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Jimmy Cusan ’17
How did you explore your interests and decide on a major?
I have always enjoyed being up to date on whats going on in the world. Whether its political, social, cultural, business, or sports related, I enjoy educating myself. Being a finance major seemed to stem from this passion. Many jobs in the industry require you to have that knowledge and it is something I am passionate about, so it seemed like a perfect fit. I have always had a big interest in finance. The college has a wide range of finance classes that enabled me to further understand the industry and ultimately decide to become a finance major.
What were your responsibilities as an intern?
My internship was a rotational program, so I got the opportunity to sit on many different desks and learn about many different products. At the end of each rotation, I was required to put together a presentation that was related to the desk I had been working on and present it to the office. One of my presentations required me to present five municipal securities to the office, and then eventually pick one which I would invest in. This was a very challenging project but allowed me to learn so much about the product which I really enjoyed.
What was the most rewarding part of your internship?
I was able to shadow and sit by so many well established professionals in the field. This allowed me to ask questions and simply just observe what some people’s responsibilities were and what a day on the job for different people was like. I was able to network with many people and establish a lot of new relationships which was both challenging and rewarding.
What did you learn about yourself during your internship?
This internship really showed me how hard you have to work to succeed in this field. The finance world is extremely competitive and making sure you stick out is very important. One of the biggest takeaways from the summer would have to be the idea of situational awareness. This concept was brought onto me on the very first day of the internship and has stuck with me since.
What role has your internship played in shaping your career path?
This internship actually led to me being rehired by Citigroup to take on the role of a full time sales & trading analyst once I graduate from the college in May.
Do you have any advice for students completing internships in your field?
I think it is important to be realistic with yourself and assess what exactly your strengths and weaknesses are, and frequently. Stepping out of your comfort zone is what makes you get better and allows you to grow every day.
Anything else to add?
This summer I got the chance to work with some Lake Forest College alumni. One of the alumni was a managing director of the Chicago office, and the other two alumni worked on the equity derivatives desk together. This was a cool experience because I am essentially following a similar path as they did. Having this sense of ‘community’ was very unique and I established a very good relationship with them over the summer. I managed to get a picture of the four of us (see my profile picture). I think it speaks volumes on the talent that the college produces. In the picture is Jason Morrall ’15, myself, Randy Lauer ’81, and Ari Lifschutz ’12.