Focus on Internships: Finance

by Austin Costello, UCSB Career Peer

This year our internship in finance panel was a great success. We had representatives from Corner Capital, Cetera Advising Networks, Wells Fargo, and Southern California Gas Company. Students got a feel for the different opportunities available in companies of different sizes and industries.

Andy Weber, of Corner Capital came to talk about his boutique investment banking firm located in Santa Barbara. His company focuses on the energy business and handles mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and transaction financing. Corner Capital also has offices in Los Angeles and Houston.  Corner Capital typically hires 1 to 2 people through UCSB’s Finance Connection student organization during the spring.  Interns begin working either in April or May and work throughout the summer. The internship is unique as Corner Capital’s team is very small, so there is a lot of one-on-one interaction and your ideas are always welcome!

Cetera Advisor Networks sent Kayvon Salafian to represent their company and share his expertise about financial planning. Located in Santa Barbara, Cetera Advisor Networks is an Investment Advisory firm that specializes in retirement planning for educational professionals. This company offers two different types of year-round internships: administrative assistants and client service representatives. Kayvon explained that they are seeking students who want to start a career in the financial industry and who are eager to learn everything Cetera Advisor Networks can teach them.

Travis Aldave is the branch manager of the Wells Fargo stationed in Isla Vista. Travis is part of Wells Fargo’s retail team, but he explained the company handles both retail and private banking. Wells Fargo has great internship opportunities in commercial real estate, leadership development, commercial and corporate lending, securities, wealth, brokerage and retirement, and auditing that are described in detail on their website.  All of these internships take place over the summer and are a great way to learn about the financial industry.

Two representatives from Southern California Gas Company, Evan Goldman and Ashley Arlotti, attended the panel as well. Evan runs the internship program in accounting, finance, and operations. They accept applications for intern positions until the end of February, and students are expected to work throughout the summer. Following the internship program, students have the opportunity to apply for a full-time, rotational program for graduates that provides them with a more in depth experience of working with the company and puts them on track to be a permanent employee for Southern California Gas Company. Ashley is currently a part of this program and thoroughly enjoys it.

All of the panelists had great advice for students hoping to break into the financial industry. First and foremost, all of them agreed that will is more important than skill. Although a highly qualified candidate is a great option for recruiters, these companies prefer well-rounded students with positive attitudes who are eager to learn over 4.0 students who lack these qualities. In addition to this, all of the representatives agree that communication skills play a huge role in the financial industry and are crucial for candidates to demonstrate to recruiters. Developing strong analytical and problem solving skills are also important to highlight as well. Students are also encouraged to keep up with current events and research the companies they are applying to, to better their chances of getting hired. Lastly, here are some general tips in being successful within this industry:

  • remain open-minded about opportunities that arise
  • be patient with the competitive job market
  • make recruiters believe you want this position
  • finish strong academically in school and get head start on licensing exams (if applicable) 

Overall, the internships in finance panel provided other students and myself with many helpful tips for acquiring a job in finance. We are all so thankful that the representatives took time out of their busy schedules to talk to us about how to be successful in the future!

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