By Elise Nguyen
I had the opportunity to intern with the Pension Boards-United Church of Christ (PBUCC) this summer within the Finance department, and my experience was very positive overall.
My favorite part about the internship was working on the projects from my department, as well as the capstone project, which involved all PBUCC interns.
The departmental project was very interesting and in line with the interests and skill sets I want to develop, which are programming and quantitative analysis.
I enjoyed running analytics and analyzing members' data finding results that can add value to PBUCC. I also liked coding for automation and implementing ideas for measuring and forecasting market risk. For example, I leveraged a volatility study tool to measure how the market is pricing risk so we can build an automated forecasting tool for future market risk. These projects have aligned well with what I am studying at Columbia.
The colleagues I worked with were very supportive and collaborative as well. I received great guidance and ideas from them. In addition, I was able to offer my own ideas to the staff who were willing to listen and learn from me; having my voice heard made me feel like an important member of the team, which I really appreciated.
My least favorite part of the internship was writing reports after every leadership roundtable and providing reflections on my experience. I think my time was better spent working on projects and identifying more business opportunities. However, this is very minor, and I do not mind them so much. My recommendations to improve the program would be doing less reflections/reporting.
My biggest takeaway from the internship is that PBUCC is working hard on improving their processes and introducing new services. There are a lot of opportunities to grow their business.
In conclusion, having PBUCC design such an interactive and engaging internship during a pandemic and investing in creating a talent pipeline with a leader-led approach, fostered a growth environment that I am grateful to have been a part of.