Summer Reflection Series: What I Learned on Wall StreetBy Cameron Corse — Women's Tennis '21
This summer for four weeks before summer school, I interned at Sandler O’Neill & Partners in New York City with the investment banking group.
My main job was to assist the analysts with their work. Some of the tasks involved helping develop “pitch books,” which are slide decks that investment bankers bring to potential clients to win their business. A great deal of time is spent on preparing these books and they often contain detailed information on the bank’s services in the client’s industry, potential transactions that may be of interest to the client, and other detailed information beneficial to clients in making decisions on whether to hire Sandler O’Neill to assist them. I also worked with analysts on making presentations for clients where we advised and modeled specific transactions. While developing these presentations, a few of the things I learned included how to make stock charts, loan and deposit charts and peer group analyses. In addition to creating these presentations, I got to participate in conference calls, attend meetings and travel to an out-of-state client meeting.
Beyond the technical excel skills I learned, I learned how well my student-athlete experience at Notre Dame has prepared me for the working world, specifically investment banking. Heading into the internship, many people threateningly threw around the 80-100 hour work weeks of investment banking. Although, I was not working 100 hours a week, my roughly 14-hour days felt manageable. I attribute handling the long working days to the combination of the exciting work material and being acclimated to my long school days. At school, starting with 6:15 a.m. lifts followed by classes, practice and homework until late into the night, the 14-hour days felt neither foreign to me nor too difficult to manage.
Another useful skill that I have developed through my student-athlete experience was performance under pressure. Pressure to perform on exams and countless intense pressure moments on the tennis court translated into similar feelings and experiences in the business world. Several of the tasks I was asked to help with were time-sensitive and there was pressure to perform at your best under this pressure. Bouts of nerves and stress from daunting challenges and long hours all made appearances. Having navigated these challenges at Notre Dame, both in the classroom and on the court, prepared me well and provided with the confidence that I could do so again. When the jobs were completed successfully, I felt a sense of pride and thankful for how my experiences at Notre Dame prepared me well.
In addition to enjoying the work, I also had some time to enjoy the big city. From morning runs in Central Park to exploring the countless restaurants and museums, I loved living in the city. Although the rats in the subway and countless people in Times Square were overwhelming at first, I learned to not let this aspect of city life bother me too much. My favorite weekend plan was to not have a plan at all and just walk around the city to see what I would run into next.
I learned so much in just four weeks in my internship. The friendships, mentors and experience I gained all were invaluable, and I am excited for another challenging year at Notre Dame to prepare me further for what lies ahead.
Cameron Corse is a rising junior on the Notre Dame women’s tennis team. She is pursuing a degree in finance from the Mendoza College of Business.