During my four years, I had the opportunity to apply technical and interpersonal skills from my courses through three internship experiences. My freshman year, I grew my accounting and process improvement skills at Denver International Airport with the City & County of Denver. Then, sophomore year, I was lucky to during the pandemic still have the chance to complete a virtual internship at U.S. Bank, where I was a Business Analyst in Global Treasury Management. There, I developed knowledge of Salesforce and data visualization. The summer of Junior year, I decided to further explore the intersection of finance and public policy, serving as a graduate Rosenthal Fellow to the U.S. Trade Representative's Chief Economist in the Executive Office of the U.S. President. I'm excited that in the key summer of my Senior year, I will be with Morgan Stanley, as a Summer Credit Risk Analyst in New York. This cross-sector experience has been beneficial for me to position myself as a dual professional that makes it easy for organizations to take effective action using data and story-driven solutions in finance and public policy.
Summer 2021: Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
In Summer 2021, I interned as a graduate Rosenthal Fellow with USTR, having simultaneously enrolled in my Master's program in my third year. Conveying a deep passion for international economics and service, I am grateful to the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies for nominating me and giving me the chance to complete this Fellowship. While I was the youngest in my Fellowship cohort, I thoroughly enjoyed being in a cohort with other graduate students, who were like me working to develop their expertise and gain experience at other federal agencies. My internship with USTR could not have been a better match, giving me high-level economic policy experience at an office that takes the lead for all U.S. trade negotiations. As such, during my experience, principally, I was able to contribute to the U.S.-U.K. negotiations by researching the small and medium enterprise environment in the U.S. and the U.K., the U.S.-Kenya negotiations by preparing and presenting trade and value chain insights, and the World Trade Organization developing country negotiations by constructing datasets and developing visuals on high-tech exports. In furthering the Biden administration's work-centered trade policy and the Build Back Better Agenda, I got to take ownership of projects and synthesize information for senior policy officials.
Though I was bit taken aback by the freedom at first to "take this large dataset and come back to us with insights with the Chief Negotiator." I was able to use the skills I had learned on the Data Team of the Pardee Center of International Futures to develop useful insights to inform decision-making, I first, focused on understanding the data itself. Second, I thought of key questions that could be answered. And, third I developed a clear presentation of those answers and their implications, which I continued to iterate and seek feedback on, before presenting to the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative. While using trade to lift workers in the U.S. and abroad is that which is most imporant, professionally, this also could not have been a better experience. For one, I was able to also gain further exposure of academic trade literature and how that can translate it into policy. This includes the effect of lax labor enforcement in other countries on U.S. trade, with a particular emphasis on China. It also includes reviews of trade's distributional effects such as in gender, and in preparing a point-by-point response to an article critiquing the U.S. Generalized System of Preference Program. This experience was invaluable to my desire to experience what an applied PhD would be like, and I appreciate the level of responsibility and the long-lasting relationships that I was able to form. In spirit of constant reflection, I wrote this piece shortly after my time with USTR for the Partnership of Public Service.
ummer 2020: U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank Service Project Preparing Cards for Living and Aging Well Facility during Covid-19
My sophomore year, it was a privilege to intern at U.S. Bank, in spite of the pandemic. As a Business Analyst Intern within Global Treasury Management, I worked on a team that consults with businesses on automating their workflow. My main project was to develop dashboards in Salesforce to manage their pipeline. Prior to this internship, I had never used Salesforce at all. I watched all of the Bank training videos, read, and went through several Trailhead tutorials. I also explored the reports U.S. Bank was already using in Salesforce, and spoke with other consultants on other teams, who had good examples of dashboards of their own and with ideas of features they wanted to see. With hard work, I was able to go from zero Salesforce knowledge to quickly becoming the in-house team expert. While constantly seeking user input and validation, I developed 40 visualizations in two dashboards that can be used by all Treasury Management consultants and regional managers at U.S. Bank, covering sales pipeline, goals, and the impact of Covid-19. Then, when meeting over coffee and discussing my summer with the U.S. Head of Commercial Banking, he asked me "Where is mine?!," and so I also got to develop one for him as well. In total, I created 60 visualizations in three Salesforce dashboards, using technology to unlock insights that were not otherwise readily available. I also led employee trainings and developed manuals on these dashboards. At the end of the summer, my manager jokingly said at the end, I won't miss "giving you a project that was supposed to take the whole summer, and you having it ready to a great level in a day." Day 1 I may have had a first dashboard, ready for feedback, but I kept thinking of how to take the project to further and further levels.
Secondarily, I also analyzed sales revenue for a C-level executive, created an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) expertise directory, and led a Case Competition team in developing a credit card millenial strategy that advanced to the semfinalist round. This internship gave me a second experience at a financial institution after the Bank of America's Student Leaders Program in high school. I was thrilled to be there and to be able to also share this experience on a panel for College Track, an organization serving diverse and low-income students. Overall, this experience challenged me to work fully virtually for the first time. In addition to giving it my all and ensuring that my work was of high-quality, with two weeks less to do-it, I also had to make sure I was regularly connecting with my team and setting up coffee with others at the bank to get insight into various career possibilities. Applying what I learned at U.S. Bank, in Summer 2021 aat USTR, I made sure to set up at least one weekly meeting with my manager and to come to that meeting with organized agenda with mytopics, questions, and tasks completed/ongoing. I look forward to using these skills back in-person with Morgan Stanley in Summer 2022.
Summer 2019: Denver International Airport - City & County of Denver
Though this was an internship intended to be for junior and seniors, I decided to not let that stop me from applying. When I got to the interview stage, I boldly told the interviewing panel that "I was not a genius, but that I would work harder than anyone." The innerworkings of the third-busiest Airport in the U.S. are fascinating. While I now know less facts than at the moment when I would lobby them at my family and friends, Denver International Airport being my first college internship was a key part of my professional journey. Indeed, I still remain grateful and in contact with my coworkers to this day. One significant learning was about process improvement, being trained on this and then after seeing how the accounts receivables process works, giving ideas of my own on how to create more efficient processes. I was glad I was able to implement those ideas in three ways. First, while one would think it would be quite-simple to apply incoming payments to customer invoices, often, customers would underpay, overpay, and not specifying what their paying. For instance, understanding a customer's intentions for large payments of up to $9 Million often required a lot of work. To improve this process, after I eliminated a 43-day backlog, I initiated an error tracker to monitor these errors to reduce downtime and increase quality control, through identifying patterns and encouraging proactive management.
I then second, created a reconcilation process for parking and ground transportation payments, reducing a 7-month backlog. I ensured this process was user-friendly and sustainable by training a Staff Accountant before leaving. Finally, I developed a centralized client directory, reducing wait for cases that require customer research. I also was able to share this experience in a panel for College Track. This experience showed me that I can make an impact on an organization even as an intern. It gave me the right tact to make suggestions, ask questions, and own up and resolve mistakes. As a result of the three initiatives and training on process improvement that I completed, I was grateful to be recognized with a City & County of Denver Peak Academy Process Improvement Green Belt Certification.