Michael Shen

Michael Shen

Binghamton University

Incoming Actuarial Intern

TIAA

Overall Rating:
Training:
Internship:
Mentorship:
Career Development:

Review Date: Nov 25, 2020

Experience Prior To The Program

I had little to no experience in finance before joining the program. At the time, I completed an introductory finance class at my school, which exposed me to basic concepts like market risk, bonds, and more. Although I enjoyed what I learned, I didn’t have the opportunity to apply my knowledge to real-world settings. Thankfully, I got an advertisement for the Analyst Prep Program one day when scrolling through social media. Upon thoroughly researching what it offered, I decided that it would be a great chance to build upon my understanding of finance, gain a practitioner’s perspective of the field, and sharpen my technical abilities. I ultimately wanted to expand my skillset and improve as much as possible as a business student.

Training Experience

I found the different types of financial modeling exercises to be the most valuable experiences from the training. Seeing Mr. Romero create the models from scratch and actually following his steps and doing it myself has been incredibly eye-opening and rewarding, especially more sophisticated ones concerning LBO and M&A. It definitely honed my spreadsheet modeling skills, which I know will serve me well in any finance role I take on in the future.

Choosing to be part of this program has been the best decision I have ever made for myself professionally, and I strongly recommend it.

Internship Experience

The internship experience was a great transition from the training I got. Having built and projected income statements, balance sheets, and more, I was able to seamlessly model the companies I was assigned to analyze. I managed to learn more about what a stock pitch is like, received meaningful feedback on ways to improve my presentations and research going forward, and am grateful to have gotten to really delve deep into the finance industry.

Mentorship

The one-on-one mentorship was definitely beneficial for me. Mr. Romero was always patient and made sure that I had all of my questions answered about finance in general. Whenever I had concerns about a certain aspect of my internship assignments, such as the assumptions I’d be making in my Excel models, he’d give me a lot of insight and provide me steps/approaches to take.

Career Development

The program gave me the chance to really reflect on the type of career I want to pursue in the future. It helped me narrow down exactly what I want, where my strengths and weaknesses are, and so much more.

Final Remarks

If you're debating whether or not to join, just know that I was in your shoes awhile ago, and choosing to be part of this program has been the best decision I have ever made for myself professionally, and I strongly recommend it. You have absolutely nothing to lose, and the stuff you learn applies to any career you end up pursuing, not just exclusively finance. The real-world, practical knowledge and experience you get is something the traditional classroom does not offer most of the time. This is a fantastic opportunity to grow, and I encourage you to apply!