This blog post was authored by SageBroadview summer intern Zachary Bennedsen.
Brew the coffee. Shred the documents. Scan the files. These may be the types of tasks you think of when you hear the phrase, “summer intern.” At the end of a summer of completing menial tasks, this hypothetical intern could add his or her “experience” to a resume and try to convince potential employers that he or she brought real value to the previous firm.
At least from my personal experience, I’m happy to report that the above picture proved to be a relic of a different era. I spent this past summer interning at SageBroadview, and could not have asked for a better gig, with more relevant experience for my future career. While I did brew plenty of coffee (usually for myself!) I also got to work on a variety of meaningful tasks. At a boutique firm like SageBroadview, employees work on all facets of the business. Consecutive days spent on the same exact task are few and far between, as there are always new projects cropping up.
As an intern, this was a perfect environment. Every day I came into the office and worked on something fresh. From data reconciliation to wage projections, I saw just about every side of financial planning. As a learning opportunity, this daily variety was fantastic. While the paycheck was great to have (college bar money, anyone?), even more valuable was the wealth of experience I earned throughout the summer.
I know that my experience working for SageBroadview was valuable to me, but what about for SageBroadview? Sure, I learned a lot, but did I actually help the firm? Did I help the clients? With confidence, I can say “yes.” As I mentioned earlier, my days were not spent doing busy work. The projects I worked on were not just throwaway ones, foisted on me so I would stay out of the “real” employees’ hair. On any given day I was involved in tasks for three or four different clients, sometimes more.
Perhaps most rewarding was sitting in on client meetings, and seeing a document I had prepared being shown to a client. When this happened, I was able to see my efforts carried through from initial research to implementation, and it gave me an immense feeling of satisfaction.
Since my internship (and summer) has ended, I have been back in Blacksburg, Virginia. I’m currently a senior at Virginia Tech, and I am having a blast during my final year in school.
However, I haven’t completely stepped away from SageBroadview. I enjoyed my internship so much that I am now working remotely for the team up North. While my classes are doing a great job of preparing me for my future career as a financial planner, nothing beats real-world experience. SageBroadview was gracious enough to continue to grant me this experience, even beyond my summer internship. Between classes and studies, I reward myself by finding time to help SageBroadview for a few hours each week.
If you still don’t believe the paper-shredding intern is a thing of the past, just know that I don’t even have a shredder down here. And while I may still brew a lot of coffee, it’s still all for me!
Sage Serendipity: Well not everyone is lucky enough to get a “Zach” for their internship positions. Business Insider compiled a list of the 10 Interns Who Screwed Up Massively. Yes, it includes the intern with the National Transportation Safety Board who after the crash of Asiana Flight 214 confirmed to a television station four fake racist names of the pilots who then read them on-air…and Monica Lewinsky.