Joseph Fotopoulos '20
An Internship in Financial Services
This summer I worked as a Private Wealth Management Operations summer analyst in the Consumer and Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a great experience, as I was able to receive hands-on work within the financial services industry. I was primarily in charge of understanding federal and regulatory requirements with regard to the Bank Secrecy Act, and Know Your Customer processes for my day-to-day work. I learned Microsoft Visual Studio and JSON, with the help of teams in the Technology and Business Intelligence divisions, to complete my individual intern project. I also worked with other interns in different divisions to pitch a process improvement idea in front of senior leaders. We placed first overall in the Salt Lake City office and competed with other interns globally, including teams from Poland, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
I believe my academic background in International Studies helped me adapt to the field of finance. As a Political Economy and Development Studies concentrator, I had no formal finance experience, but I was able to leverage the IS Program's interdisciplinary schema to my advantage. The economics classes I was able to take as major requirements (including Econometrics; Development Economics; and Money, Banking, and Financial Markets) gave me the quantitative background needed to understand the bigger picture overlooking my direct role. Moreover, my political science classes (such as The Politics of International Economic Relations, with Professor David Deese), helped with the qualitative side of the job. I used the skills I learned from analyzing policy to understand the requirements necessary for Private Wealth Management client accounts. Studying as an IS major gave me the ability to acquire new skills in a holistic way. Though I didn't have a computer science or programming background, I was able to quickly pick up JSON thanks to the various classes I’ve taken under different departments (history, sociology, economics, and political science) for my IS major requirements.
I highly encourage any IS major with even a slight interest in financial services to go for it. I believe that my experience with Goldman is not an exception; the IS Program does a great job with preparing you to be adaptable to any future career endeavors. The skills you learn in the classroom are relevant, and can translate into the real world smoothly. I am very thankful to have applied and been accepted to the IS major, and have truly realized BC’s mission of cura personalis, or care for the whole person, through this program. If you have any further questions about my experience within Goldman Sachs, breaking into financial services, courses to take as a PEDS concentration, or any other IS-related topic, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Joseph Fotopoulos '20