Long Time, No See

Hello again! Just weeks after finishing my International Consulting Project with CEOLI, it is now time for my next international adventure. This summer, I will be working for Paris-based think tank Finance Innovation as a FinTech Research Intern, where I will be monitoring the latest developments in European FinTech, and I will help with organizing clusters with partners to discuss these developments.

Although I introduced myself to you guys back before the beginning of my International Consulting Project (check it out here if you did not catch it), life moves fast! At Consulting Academy, PittBusiness has promoted me from Director of Development to become the organization’s first student president, and I am leading the effort to get us registered as an official student organization. This will allow us more opportunities to recruit new members, access to funds from the Student Government Board, and marks the completion of the organization’s transition from a university initiative to a student-led endeavor. After spending a full year as a Junior Analyst in Panther Equity’s healthcare sector, I am also now ready for the next step so I am seeking promotion to the Senior Analyst position, where I would bear more responsibility with the allocation of portfolio funds and I would teach other members key concepts about investing.

These moves that I am making in student organizations are reflective of my professional interests in both management consulting and finance. Both my upcoming internship at Finance Innovation and my previous internship at Global Financial Services have very much been geared towards finance. However, I am keeping my hand very active in management consulting as well. Earlier this month I joined Boston Consulting Group for their Bridge to Consulting Program, a one-day program including consulting-related workshops, guest speakers, and presentations. After successfully completing their case and behavioral interviews, I have been offered the opportunity to participate in their one-week Externship program, where join a real-life BCG case team from the Pittsburgh office. This will take place in August, after I complete my internship at Finance Innovation.

Academically, I have added a second major, Business Information Systems, to complement my pre-existing Finance major. I feel like there is a lot of synergy between these two fields, and indeed as a FinTech Research Intern, I will have the ability to see the crossroads between the two over the next couple months. After completing my French literature course last semester, I can now celebrate the completion of all the requirements for my French minor.

Although that marks the end of over five years of formal education in the French language, my intention is to continue increasing my proficiency. Particularly, I want to try out more immersive methods. The controlled environment of a classroom allows you to memorize lines, simply study for the next test, and listen to carefully spoken recordings. However, the real world is much more challenging than that. You do not know what to expect, you must know how to react according to the situation, and people use more abbreviations and quirks in their speech. To that end, I hope to challenge myself by making use of my French language skills at Finance Innovation this summer.

Deepening my understanding of the French language will allow me to move freely across North America and speak to almost anyone I see, given my native knowledge of Spanish and my proficiency in English. But the funny thing is… French might not be the only language I practice in this internship. After discovering that my future boss Nicolas is Brazilian, I made sure to toss in a few lines of Portuguese during my interview. Doing this really helped build my relationship with Nicolas, and I presume that it played somewhat of a role in his swift decision to take me on as an intern. So perhaps I will be killing two birds with one stone here.

From a professional development perspective, this program will provide concrete evidence to demonstrate my French language skills to employees, which feeds into the bigger picture of my ability to interact with people of diverse backgrounds. However, I would be remiss to not focus on my core competencies here, and how they will develop. By researching the most recent and cutting edge FinTech technologies, I will get a head start on the technologies that I might encounter in the office years down the road. This experience will also be the first time that I work regular full-time hours for a company, so my work ethic will surely develop throughout the course of this internship.

Ultimately, I chose this internship because of the challenges that it provides for me. You do not learn effectively if you do not test the full extent of your capabilities, and testing my capabilities is exactly what I will be doing this summer as far as language, business, and cultural barriers that I will have to broach to be successful in this internship. I am ready for the challenge, and I cannot wait to get started next week.