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From Intern to Employee

Sarah Carter '14  

Sarah CarterMajor: Math and Finance
Came to The Space to Prepare for: Interview Preparation
Result: Secured an internship that lead to a full-time job after graduation

6 questions for Sarah:

Q1. Congratulations on your new job! Where will you work? 

I work for Barclays in their investment banking division, more specifically in their public finance division. Barclays is a UK based bank, and they have different services in different parts of the world. In the UK, they have a retail bank. In the United States they have mostly an investment banking presence. Where I’ll be working is their main office in New York City. If you’re interested in banking and finance in general, working for a couple years on Wall Street is the training that you need to be able to open up your career opportunities. I could do a lot of things after this job.

Q2. What is your current position, and what do you do?

I’ll be an analyst in the public finance division, and what I’ll be doing is working with a group of bankers to help colleges and universities structure and issue bonds, specifically municipal bonds. So my main tasks on the job are market research, preparing client presentations, using computer software to model market scenarios, and modeling different bond issues in Excel.

Q3. How did you get your job?

I got my job through an internship I had this past summer, and I got that internship through the company’s online application process. I started filling out online applications for big banks September or October of my junior year. I submitted them October or November of my junior year. Part of my process was emailing anybody I knew at any of those banks to tell them that I had submitted an application. At the end of January I found out I had an interview with Barclays for the middle of February, so I went and flew to New York for first round interviews with directors and people I would be working with. And then a couple weeks later I went for second round interviews. After I had my second round interviews, later that evening, one of my interviewers called me and let me know I had an internship. And then I worked through the summer and had a good experience. The last day of the internship is called an offer day, and they tell you whether or not you have a returning offer to come work after you graduate. A lot of places like to hire interns because they know you, they know your work, and they know that they like you. It is a long process and the earlier you start thinking about it, the better.

Q4. Did your major influence your job choice?

I’m a math and finance double major, and I think it did influence my job choice; however, it doesn't have to. To get into this field you do not have to be a finance or accounting major. I am very quantitative, but I also love working with people, so I think banking for that reason was a good fit for me. I learned the most important things that I used in my job and still use in my job on the job, through working. It definitely also helped to have a little bit of math background and to have worked with modeling programs in Excel when I got to the job.

Q5. How did The Space help you?

When I was preparing for my in person interviews, I met with Jennifer Dillenger, and she helped me go over basic interview techniques and how to answer interview questions and what to expect in an interview setting. That really helped me prepare not only what I was going to say, but it helped me also so that I wasn't nervous the first time I went into an interview situation. I wasn't taken aback by any of the questions that I got. Even the basic question like “tell me about yourself,” how do you respond to that in an interview setting? Well there’s a certain way that you can go about it really successfully. So having The Space resources to help me prepare was very helpful.

Q6. Do you have any advice for students?

Start thinking about summer plans in the fall. Reach out to anyone and everyone you know in a certain field. Every internship or job I’ve gotten has been through networking. Start interview prep before you have an interview. Start preparing for interviews, I would say, fall of your junior year. Your junior year internship is really important but don’t waste your summers before. Really thoughtfully use your summers.

 Q&A edited by Addie Lawrence ‘16