By Ella Ozer ’17 BSBA (Business Management)
This summer, I interned at Fisher Investments in Tempe, Arizona – a financial firm with a twist on its perception on the financial world. This is the only internship I have had and therefore my first time exposed to the ins and outs of how a company actually runs.
As a millennial, I am quite skeptical of what I read and trust on the internet. Most businesses have a mission and vision. They are for the most part very positive and have to do with making some sort of grand effect on the world. So you have to wonder… do the people working there actually believe this stuff?! The answer here at Fisher is, “Yes, they do.” This was a relief to see and gave me a renewed faith in humanity. I don’t know about other firms, but here at Fisher everyone is so focused about doing well for the company and the common thread that I have seen between employees is they believe in what the company represents.
During the first few days of orientation, the new hire class got a chance to listen to multiple people. No matter how interesting the topic, the presenters were all awake, lively, happy to be there, and energized. Of course, that’s a good quality to have during a presentation, but during the one hour that they got to interact with us, each and every one of them mentioned the client focused strategy that FI holds. It was soothing to see employees who genuinely wanted to be at work because they believed in the greater vision of the firm. In the work space, one of the employees has a taped piece of paper with the quote “bettering the investment universe” on the back of their computer monitor. To say the least, the people here are proud of their work, which is a great quality to have throughout an entire firm.
My first week on the job at Fisher Investments, an executive asked me to do research on a specific topic and deliver it within the next few days. Thanks to the business communication program, I knew how to compile the information I found in a professional format. My points were concise and my research was easy to skim. One of the first weeks into the communications course, we had a mock exercise on how to perform in this exact situation. When it was time to send in my research, I knew how to properly structure my e-mail to someone in management.
During my time interning with the human capital department, they assigned me the responsibility of planning a case competition for all of the interns. The case competition structure at Fisher Investments is a little different from the one at Eller, but nonetheless I felt prepared for the ins and outs involved in planning the competition because of that experience.
In addition to planning the competition, I also had the opportunity to participate in it. Eller taught me how to plan and prepare for a presentation in a condensed amount of time. I did not need to spend time researching what a good presentation entails, but instead could dive into perfecting my presentation right away.
Taking a step into the business world, I was taken aback at first, because it was like stepping into a giant networking event. The difference was it did not seem forced anymore. I was immediately thankful for Eller as I small-talked my way through my first day and recognized the improvement from my freshman-year self.
Those around me have told me that what I learn at school will not apply in the real world and I want to challenge that. I may not need to have every finance equation memorized or know the terminology of bringing a product into the market. Nonetheless, I am happy to say that Eller has helped me feel familiar with many of the tasks that have come my way and has taught me to handle new and uncomfortable situations that will inevitably come my way.
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.