As students athletes we have it ingrained in our minds that the best way to guarantee success is through preparation and practice. Those attributes, preparation and practice, will continue to lead to success in all aspects of life after athletics. This is what makes a student athlete so valuable to an employer. An athlete’s drive to succeed and work ethic to practice and prepare make them strong assets to most firms.
The last two summers I have had the opportunity to prepare for a successful future by interning with Merrill Lynch – Bank of America. Merrill Lynch is the investment banking and financial planning side of Bank of America. I worked with the Global Wealth Management Team in Bellevue, Washington. My boss, a UGA football alum, is a great mentor and businessman and I am very fortunate to have spent the last two summers learning from him and his team.
The first summer I spent at Merrill Lynch I worked on excel documents, filing, online documentation, organizing and condensing documents, and communicating with some clients. This past summer I worked on two large projects. I managed a mock portfolio of $100,000 throughout the 12-week internship. I also created a presentation forecasting macroeconomic factors affecting the stock market for Fall 2016. This presentation was later used when the advisors presented the document to clients during second quarter meetings and phone calls. The purpose of my internship was to “dip my toes in the real world” and start to understand the ins and outs of investment banking and wealth management. I spent these summers preparing for a career that I am very passionate and enthusiastic about.
I would encourage any student athlete to take the time to do an internship if possible. I know that our schedules as athletes can be very demanding and rigorous, but the experience and knowledge you receive through doing an internship are vital to a professional career after athletics. The “real world” is not as scary as it seems, and as it dawns closer for me, I am thankful to have spent two summers preparing for the challenge and settings myself up for a successful transition from college athlete to real world adult.