Welcome to our ongoing series that answers your questions. This week, we asked Greg your question about the fresh faces and young talent seen in the office during the summer months. Here is his answer. Send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: Why does Wambolt welcome interns into the W&A workplace?
Answer: For two summers now, Wambolt & Associates has welcomed interns to the firm. Their fresh ideas and positive energy are contagious. Our interns have made important contributions to the team and developed valuable skills that can be used as they move on in their careers. Or in the case of Giulia Silva, our first intern, come back to work with us after graduation.
We are committed to bringing hungry talent to the firm through our summer intern program. Among the many benefits to our clients, the firm and the interns themselves:
1) Industry-leading actions. The use of interns is popular among Registered Investment Advisors. In a 2011 Adviser Compensation & Staffing Study, 43% of firms that participated in the study said they employ interns. What interns typically do ranges from clerical and data gathering duties to investment research, reporting, account maintenance, and marketing.
Our interns may also help prepare for client meetings and shadow certain advisers, largely as an observer rather than a participant. We’ve invited interns to participate in financial planning sessions to gain an understanding of what it is our clients are looking for and striving to achieve. This contextualizes their everyday tasks, allowing our interns to associate a name, a face and a goal with what they do, personalizing the experience and creating vested interest in their efforts to always do better.
2) Interns as employees. We treat our interns like employees because they are. The study found that among firms offering internships, 88% were paid internships.
By employing our interns, we’re able to set expectations for standards of conduct, trust and confidentiality, the hallmarks of our service. We require our interns to look the part, act the part and learn the business and what it’s like to be a financial advisor. Interns are expected to take on real responsibility to have a meaningful experience during their time at Wambolt.
3) Top talent trained our way. Wambolt is in a space that tends to attract high-performing interns. This means we have our pick of the ‘cream of the crop’ students. By hiring rising talent, we also take on the responsibility for developing that talent, coaching and mentoring them with our time and experience, building skills, ethics and a culture of client focus.
We’re honored to act as a role model, reinforcing the value of learning and building processes that support the firm and their own personal development. Alongside everyday tasks, we provide real world learning by asking our interns to perform large projects, such as financial modeling and video development, that stretch their skill sets in new ways.
Among the two classes of interns we’ve employed so far, we’ve enjoyed training them our way, with our culture and approach to multi-advisor wealth management. We know wherever their careers take them in the future, our distinct business model will go with them, in forming their decisions and professional conduct.
4) Multigenerational firm. We are always looking to the future and the need for continuing leadership. Our employees and their development are integral to that future. As a multigenerational firm that will survive long after today’s principals move on, our clients know there will be a financial firm in place continuing to serve them well.
The interns of today will be our advisors of tomorrow, ensuring this continuity. Unlike advisory firms with $1 million account requirements, we don’t have a minimum for an individual to become a client. We want the next generation to begin a relationship with us and the planning process to building and preserving their wealth. We want young talent entering the job force, like Giulia Silva and Jovi Rodriguez, to connect with clients their own age and walk with these clients throughout their entire financial journey.
5) Building relationships. By offering training, we’ve attracted interns who are looking to better themselves. That’s employees we want to hire in the first place, and we have. When Giulia graduated, we snapped her up and she’s proven to be as capable, ready for promotion and energetic with new tasks as the day she entered Wambolt as an intern.
The future is bright. Our internship program is developing next generation talent that will be the foundation for the firm of the future. And that foundation isn’t laid without planning. We are planning in all facets of the business, technology, resources and people, to think ahead of the curve for our clients. Our internship program is just one aspect of that planning.
We look forward to introducing you to our new class of interns next summer!
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