Tracy gets her foot in the door to the finance industry through her internships.

Tracy (Class of 2024) is a rising senior at Cornell University. She is majoring in applied economics and management with double concentrations in finance and strategy. Tracy is currently an intern at Bank of America in the corporate banking division.

Finance is More Than Numbers

While some may think finance is just plugging in numbers, Tracy reveals that there are more facets to the industry. With Bank of America, she was introduced to managing clients’ financial needs, as well as analyzing earnings and transcripts. Last summer, Tracy also interned at Atalaya, an asset management firm, where she focused on creating models and returns.

These roles allowed Tracy to explore the aspects of finance that she enjoys most. “I really like [that] it’s quantitative in nature,” she explains. “But there’s also this risk management aspect of it. I’ve always liked problem solving.”

In addition to the technical skills, Tracy also gained valuable life lessons about being in the workforce. “I definitely learned how to conduct myself professionally [and] how to add value to the work I’m doing,” she says. “As an intern, [I] feel like this is my opportunity to learn.”

The Importance of Networking

Tracy secured her internships due to her willingness to network. She found it daunting at first – until she realized that everybody has a network to start with, such as through their college or clubs. She secured her roles with Atalaya and Bank of America by liaising with Breakthrough New York board members.

While networking, it is key to build a relationship with the person you’re reaching out to. “You’re surrounded by all these professionals who know what they’re doing and are in the same career that you want to pursue,” she says. “Ask them questions centered around who they are and the work they do.”

Tracy recommends starting early for those who want to pursue finance internships, since those are especially competitive. Regardless of what industry students pursue, ultimately she views internships as an opportunity to put your best self forward.

“Don’t just sit at your desk and do what’s assigned to you. Show that you take initiative, you’re being proactive, and that you want to learn,” she advises.

Connect with Tracy on LinkedIn.

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