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Communications and Marketing
Charles “CJ” Black ’16 has landed a prestigious internship with a global trading firm, thanks to skills and a list of professional contacts he is building at Lake Forest.
The double-major in computer science and finance will work for eight weeks this summer at the Gelber Group, a Chicago-based global firm, immersed in the business of trading. He will spend the first two weeks in a Chicago classroom at Gelber learning about capital markets, and the following six weeks working side-by-side with Gelber traders.
“It’s one thing to open your own brokerage account and look at markets yourself, but to work with professionals trading in live markets—that’s really exciting,” Black said.
Black will bring to his summer internship experience he gained working as a research assistant for Liam Connell, a retired trading firm CEO who serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. Stewart Foley, a lecturer in the College’s finance department, introduced Black to Connell once he discovered their mutual interest in proprietary trading.
Connell describes Black’s work as “leading edge.”
“He has learned so much in the last six months,” Connell said. “CJ will be a highly desirable asset to any trading firm in the future.”
With the help of the Career Advancement Center (CAC), Black sent resumes and cover letters to 120 firms, using ForesterLink, Connell, Stewart, his own contacts, and assistance from the CAC to find potential firms.
“The biggest help was making contacts with people the school knows,” Black said.
Leveraging those connections, Black’s internship search resulted in multiple offers. He chose the Gelber internship—a connection he made through Connell—for the leg up it will give him in landing a trading job after graduation.
“One of the things I appreciate about Lake Forest is I’m in close contact with my professors, trustees, and the people they know,” Black said. “I’m able to do a lot of networking here that I wouldn’t be able to do at another school. That’s one of the benefits I realized as soon as I got here, and I really appreciate it.”