The Learning Never Stops

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My Freshman Summer Internship Experience: Part Two
by Danielle Zukoff, B.A. Economics ’19

After interning for seven weeks at Vested, a Manhattan communications firm that helps financial services companies with their public relations strategies, I can wholeheartedly and confidently say that I would like to continue working in the financial sector. Throughout my time at Vested, I’ve communicated directly with clients, allowing me to gain a deep understanding of the financial industry and reaffirmed my desire to ultimately work within this sector.

As a 19-year old, I wasn’t exactly used to what people call the “real world”, i.e., working from 9am to 6pm Monday–Friday. During my freshman year, I had learned how to balance my school work with my social life, my passion for running, and my joy for reading books. Things got busy at times, and maybe I had to occasionally reschedule dinner with a friend because of an exam, but nothing too crazy back then. I quickly learned from my time at Vested, however, that the “real world” is a little different. Working forty-five hours per week, keeping myself up-to-date with news, and trying to run five days a week while also maintaining a social life isn’t as simple. Once I get home from work, its already 8pm, and I have to be ten hours later, so there are only a few hours I have before I need to start getting ready for bed.

Working a full-time internship has taught me the importance of prioritization, whether it’s deciding how to spend my spare time or determining which article to read. When I get on the NJ Transit at 7am, I sift through the Wall Street Journal as quickly as I can, absorbing the important information and disregarding everything else. Almost every morning, I’m so engaged in an article I’m reading that I literally have to force myself out of my seat to get off the bus. By the time I arrive at work, I feel confident in my awareness of all major events occurring throughout the world, and even more aware of the economic and financial-related news.

I believe this intellectual curiosity that starts the second my alarm goes off in the morning follows me into the workplace. From my first day, I’ve realized how this indispensable trait has allowed me to maximize my time as an intern. Over time, I’ve developed the self-confidence to circulate articles that I found particularly interesting to my entire team, hoping that they would appreciate the email and enjoy reading the article. At work, I’m always keen to offer a helping hand in completing any task, as I know that there’s always something new I can learn.

Throughout my time at Vested so far, I’ve genuinely learned how to take advantage of every second. I know that there isn’t always necessarily a task for me to complete, but I’m never bored. I’m eager to learn more about our clients and expand my knowledge on the financial sector. For me, free time means more time for me to educate myself on the immense and dynamic field of finance. There’s an unlimited amount of information out there, and I know that there’s always going to be something new for me to learn. Instead of sitting at work with no task at hand, I put my head down, and read whatever I can get my hands on.

After only seven weeks, I’ve learned how important it is to possess intellectual curiosity. Without it, I would have spent long hours at work staring into space wondering how to occupy my time. With it, I wonder how there is ever enough time for me to learn everything the world has to offer. At this point, I’ve come to peace with the fact that I will never know everything, but that I can reach a happy medium through always maintaining an intellectual curiosity.

Read “My Freshman Summer Internship Experience: Part One”

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