Name: Megan Konrad
Type of Project: Internship with Key Bank
This summer I took my first steps in Corporate America. My project consisted of a 10 week internship at KeyBank in Cleveland, Ohio in the Credit Risk Department. My daily tasks included spreading financial statements, including balance sheets and income statements to determine the expected default frequency of both private bank and middle market clients I would then take this information and prepare interim reviews that allowed KeyBank to adjust the risk rating and reevaluate the terms of the loan. Over the course of the summer I got exposure underwriting multiple new deals and renewals for private banking clients. I provided a breakdown of the borrow history, risk rating justification, an in-depth analysis of borrower’s collateral, their aggregate and non-aggregate exposure, and the rationale for the pricing model used
My experience at KeyBank has allowed me to make my career a reality. For the past 20 years of my life, my career has always been something so far away. This summer made me realize that my career/my life is not something in the future it here and I better start taking advantage of every opportunity I have. Once I realized my future is now and not something to be put off, I decided to start investing in myself.
There were a couple main initiatives I decided to focus on. The first was to take my education into my own hands. I am confident that the ability to apply myself and think critically will have a far greater impact on my long-term professional success than any course load strictly emphasizing debits and credits ever could. I have always felt that I am always one step behind. When I say this I mean that when something happens in politics, the economy, new developments in technology, I find myself always hearing about it from other people. I want to take back responsibility for this, and so, have challenged myself to read the Wall Street Journal every day. Furthermore, I have created an extensive book list for myself which contains books from economics to communication. As I find myself doing this I find that I am having more intellectual conversations, and expand my newfound knowledge even further.
One other thing initiative I took on this summer was building my personal brand. Given the opportunity to work for the 13th largest bank in the nation for 10 weeks this summer, I wanted to leave my footprint and the company as well as learn and grow as much as possible. One of the ways I did this was building my reputation as a strong-minded, articulate, and imaginative young woman. I did this by staying late when tasks need to be done, asking for feedback throughout the summer, and asking to take on more responsibility whenever I felt I could. By the summer I knew I had accomplished this when my mentor told me that he always sent me the work he needed done right away because I was reliable and my work was credible. Another way this summer I went about building my personal brand was by building my network. When building my network I learned that the first conversation with someone that’s important, it’s the second or third conversation that’s important. After meeting with someone if you want them in your network it’s important to stay in contact and make yourself as useful to them as possible. You could to this by sending them an article on LinkedIn about something you might think they might enjoy reading, or about something you talked about.
This STEP project has really transformed me into being someone who is proactive about their career. This new attitude slowly began to kick in long before my internship started. It all began with the beginning of the STEP program where I was pushed out of my comfort zone to find an internship, talk with company recruiters, meet with a financial coach, and create a budget. I believe that the STEP internship process has made me more prepared than most of my peers for post-graduation life, and it has hands down jump started my career. This summer I learned Credit Risk was not the career for me, but STEP gave me the confidence and tools necessary to chase my dream of pursuing a career in public accounting. I can proudly say that I have accepted an internship opportunity for the summer of 2017 at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a Big Four firm.