to start using all the new programs I had been learning about to gather and use real information.
When I began this internship, I did not realize what being a financial advisor would be like and I am still learning. Probably will be for quite a while. I knew that there is a lot to learn about the financial side of things and that it is hard work to make decisions, but I’m learning very quickly that there is so much more to the position than knowing what to do and how to make a trade. The social aspect of the job is a key piece to becoming a successful financial advisor, and that is something I never really thought about before starting here. I’m learning that it is about staying organized and staying in contact with your clients and making sure they are content with where they are at. Which is something that Sawston strives to do on a regular basis.
I have learned so much already, and working for a smaller scale company has allowed me to get some real hands-on experience that is going to help me greatly in my career, and has confirmed that this is the sort of career I want to pursue after I graduate. This internship is helping me gain a greater knowledge of investing and given me an in-depth look into the world of being a financial advisor, while also teaching me important tools that I can use in my everyday life.