Last March, I was hired as an intern for the Private Markets Research team within the Alternative Investments Division at Russell Investments. My primary purpose was to provide research support on private real estate fund managers. When you intern at Russell, you are a full member of the team. Your coworkers will have high expectations, you will work on real projects, and you will interact with real partners. I appreciated knowing that my opinions and contributions made a difference.
I was responsible for producing materials that summarized findings from the research and analysis on private market funds as well as market trends, and distributing these documents to appropriate parties. I created and used data analyzing tools within Excel to aid in my market research. One of my ad hoc projects was a comparative research paper on public and private market fee structures that was used across multiple divisions within Russell. During the summer, Russell hosted two different speaker series for the interns. One provided advice and insight for individuals hoping to grow their career in the business world and the other gave a greater understanding of Russell’s functions as an investing and consulting business. At the end of the summer we were given the choice to put together an internship-culminating presentation as a way of practicing our speaking skills. I am thankful I decided to do this because the CEO of the company decided to listen to my presentation. I can honestly say that being able to speak eloquently in front of him helped me to be able to answer questions about my internship in following interviews with ease.
If I could give any advice for students still hoping to find an internship it would be: follow up and ask questions. Hiring managers and individuals within HR are very busy. A simple email explaining that you enjoyed the interview and are still very interested in the opportunity will never hurt you. Once you’ve landed your internship, my advice would be: reach out to coworkers outside of your team with “I’m an intern on ____ team. If you have some time, I would love to hear more about your role and how you got to that position.” It’s not only a great way to get more out of your time at the company but it’s great networking as well.”