Review Date: Aug 24, 2021
I did not come from a finance background so my knowledge in finance was little to none. I joined the Associate Program because I wanted to change my career and join the finance industry. My goal was to learn the skills necessary to break into the finance industry and to position myself as an eligible candidate for job openings.
I found the case study – the Amazon investment case, the most valuable. It allowed me to utilize and picture all the things that I had learned up to that point in one project. It was a complete example of how everything came together and how a company is analyzed from scratch. It helped me to learn the steps and structure necessary in equity research. This is extremely helpful because I am able to break down the steps and explain the analysis/valuation process if it comes up during interviews.
Before joining the Associate Program, I could not even explain or know the difference between the three financial statements. The training broke down the difficulty; I improved a little with each lecture, module, and example. Slowly but surely, I improved my knowledge and was able to perform financial analyses on companies.
To me, the internship was the most challenging and yet most rewarding in the Associate Program. It was difficult to work 70-80 hrs/week full time, commute another 2-3 hrs and work on assigned projects. However, working on real companies with their latest reported information and reading up on the current news/trends in that particular industry makes it interesting; it makes it “real”.
The training before the internship helped me immensely. Before joining this program, I could not even explain or know the difference between the three financial statements. The training broke down the difficulty; I improved a little with each lecture, module, and example. Slowly but surely, I improved my knowledge and was able to perform financial analyses on companies.
The one-on-one mentorship sessions were crucial during the internship phase. It not only gave me a platform to ask specific questions and learn helpful tips in doing financial analyses, but it also provided a glimpse of how things are done at investment banks. The analyst’s financial analysis is looked over by an associate for errors and corrections before being passed through the chain to the Managing Director. Likewise, my work during the internship phase was reviewed, rectified, and polished before it could be ready for final presentation in front of Mr. Romero.
Additionally, Mr. Romero and Michael were also always there to support morally during the internship phase. They understood the time commitment and challenge that came with juggling full-time work and the program. They were extremely understanding, cooperative, and never gave up on me.
Through this program, I was able to completely re-brand myself and apply to positions in the finance industry. Prior to this program, I could not put skills such as “financial analysis” that are crucial to most of the positions in my resume or had a portfolio of work valuing companies.
I stumbled upon this program purely by chance while applying to any and every finance job postings out there during the wee hours of the night on a weekday. And it was exactly what I needed at that stage of my career. I was going nowhere in my pursuit of a career change and the only option seemed like completing an MBA, which was out of my financial capability. The Associate Program seemed promising and it delivered as it was advertised on its website! To any students hesitant about joining, I would say just do it. As cliche as it may sound, this is truly an investment in your career. I am thankful I took the step and did because, without it, I would still be applying to jobs in the finance industry without sufficient knowledge or experience, and going nowhere.