This summer, 15 high-school students from First Generation Investors (FGI) participated in an 8-week long internship led by financial advisors from The Sanczyk Group at Northwestern Mutual. Interns learned about a range of topics including asset allocation, retirement planning, student loans credit and insurance from the team at The Sanczyk Group. “Working with Jude and the FGI students has been an absolute pleasure,” says Steven Sanczyk, “the internship demonstrates how our team helps our clients achieve their goals and gives the interns an opportunity to hear from guest speakers about their career paths and achievements. We’re excited to have the opportunity to influence their career aspirations and financial futures. It is amazing to see the impact our former intern, Will Juhlin, is having on the FGI Vanderbilt Chapter.” Interns also had the opportunity to listen to various speakers across the finance industry reflect on their careers and offer advice to those interested in learning more about career paths that relate to investing including investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, and trading. One of the interns, Jude Shive, is a student at Valor Collegiate and FGI Vanderbilt. He recently sat down with Vanderbilt Chapter President Will Juhlin to discuss his experience thus far in the internship.
Will: So here we are with Jude Shive, who is an alumnus of the FGI Vanderbilt Chapter and was one of our best students this past spring. This summer Jude is participating in an internship with The Sanczyk Group at Northwestern Mutual. Due to COVID-19 and the events of the past year and a half, Jude is the first of my FGI students that I’ve actually gotten to meet with in person, so, thanks Jude for coming today, it’s really nice to see you!
Jude: Thank you for having me!
Will: So, Jude, after the FGI program this past spring were you interested in learning more about investing?
Jude: Yes, it was very new to me at the beginning of the spring but now I’m definitely more interested.
Will: Before this opportunity with The Sanczyk Group came up, were you at all familiar with the internship process? Did you know what it meant to be a summer intern?
Jude: I had no idea at all. I read the description of the internship, so I knew that there were going to be speakers but that’s all I really knew.
Will: How did you hear about this opportunity? And when you first saw the opportunity to apply, what ran through your head? What made you decide to apply?
Jude: I heard about it through you and FGI. The reason that I decided to apply was because I found FGI to be very interesting. I wouldn’t call myself an investing buff, but I felt like I had just scratched the surface with FGI and I wanted to explore more and see what else I could discover about investing.
Will: What are some of your favorite things about the internship thus far?
Jude: I loved hearing a lot of different people talk about their experiences with their jobs and figuring out what kind of career paths they wanted to follow. There were a few speakers in particular who did a great job of conveying their stories and the way they were influenced by different things and people throughout their lives.
Will: Have you seen any of the topics that we covered during the spring come up at all during the internship?
Jude: I did, to name a few off the top of my head I’d say stocks, mutual funds, and diversification. FGI in the spring was a great lead up to this internship.
Will: Is there anything that you’ve learned during the internship that you think you’ll continue to use as you progress through college and then eventually your career?
Jude: The emphasis that the internship placed on connections has had a huge impact on me. As I’m starting to get closer to college, I’m starting to think about how I’m going to go about forming those connections. I think honestly it really is just a matter of the effort you’re putting in, who you’re reaching out to, and being willing to ask for things. I’m definitely going to put a lot more emphasis on those interactions going forward.
Will: I think it’s great that you’re having this experience and having your eyes opened up to that now rather than down the road. There are a lot of kids, me being one of them, that don’t really start thinking about networking until they need a job and a lot of times, they get started too late and have to scramble. Has the internship added anything to the way that you think about your personal finances on top of what we taught in the spring?
Jude: I’d say it hasn’t changed anything because most of what I had heard in terms of personal finances had already been touched on in the spring, and a lot of the speakers were more so focused on career paths and career development.
Will: Makes sense. So I know that you had told me in the spring that you’re interested in pursuing biology, but has this internship changed the way that you think about personal finance jobs or your desire to pursue them? Could you see yourself maybe combining your love for both in some form down the road?
Jude: I wouldn’t say that my main goal in mind is a finance job, but I will say that before FGI and this internship I thought of investing as boring and really just numbers. Now I have a better understanding of what it’s like, it’s a lot more fluid and interesting than I had thought it would be.
Will: Would you recommend that other FGI students participate in the internship? And if so, what advice would you give them?
Jude: I would definitely advise that other FGI students take advantage of the opportunity to do this internship program. I think FGI was a taste of what investing and finance careers are like. If students feel that they want to explore that more, then I think that the internship is a really good way of doing that because you get to hear from people who have been in your shoes and are now experts at different companies and areas of finance. It gives you a more in-depth view of the finance world.
Will: Awesome stuff, Jude. Thanks so much for coming and sharing your experience with the internship.
Jude: Thanks, Will.
First Generation Investors
First Generation Investors (FGI) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that teaches high school students in underserved communities the power of investing.