Spotlight on Internships
Master’s degree student Yue (Joy) Zhuang interned with Greencourt Capital, Inc., in North Bethesda, Maryland. Greencourt Capital’s parent company is a public traded company on Shanghai Stock Exchange and has both Chinese and American clients. She worked as a Financial Analyst Intern and was responsible for providing due diligence support through market research and industry analysis, creating investor presentations for capital raises, and composing real estate marketing report on focus areas.
Joy enjoyed the opportunity to participate fully in the process of project decision making. She stated "As an Intern, I provided market research support after the team received the investment information from our partners. After review and approval by management, the team signed off on the project and [the interns] started working on pricing the fund product with financial modeling."
Pictured L to R: Crystal Jiang (Cornell University, Financial Analyst Intern); Yue (Joy) Zhuang; Yi Lu (Greencourt Capital, Inc., Fund Manager and Executive Assistant to the President).
She found the biggest challenge to be financial modeling but was fascinated by Chinese investors, especially the high net worth individuals' awareness of asset allocation and willingness to have foreign asset and foreign real estate in their portfolio for the diversification. During the internship, Joy also researched Opportunity Zones, which were added to the tax code on December 22, 2017. This research utilized her personal financial planning knowledge.
Brandon Fredman, a University of Missouri Personal Financial Planning senior, served Spring 2018 as a tax associate intern for CL Parrish Enterprises Inc., dba. Tami R. Benus, CPA. His responsibilities included entering data from tax documents provided by clients and preparing tax returns while maintaining professional communication with clients to resolve issues with missing documents or answer questions about their small business. "You can really learn a lot about a person by doing their taxes," said Fredman.
Fredman believes that through preparing tax returns he has learned about financial decisions people make, whether good or bad, which teaches the importance of financial literacy. "The financial services industry is about trust. People will give me their social security number, bank info, and essentially a key to their lives. I take this very seriously."
All students in the MU Personal Financial Planning degree program are required to complete an internship in a financial planning industry role to be eligible for graduation. The program is a CFP Board Registered Program that meets the educational requirements for its graduates to sit for the Certified Financial Planner™ exam.
Chris Moore, a University of Missouri Personal Financial Planning senior, serves as an Investments and Retirement Planning Intern at The Bank of Missouri. He is engaged in an experiential learning opportunity enhancing his knowledge of investment management, retirement planning, and fiduciary trust services through conducting research, preparing reports, formulating financial plans, and analyzing investment portfolios. Moore has learned the number one priority for a banking institution, such as The Bank of Missouri, is maintaining the fiduciary relationship with clients. "Learning about client relationships, investments, and retirement planning has been crucial for my growth as an aspiring CFP®," says Moore.