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Finance Internships: Holding Their Own in a Fast-Paced World

Excel spreadsheets, quick keys, audit skills, teamwork, inquisitiveness, comprehension and a healthy love of energy drinks help TCU finance majors thrive in internships from Wall Street to Shanghai.  

August 12,  2015

By Elaine Cole

If working at a high-powered company on Wall Street intimidated TCU finance majors, they quickly got over it.

Benjamin DaGrosa didn’t sit on the sidelines at UBS in NYC. He sat in on meetings with portfolio managers from top mutual funds in the country. Bret Hildebrandt got in on deals featured in The Wall Street Journal during his internship with Citigroup in New York. “The initial intimidation factor of working with students from Ivy League schools faded quickly once I realized how well TCU and my mentors prepared me for this role,” Bret said.

At Interfood in Miami, Blake Delle Fave loved the “fast-paced, high intensity environment where hundreds of thousands of dollars could be made or lost in a matter of seconds,” he said.

At Lazard in Houston, Michael Byron worked on a team advising Williams Cos. after the company received a bid from Energy Transfer, which resulted in a story on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.

Michael Mallory and Jane McCormack met with bankers regularly at J.P. Morgan Chase. Brian Grady traveled to other business units to assist in audits for Bell Helicopter. Abby Deutz worked with research analysts, portfolio managers and even the CEO himself at Luther King Capital Management. Brandon Cundith traveled to Washington D.C. to meet Richard Fairbanks, CEO of Capital One.

Nicole Griffin applied concepts she learned in the classroom to a real-world setting at Fidelity Investment, especially excel. “There were multiple instances where I helped my coworkers and manager learn tricks on the program,” she said.

Emily Knuth expanded her knowledge of the complex railroad business at Union Pacific in Omaha, Nebraska. “I even got to drive a simulator train!” she said.

At Gauge Capital, Anthony Micheli analyzed and valued middle-market firms based on CIMs. “I was surprised at the magnitude of deal flow and the number of investment banks serving the middle market,” he said.

Sarah Doherty worked with different departments at Scientific Drilling, including credit, accounting, accounts receivable, accounts payable and fixed assets. “It allowed me to see many aspects of the company and gain an immense amount of knowledge,” she said.

Austin Sivik actively contributed in meetings with company executives with Hussman. Elyse Elsenbrook traveled with her team for Alvarez & Marsal consulting. Courtney Aldridge worked with high-profile luxury brand clients at iProspect.

Ryan Peake worked with 22 other interns at Williams Cos. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Williams believes that we are the future of the company, so they treat us like fulltime employees,” he said.

At Jasper Ridge LLC, Ashley Day was surrounded by intelligent people with valuable experience in financial services. “The secrets to success are to eat, sleep and dream in excel; quick keys are your friend; and most importantly, learn to love Redbull,” she said.

Finance majors with an interest in real estate also excelled on the job.

At Sharp Development in Palo Alto, California, Brady Coggins attended weekly construction meetings and learned about smart technology. “There is so much technology that is incorporated that makes these buildings smarter, they are more like a living thing then just four walls and a roof,” he said.

Ambra Pira created a loan provisions chart for agents at Quine and Associates. Conner Young worked on important deals for State Farm. Ryan Dykstra experienced the velocity of real estate in Texas as an intern for Institutional Property Advisors Texas.

Paul Pendergrass learned the logistics of new home construction with D.R. Horton, and Maxwell Mueller enjoyed working in the place that has shaped the history and future of Fort Worth during his internships with Majestic Realty Co.

Callie Meinhardt learned how dynamic the field of commercial real estate is at Matthews Commercial Group/Keller Williams Commercial Real Estate. She also saw the importance of her finance degree paired with a job in commercial real estate. “It is exciting that I can apply my financial background from the Neeley School when asked to analyze financial information for investors as well as calculate the cash flows for different commercial leases,” she said.

Corinne Schroeder helped Colorado-based Brakes Plus Inc. select sites and expand into Fort Worth. “One of my projects was to appeal property appraisals that the company felt were too high. One property came back with the appraised value reduced by over $1 million, about half of the original appraisal, which will lead to a savings of about $15,000 in property taxes on one store alone!” she said.

Interested in hiring TCU finance majors for internships or fulltime positions? Contact the Alcon Career Center in the TCU Neeley School of Business at 817-257-5572. For more info, visit www.neeley.tcu.edu/acc.