BNY Mellon
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Joseph Kearns

Major: Economics
Minor: History, Business & the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Pittsburgh

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I searched online on BNY Mellon's website for internship positions and found the one I ended up being hired for.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked in the Treasury Services division of BNY Mellon this summer in Pittsburgh, Pa. My specific role was to work as an intern for the Credit Underwriting Group. I researched the bank's clients through financial statements, as well as Moody's and Standard & Poor's reports. Using this research, I wrote reports assessing the creditworthiness of clients like corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. I also had the opportunity to score a client's internal rating for the bank through subjective and objective criteria.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I already had a good idea before the internship that I wanted to delve into a career in banking and financial services, but this internship made me realize how much I already knew. The courses that prepared me the best for the internship were ECON 351 Money & Banking, ACCTG 211 Financial and Managerial Accounting, and ECON 434 International Finance and Open Economy Macroeconomics. My writing ability that I developed as a History minor was important for me to articulate the complex banking concepts in my reports and integrate relevant evidence. In short, the experience validated the importance of the coursework that I already did.

My internship experience helped me realize that I have the tools I need to have a successful career in banking.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to gain an entry-level position for a bank or financial services company after graduation. I have also given strong consideration to pursuing an MBA with a concentration in Investment Finance. I knew very little about credit underwriting prior to the internship, but I could see myself returning to a similar role as a full-time employee. One path that has intrigued me is the job of a foreign exchange trader, as well as a stock or bond trader, so that is something I might embark on in the future too. My internship experience helped me realize that I have the tools I need to have a successful career in banking.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience for Liberal Arts students who want to pursue a career in banking. It might be true that a business student is the more traditional mold of a candidate for the internship position I had, but my supervisor saw traits in me that led him to believe I would thrive in BNY Mellon. My analytical writing ability made me an excellent communicator when I needed to write reports on the company's clients. My knowledge of current events was invaluable for my interview, as I showed that I am knowledgeable about the economic and even political influences on the banking industry. If you are interested in a banking position, you do not have to be a business major, but you will need to show that you are knowledgeable and curious about the industry. I would recommend taking some Economics and business courses to complement a Liberal Arts major, along with reading a publication like the Wall Street Journal, to develop a solid base of knowledge.

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