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by Emily Grandjean (@eg41)

[This writer interviewed Wellesley sophomore Meredith Nakayama about her experience as an intern for UBS Investment Bank last summer. Nakayama is currently undeclared, but expects to major in both History and Political Science.]

What were your primary responsibilities as an intern for UBS?
I had a large number of responsibilities as a UBS intern. My internship was a little unique; most of the interns hired by that office were marketing interns and ended up cold calling. I had the privilege of getting more into the finance portion of wealth management. I worked on projects including business development, portfolio modeling, client service operations, account operations, investment, and market research.

What personal attributes helped you succeed most in your internship?
I found that the Wellesley education had helped to prepare me for my internship. The tremendous workloads you are given as a student teach you hard work, efficiency, and how to learn on the job. All three of these attributes were crucial to my success in working at UBS.

What new skills did you acquire during your internship?
Technical writing and communication skills. I was also trained in (UBS-specific) financial goal identification and Morningstar.

What was the most enjoyable part of the experience?
How much I learned. Not only about the industry, but also what it is like to work in an office space. It was refreshing for me to be a student, but not the type that has to sit behind a desk to learn.

What surprised you, if anything, about your experience?
I was surprised as to what the financial industry is really like. The biggest thing was that to work in finance you have to have a really thick skin. You are constantly losing and gaining clients, and you have to get used to the idea that you will be fired sometimes. You also have to network constantly to keep your opportunities open. This internship really opened my eyes to my possibilities.

Do you have any new insights into the industry, and if so, what are they?
I found after this internship I was questioning if finance was a good career choice for me. I would strongly recommend anyone who plans to go into finance to first try to intern and see if that is the type of work they would like to do.

What advice would you give to people seeking to work for UBS?
Be confident. If you don’t believe that you deserve the job, they definitely won’t.