Using the Bloomberg Terminal, I continued my work while simultaneously developing my understanding of accounting, finance, and data.
The information from the terminal was used to perform business valuations on some key companies and business intelligence for internal use.
Aside from that, one of my internship tasks was to observe the company's business culture and the way we work.
After a month of observation, I came to the conclusion that the firm is fast-paced and has high expectations for the quality of work that we do.
This went against my undergraduate experience in Minneapolis and graduate education in Boston.
I was taught that you only had one shot with tasks, you hand it in and it's then graded. So, I try to perfect everything the first time without much external input, because there is rarely an opportunity to work as a group or redo it.
In business consulting, the environment is very different.
It has a very collaborative atmosphere where the analysts are constantly working together to help double-check numbers, redesign, or to give advice on the materials that we created.
The work would then be presented to a manager or director. They would go over it again to ask targeted questions on where we found the numbers and to cross-reference it with other sources.
Once it was double and triple checked, we took the feedback to work on another draft.
Though I felt a lot of pressure on creating a high-quality first draft, the opportunity for revision helped relieve some of that stress.
Learning From Experience
One of the biggest lessons that I've learned here is that we should always over-deliver for all of our projects.
MECE is the mantra during our solutions developing phase.
The term MECE stands for Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive and is a framework for grouping and organizing information.
We have to organize our thoughts so that it is clear and concise at the high-level while diving into the details and reasons for the recommendations we are proposing.
During this phase, we often try to create visuals that help us understand the process.
This also helps us think through the problem more thoroughly.
Before the clients even require it, we are already working on next steps because we want to be prepared to answer the hard questions with supporting data.
Motivate Yourself with Goals
I mentioned in my last post about I made a list of goals that I shared with my internship managers and directors.
For me, this list lets me accomplish two main things.
First, it allows me to organize my thoughts, progress, and tasks during my internship period. I have a clear sense of purpose.
It's been helpful in keeping me focused on the big picture, even when I'm doing small tasks like editing a spreadsheet or designing a presentation slide.
By reminding myself of the hard and soft skills that I aim to develop, I become more energized and motivated to work on projects.
Second, I see the list as things I want to include in my future resume.
One of the best tips I've ever received from a mentor was that I always need to quantify my experience and impact.
The list helps me assess the progress and process of achieving my goals.
I highly recommend all interns to gather as much information as possible about their internship placement.
Look at their website, news, social media, and talk to people at the company to draft a list of realistic and measurable goals.
Go through this list as often as you need to and work with your seniors to accomplish them.
The president of the company had read through my list and was incredibly supportive of my goals.
He immediately emailed one of the other managers to be on the lookout for conferences and news release opportunities for me, to help achieve one of my objectives.
With this list, you will spend your internship with intentionality and purpose.
Below is an edited version of my original list, as an example.
List of My Internship Goals
Strengthen quantitative analysis skills and mastery of macroeconomic concepts as it relates to industries we want to expand into or already have expertise
Help any and all team members to produce the best work possible through aiding in research, design, feedback, editing, and writing
Deepen understanding of energy, oil & gas, and technology industries in addition to infrastructure developments in Southeast Asia
Contribute to the work of current and new engagements by using analytic and research skills gained during undergraduate and graduate program
Work with at least two different offices/sections to increase team working skills and adaptability
Network with analysts and leaders; explore opportunities to connect and strengthen the link between my internship and my academic/professional network
Get into the habit of over-delivering and impressing clients with the amount of detail and depth into the challenges, opportunities, and strategies for increasing value for their company in current and new industries
Increase ability to create attractive graphs and charts for data visualization with increased speed
Preliminary expected deliverables (at minimum)
Assist in two current and new engagements with data analysis, research, and diagnosis/prognosis of business development challenges and create strategies
Publish two to five News Releases to enhance my company's reputation as a source of new, precise, and accurate information for businesses in operating countries
Attend two to four conferences, networking events, or professional development courses to build skills relevant to problem-solving and industry expertise
Help organize one to three events to build team cohesiveness and relationship to create optimal work environment relationships
Become primary author/creator of a pitchbook to show potential engagements, internal use, and for our online presence
Read The Intelligent Investor and two other books on investing techniques and theory
Soft skills: Leadership, teamwork, public speaking and presentation, technical and persuasive writing