Putting Classroom Knowledge to Work: Gabrielle Freeman ’20 Talks Internships
My coursework taught me the fundamentals of the work that I did at my internships... My internships gave me the opportunity to take what I had learned in class and apply it to my tasks.
Can you tell us about your internships at Howland Capital and/or Northwestern Mutual?
My internships at Howland Capital and Northwestern Mutual were both in wealth management departments. At Northwestern Mutual, the main project I worked on was to create a valuation of Delta Airlines and present it to the large capitalization stock team for investment consideration. I also helped work on investment proposals for potential new clients. Finally, I worked on completing annual compliance reports for each portfolio manager.
At Howland Capital, I worked on investment projects including investment research and excel sheets. The work varied from week to week based on the needs of the investment team. I did some interesting research on biopharmaceutical companies and did an analysis of the debt that each company held in the investment portfolio held.
How did your coursework at the School of Business prepare you for these internships?
My coursework taught me the fundamentals of the work that I did at my internships. Additionally, my School of Business classes helped me understand what was going on in the meetings I attended. My internships gave me the opportunity to take what I had learned in class and apply it to my tasks.
What are the most valuable lessons you learned from this experience?
I’ve learned to be flexible. If you show flexibility and a willingness to learn, your manager will trust you and give you projects outside your comfort zone. When I was working at Howland, my flexibility paid off when my manager gave me a research project on biopharmaceutical companies and Chimeric Antigen Receptor Therapy (CARTs). The information I was given was almost like reading a different language because of all the acronyms. By the time I finished the project I had a much better grasp on the biopharmaceutical industry. I learned a lot through that experience, which I wouldn't have been given if my manager didn't think that I was flexible and up to the task.
Will you do another internship before graduating?
This summer I worked for PNC Bank in their institutional asset management group in Baltimore! I also hope to continue working for Howland Capital when I return from my semester abroad and my summer in Baltimore.
What is your advice to students?
Don’t be afraid to apply for everything! I had no connection with Northwestern Mutual when I applied. I probably applied for more than 30 internships last winter some of which I was under-qualified for. Luckily a recruiter at Northwestern Mutual's corporate office read my application and requested that I interview. If I hadn't have taken the time to apply I wouldn’t be where I am today, with multiple internships under my belt.
Also, get to know your business professors. They’ve all worked in their field and know what they’re doing! They want to help you. Go to them for advice on your internships and applications. They are all happy to help and can provide so much wisdom.