It's time for 300 The Fenway's latest installment of Where are they now? This series chronicles the amazing things Simmons College women are accomplishing after graduation.
Meet Katherine (Kat) Machnich, a Finance and Marketing double major from the class of 2013. Kat currently works as an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) Analyst within the Relationship Management department at Brown Brothers Harriman in Boston. We had the chance to catch up with her and see what it's like to work in the field of investment banking.
What is a typical day like at your job?
As an Analyst within Relationship Management, my role is to provide support to the Relationship Managers and Business Development Heads. Tasks include pricing new opportunities, organizing execution of various documents as well as helping with any industry research for potential business opportunities. A typical day is full of numerous meetings. Although it's sometimes difficult to find time to get work done, I enjoy being surrounded by the different teams at the firm and collaborating with those teams on new projects. Since Relationship Management is a client facing role, I am often brought into client meetings which are great experience.
How was the job application process for you?
Since I was part of the internship program the summer before my senior year, there was no formal application process for my current position. However, the application process for the summer internship program was very competitive. During my internship course at Simmons I learned about the opportunity and applied online with a resume and cover letter. I then had a phone interview with an employee in HR followed by an interview with a senior level employee of the firm. Fortunately, both interviews went well and I was offered a position with the Marketing team a couple weeks later. During my senior year, I was offered a position in Relationship Management for the ETF team which I thought better suited my career goals. I then came into the office for an informal interview with three of the team members I currently work with today and was offered the position a couple days later.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The people I work with. I joined a very small group of five other employees who work specifically on ETFs in Relationship Management. Everyone was so welcoming when I first started and willing to help out with anything I needed. All the projects are truly a group effort and everyone's opinion is taken into consideration when making decisions. I think it's important to enjoy what you do every day but I also think it's equally as important to enjoy the people you work with.
How did you know the organization was a good fit for you?
The internship program was a great introduction to the Firm and made me recognize what a good a fit it was for me. I think internships are essential in a career search. Although not all internships turn into full time positions, they are a good indicator of what type of organizations you would and would not like to work for upon graduation.
What was your favorite class you took at Simmons? Why?
My combined undergrad and graduate investments class. Although it was challenging since it was taught at the MBA level, it allowed the undergrads to learn from more experienced students who had jobs in the industry. This allowed us to gain some insight into the jobs we may have one day.
How has it been transitioning into a young professional?
I've found the transition to be very smooth. I feel as though I was ready to get out and start my career. Although I've started to miss classes and interactions with students and professors, I prefer the working life much more. I enjoy going to work each day and having my nights and weekends free of any projects or studying.
How did Simmons help prepare you for your career?
Simmons has helped prepare me for a career in Finance in a variety of ways. In particular, having teachers who have worked in the industry and were able to share real experiences from their positions was very helpful. They were able to teach the coursework in a realistic manner that we could all apply once out of school. Additionally, working with my peers in group projects taught me how to work with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds. I learned that you can achieve something much more valuable with others than you could on your own. Lastly, Simmons has helped me adapt to a fast paced industry. I have been able to deal with a number of assignments in a timely manner due to the time management skills I learned throughout my college career. Overall, I believe Simmons and in particular the SOM, prepares young women to be powerful leaders in business.
What advice would you give the current Simmons undergraduate students?
I would encourage all Simmons students to apply for as many internships, fellowships, work student positions, etc. as possible. Although school is hectic, if you stay focused and committed to the job search, you should have no problem finding something. Although it may be discouraging at times, never lose hope.