According to Alex Firestone, his experience at Ameriprise Financial Services was exactly what was necessary for his career. It was an unpaid internship, but according to Firestone “was more of a resume-booster and very valuable experience.” He was able to work on personal qualities while retaining new knowledge on the financial sector, the asset management industry, and Ameriprise Financial itself.
First, Firestone wanted to really emphasize the relationships he gained, using social skills to meet with old/new clients. By establishing relationships with clients, they felt comfortable enough to let him sit in on their meetings. These meetings provided him with the most opportune learning objectives: which questions to ask, which information to give clients, and when to use sense of humor while advising. Other skills he worked on were organization and time management, of which both qualities improved immensely over the summer.
Ameriprise was important for expanding his professional network relationships, too. Besides for new connections with clients and advisors on LinkedIn, Firestone also had discussions with the advisors about their past job experience. Mr. Kalish has worked as an advisor for over 25 years, Mrs. Paolicelli used to work at the United Bank of Scotland, and Ms. Haughney used to work at Merrill Lynch. They all asked for his resume to distribute, and Ms. Haughney even offered him a job at her new branch of Ameriprise.
He did a lot of Excel work, too. According to Firestone, he “created a detailed Excel report of all of the advisors’ client portfolios. Because of that, the advisors were able to see the problems that needed fixing for certain clients.” After problems were found, the advisors showed him how Ameriprise sets targets, sets proposals, rebalances portfolios, and then trades securities. They did that through the use of a program called Thomson ONE from Thomson Reuters. This was by far the best financial advisory tool he had seen. He was able to research, compare, run reports, and set alerts for various securities. Using this program to surround himself with market statistics and immense amounts of securities research “truly allowed him to broaden his knowledge of the national and international economies.”
In conclusion, Firestone believes his internship at Ameriprise Financial was extraordinarily invaluable. “Motivation, hard work and a yearning to learn more” fueled his path to an excellent experience.