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The Hardest Goodbye

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By: Danielle Zukoff  | B.S. in Economics  |  May 2019 (Expected)

My Freshman Summer Internship Experience: Part Three-Final Chapter*

My summer internship at Vested, a financial communications agency, unfortunately, had to come to an end. Twelve amazing weeks flew by way faster than I could’ve possibly imagined, and I was definitely unprepared for what seemed like an abrupt ending.

Looking back, I vividly remember day one of my internship. As I walked down Wall Street and passed the New York Stock Exchange, I was awfully intimidated by the countless number of professional looking people in suits heading to work. Over the years, I heard plenty about what working in the financial services sector was like, but not until this summer did I have the opportunity to really experience it for myself. As I reflect on my internship and try to avoid sulking about how it’s over, I realize how much I learned both about myself and the industry in which I ultimately would like to work.

As an Economics major, I didn’t know what to expect from working at a financial communications agency. While I knew how to calculate inflation and find the expected return on any investment, I had virtually no idea what a communications agency did. After working in financial communications, I can proudly say that I’ve expanded my knowledge of the financial services industry through learning about Vested’s clients and also gained an understanding of what financial communications is.

At Vested, I worked with a team of hard-working, passionate, and driven people. This is extremely rare to find, and I recognize how lucky I am to have spent the summer alongside this type of people. Every Monday morning at 9am, Vested holds an editorial meeting, where each team member shares a relevant article about the financial industry from the weekend that he or she found to be particularly interesting. Then, an intellectual discussion follows, in which Vested people engage with one another on the specific story or trend, expressing their thoughts and sharing any other related knowledge they may have.  

I absolutely loved these meetings, and they taught me something plain and simple about myself: I’m a nerd. From my love of reading anything economics-related to my refusal to watch any movie other than a documentary, I probably should have known this already. However, it took my boss to tell me that I was a HUGE nerd to make me super proud of it. Vested taught me that I should embrace my nerdiness, and never be embarrassed by it. Now, I leave Vested, a proud nerd, who never ever plans to look back…

The first lesson I learned from Vested is that it’s alright to be a nerd, so long as I’m a proud one.  Another lesson I learned at Vested was that I wanted, in fact, needed, to be surrounded by other industry nerds. I was super happy at Vested because I could come in on any given day and engage with another Vested member on the fascinating article from The Economist that I read over the weekend. At Vested, I was respected and complimented for bringing in an intellectual desire to learn.

Vested taught me to pursue my passion, whatever that may be. Vested told me that I was young and that this was the time for me to figure out what I didn’t want to do. My boss, who is the CEO of the company, told me to try things I never thought I would ever want to do. He urged me to cross potential careers off my list and encouraged me to find the industry that I’m truly passionate about. After this summer, I’m fairly certain that the field I’m most passionate about is the financial services sector, but I’m completely open to learning about other fields as well. Very rarely do I get as excited as I do when The Economist arrives in my mailbox every Saturday, but, I know that I have to remain open-minded, and would like to become as well-rounded as possible.

Vested will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m forever grateful for the great people I’ve met and the amount I’ve learned. I’m also proud to be a nerd. I learned that I thrive when I’m with other people who love to learn and will always strive to surround myself with intellectually driven individuals.

When I look into the future right now, I almost definitively see myself in the financial services sector. I also know the exact type of people I would like to work with on a daily basis. I’m eager to see what my future holds, and excited to explore my passion for the finance industry.  

*Read Danielle’s past submissions reflecting on her Freshman Summer Internship Experience:
Part One: The Never Ending & Hopeless Search 
Part Two: The Learning Never Stops 

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