It’s not easy graduating and not knowing what you want to do, particularly when you don’t really know what most jobs actually involve. I have found internships invaluable in helping me adjust to and explore the world of work and gain a variety of new skills.
WEXO helped me get a paid internship at Guinness Asset Management and I have now spent nearly 2 months there helping with the launch of a new renewable energy fund. I knew little (/nothing) about the world of asset management before Guinness and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to work so closely with very experienced fund managers and to see a fund at such an early stage. It has been a brilliant insight into the sector but also much more than that.
In the start-up stage of a fund the focus is on marketing; on reaching as many potential investors as possible and explaining the investment opportunity. I have had an important part to play in this from the start (and have consequently never felt that my work is peripheral – too often the case with intern work) and have enjoyed being part of a small team. On the marketing side my work has involved keeping track of contacts, organizing presentations, calling up Independent Financial Adviser (IFAs) and collecting news stories that might impact upon investor confidence. I have also attended meetings with solar developers and seen the work involved in building up a strong pipeline of projects so the fund is ready to be invested as soon as it is raised.
Through this experience I have learnt about the investment process and the key elements of a fund (its investment strategy, the risks, measures to mitigate risk, and the exit strategy) as well as marketing in the financial sector (the value of as personal and tailored approach as possible) and the renewable energy sector (particularly the threats and opportunities). In fact the list goes on as I have also developed a number of general office skills such as mail merge which will always be useful to know.
It has thus been an incredibly worthwhile experience that will stay with me forever, as well as a really enjoyable one.