This is part of series of posts by recipients of the 2020 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Gergely Gyumolcsos, COL ’22
While my internship experience this summer has been quite different from what I had imagined, I’m very happy to work in a field I’m truly passionate about. This summer I interned at a smaller real estate investment firm, focusing on the hospitality sector. My reasons for choosing this internship were twofold. First, since my grandfather worked in construction, I developed a passion for buildings from a young age. Second, I enjoy analytical problem solving and have an aptitude for quantitative work, which is why I’m also interested in the investing side.
In terms of my internship experience, the biggest change was that, because of the COVID pandemic, instead of working in New York City, I was working remotely from Philadelphia. Even if I saw this as a setback at the beginning, I soon realized that having flexibility in my work and being close to some of my friends provided a fulfilling summer experience nonetheless. Another consequence of the pandemic was that, unfortunately, my firm had to downsize, which resulted in me having a lot more work and responsibilities. I definitely enjoyed this challenge as it allowed me to learn more by doing the work of a typical analyst, not just an intern.
Working in the hospitality sector, I witnessed the harsh realities of the pandemic’s effect on the general economy. Lodging businesses were especially hit hard and many hotels had to close down and lay off most of their staff. This is where I think my firm’s work made some difference. For example, we were looking at many deals to provide rescue capital to hotels to help them get through the pandemic and consequently help people keep their jobs. Knowing this helped me keep motivated while I was working through countless excel models.
One final aspect of my summer internship that I really appreciated was the fact that I was working at a smaller firm. As a result, I was directly reporting to senior leadership and joined most internal calls with the partners. Even if I wasn’t leading these discussions, I had the chance to have a glance into how decisions are made at the highest level, which I found to be a great learning opportunity. I also feel that I developed a strong professional and personal relationship with my coworkers, for which I’m very grateful. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better summer experience and I have Career Services to thank for that.