KUSCO News WEST Intern of the Month

Testimonial of my internship at Merrill Lynch by Vanessa Dongsuk Kim (WEST Round 4)

In a bright and shiny office which overlooks the main streets of Washington D.C., with high-flying, incumbent financial advisors and stock traders, you find yourself working as an intern, starting the very first phase of your future career. Even before 9 o’clock in the morning, people are already making phone calls staring their multiple computer screens and try to catch up whatever has changed in the market through the previous night.

As an intern, you will be supervised on your work at all times, and your performance will be evaluated on a regular basis. The intern mostly works with a workstation, which is a software installed on the computer and connected by Merrill Lynch intranet. It takes a while to get used to the program because it is a highly-sophisticated program and has a lot of different functions. Even though the system is controlled and monitored at all times, it is very important that the intern uses the system properly. You have access to a lot of financial information and the actual sources that are only intended for Merrill Lynch staff. You have to make sure that any information that is for internal use only does not leave the office, either by intention or by accident. Any inappropriate usage of information that is confirmed may lead to termination of employment.

The Intern’s job extends from basic printing and documentation to actually building financial reports that will be sent to the current Merrill Lynch clients. There are jobs that need to be done every month such as keeping record of stock products or updating fund portfolios. One of other more complicated jobs is when you run hypothetical reports. This job takes full attention and utter focus because every digit should be entered correctly. Clients hold different accounts, different funds, and you have to run a number of hypotheticals and figure out the scenario that has the highest rate of return and best fits the client’s wishes and situation. This kind of financial report will be used by the financial advisors and reviewed by clients. Working under incumbent financial advisors and helping them with their preparation for the financial future of their clients, you get to learn what it takes to become a good financial advisor.

Another benefit for working at Merrill Lynch is that you can enjoy being a Bank of America associate. With Merrill Lynch being part of Bank of America Corporation, the intern has to go through a very detailed and complicated application process. Once all your information and documents are cleared and verified, you have to take Bank of America’s excellent ‘Compliance Courses,’ in which you learn about Code of Ethics, Anti-Money Laundering, Information Protection & Privacy, etc. You come to understand how important it is as an associate to understand the accountabilities for upholding laws and regulations, and how each line of business fits into this whole giant corporation and makes profit. In addition, through corporate email, you get numerous invitations to various seminars, non-profit events, or regular Bank of America associate gatherings. You are always welcome to join whatever event appeals to you. It will be a very good networking opportunity to meet new people in other offices, make connections, and enlarge your social circle.



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