Interning in the Field of Finance – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Interning in the Field of Finance

A number of HWS students, including Blake Bonham ’10 (pictured on right), Tom Capalbo ’11 and Stephen Sweeney ’12 are interning this summer with one of the world’s leading financial management and advisory companies, Merrill Lynch. 

Bonham is working with the Management Complex Team in Pittsford, N.Y., where a typical day includes organizing clientele’s accounts, setting up conferences for wholesalers from different mutual funds and investment companies, helping financial advisors gain more options in diversifying their clients’ portfolios, and reporting on the progress of the surrounding Merrill Lynch branches.

Assistant Professor of Economics Warren Hamilton’s courses were very helpful in preparing Bonham for his internship. “Managerial Economics broadened the scope of my understanding for applying the importance of economic optimization,” says Bonham, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in business. The benefits of his internship include working with prestigious advisors who have given him valuable advice for the future, and learning how to become a financial advisor.

Like Bonham, Sweeney is gaining experience in the field of finance at Merrill Lynch. On a typical day at the office in Baltimore, Md., Sweeney will sell stocks and bonds for clients or review portfolios for performance. He credits Associate Professor of Economics Jo Beth Mertens’ statistics course for contributing to his success at his internship, which was facilitated by Hobart alumnus Andrew Meredith ’91. “Learning the vocabulary was difficult at first, but I’m gaining work experience in a field of finance in which I would like to get involved,” he says.

Capalbo, who plans to pursue a career in wealth management or trading, works for a financial advisor on the retail side of wealth management and future financial planning of Merrill Lynch’s Greenwich/Stamford branch. His daily responsibilities include updating total monthly and yearly revenue on mutual funds, and checking on current clients’ portfolios. 

 He credits two professors in particular for preparing him for his internship: his advisor, Assistant Professor of Economics Brian Cooper, and his Macroeconomics professor, Assistant Professor of Economics Feisal Khan.   “My economics professors have helped me by educating me about what goes on in the economy and the way the markets function according to fiscal and monetary policy, and my other professors have taught me to be efficient, punctual, and responsible for my work,” he explains.

Capalbo’s greatest reward is the relationships he has established with his colleagues: “Everyone at the office is extremely helpful and willing to work with me to make sure I get the most out of the experience.”

A young alumna, Jen Ho ’09, was recently hired by Merrill Lynch’s Newton, Mass. branch after completing two internships as an undergraduate: last summer in Boston and last spring in Rochester. “My internships gave me the chance to learn more about Merrill Lynch and its system,” she says. “When I was hired, I already was familiar with the system; I didn’t need training and started working right away.”

Ho graduated with her B.A. in economics and a double minor in public policy and English.  She currently lives in the Boston area and “runs into HWS alums all the time.” Sweeney is involved in Chi Phi and rugby, and is a double major in economics and history with a foreign public policy minor. Capalbo is an economics major with a minor in American Studies, and a member of the hockey team and Theta Delta Xi. Bonham is majoring in economics, minoring in environmental studies, and plays on the varsity hockey team.

Bonham’s internship was funded by the L. Thomas Melly ’52 Endowed Internship Fund.  Sweeney’s was funded by the Ralph A. and Jane M. Pica Endowed Internship Fund.