This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 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 Ffion Opare-Addo, COL ’24
Going into my sophomore year from freshman, one of my biggest goals was to gain work experience in Finance. Therefore, I had begun recruitment very early in the fall semester of sophomore year. However, mid-way into the spring semester, I still had not received any offers. This posed to be quite disappointing as the summer seemed to be fast approaching, until I heard about the VIA Program. Thankfully, I was one of the lucky students to be accepted to participate in a program that would offer me a rewarding international work experience, except without compensation. This certainly did not bother me since I was more concerned about the experience rather than its unpaid nature. I however discovered the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant, and the grant I received made a difference in my ability to fully enjoy my internship.
As my VIA internship has come to a wrap and I look back on my experiences so far, I can say for a fact that they have been very enriching and profound. Since the day I began, it promised to be rewarding for quite a number of reasons. First and foremost, I had the opportunity to be working with a student from Absolute Internships, the placement company in partnership with Penn Global, who was a great working partner on the assignments we were tasked with. Additionally, my manager was so supportive, helpful and was always found to be encouraging and inspiring me throughout my time under his supervision. Nevertheless, my biggest takeaways have been the academic, professional and personal transformations that I have achieved by them.
In addition, this internship provided me with the opportunity to have an in-depth exposure to the field of fintech, and hence a peephole into both finance and the non-traditional parts of finance. My host company was an investment firm that had a start-up fintech company, and I was given the opportunity to work in both sectors. Through this, I got exposed to the cryptocurrency world, digital assets and the technologies underlying these assets. I learned some technological terms such as MPC, API and a lot more. I certainly acquired a wealth of knowledge in this field that I didn’t possess before. Moreover, I had the opportunity to learn the applicable aspects of traditional finance and how the terms such as market capital, revenue and equity were used to determine the profitability of a firm.
Furthermore, this internship surely gave me the opportunity to practice and hone a plethora of skills that I can apply in my professional life in future. More specifically, I was able to tremendously improve upon my communication skills through the creation of PowerPoint presentations for different purposes, drafting write-ups and making presentations before different audiences. In addition to that, I believe I was able to apply the technical knowledge that I have acquired to real-life instances, and it would be valuable to do likewise in other professional opportunities to come.
In summary, it was my greatest desire to acquire some great work experience during my sophomore summer break, and the VIA internship gave me just that! I had the privilege to work for Notre-Dame Capital, an investment and financial services firm. I also owe many thanks to Career Services for giving me this summer grant and for adding value to my work experience. It has been truly priceless, and I know for a fact that my time spent this summer has not gone to waste but has been worthwhile!