June 20, 2008

Our Proximity Advantage: Internships in New York City – Merrill Lynch

Creating career opportunities for Lafayette students. By Jonathan Ellis ’98

Jonathan Ellis ’98 is an analyst in the equity research department at Merrill Lynch in New York City. This summer, he is providing internship experiences for Jill Carey ’09 (Sparta, N.J.), Michael Feniger ’09 (Westfield, N.J.), and Samantha Speer ’09 (Kempton, Pa.).

My success in originally landing a job on Wall Street upon graduation was in part due to the distinguished reputation of Lafayette as an institution that provides a diverse liberal arts education. The competition for positions in the finance industry has increased since I entered the working world 10 years ago, and therefore, I want to help current students seek out the same opportunities that I was fortunate enough to be presented with at the beginning of my career.

The ability of the school to effectively prepare students for the working world is reflected in the fact that three Lafayette students were accepted into the highly competitive internship program within the Merrill Lynch Equity Research Department for the summer of 2008.

The program allows students to become immersed in the daily responsibilities of one analyst team rather than rotating through multiple teams, which we believe will allow the students to make a more well-informed decision as to whether equity research is a field in which they would like to spend their career.

Tasks that the students are presented with include the building of basic financial models for companies, writing reports detailing background information on an industry, and making calls to customers, distributors, and suppliers within an industry in order to determine demand trends for a particular product.

I have been very impressed with the ability of the three students to roll up their sleeves and tackle the tasks that they have been presented with thus far, which in many cases are requiring them to make use of knowledge gained through courses taken as part of their majors.

I believe that the geographic positioning of Lafayette serves as a key advantage in seeking out internship opportunities in the finance industry given the relative lack of distinguished schools that are within such a short driving distance of New York City. This geographic proximity allows students to more easily stay in touch with their internship hosts even after the program has ended, which enhances the likelihood of ultimately receiving a full time employment offer.

I feel a sense of satisfaction in knowing that the students who have been selected for our internship program this summer are not only being given the opportunity to prove their own capabilities but also the chance to reinforce the reputation of Lafayette as a preeminent liberal arts school.

  • Our Proximity Advantage: New York City internships and externships are a part of the unique Lafayette student experience
  • Economics & Business

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