It’s just about that time of year where students are finalizing their summer internship plans. Whether you have an internship already lined up or are currently on the hunt for one, you can read about Clayton Weirather’s experience as an intern for IPI Wealth Management, Inc. to help prepare you for what a summer internship might entail for you.
It was always my goal in college to get an internship during a summer of my undergrad years, mainly so I would have work experience and something to put on my resume. These original ideas did come true, but I never would have guessed them to come true after only my freshman year. This past summer, I was fortunate enough to be offered an internship in my hometown, which I humbly accepted. I did gain work experience and was able to add a section to my resume, but I had no idea how much more I would get out of it than that.
In the middle of May, after the conclusion of the semester, I began my internship as a Financial Planning Assistant for IPI Wealth Management, Inc. in my hometown of Quincy, Illinois. It was a 12-week internship, leading all the way up until the beginning of school. I worked between 20 and 25 hours per week, directly with one of the advisors in the office, by the name of Craig Moncey. My main jobs consisted of preparing for and following up on all of Craig’s meetings with clients, potential clients, and community leaders. To prep for Craig’s most frequent client meeting, a Portfolio Review, I would prepare documents for the client detailing holdings, asset allocation, and current portfolio risk. I utilized Excel and financial planning software programs (MoneyGuidePro and Envestnet) to track the client’s assets and prepare these documents. To follow up with a client, I would send thank-you letters or emails and complete any additional tasks related to that client. Aside from these main responsibilities, my internship also consisted of a fair amount of administrative work. I worked with the office secretaries to ensure the smooth operation of Craig’s schedule, sent out articles of interest and mass emails to clients, and performed various other small clerical jobs for Craig as needed.
At times in the internship when things were not so busy or when there were not many scheduled meetings, I got the opportunity to spend time with Craig on things outside of our daily routine. We would have discussions about improving and growing his business, and my input was always welcomed. I provided my insight on things like improving the company website and onboarding more clients within Quincy and the surrounding communities. Other discussions would often focus around current news events and market trends to see how those events and trends could impact our lives and the lives of clients. Once in awhile, Craig would even take me along to his business meetings for community organizations he was involved in. This gave me an opportunity to network with other business professionals in the community.
I had a lot of highlights throughout my internship this summer. To start out, I remember when I completed my first Portfolio Review (PR) prep completely on my own, without Craig having to look over my shoulder. The prep for PR meetings was very extensive, so finally understanding all the steps by myself was a nice accomplishment. I also remember sitting in on my first board meeting with the entire office of seven advisors. They took a conference call with one of the corporate marketing directors of Investment Planners, Inc. (IPI), and it was incredible to sit in on their conversation to learn about their upcoming marketing strategy. Near the middle of the internship, Craig had me join him for my first community meeting. I was able to have dinner with a professional organization within Quincy, comprised of small-business owners, insurance professionals, and managers of local companies. It was a highlight of my internship to interact in a professional setting with these like-minded individuals. Finally, on a broader scale, the highlight of my entire internship as a whole was being able to work in a professional environment to develop better communication, teamwork, and networking skills, all of which will be valuable moving forward in my career.
There is not a doubt that I am thankful for the internship opportunity I had this summer. It was a great time to gain work experience, learn about the financial services industry, and interact with co-workers/customers in a professional environment. The responsibilities I had and the tasks I completed on a daily basis made me excited to someday start my career in a similar industry, and the internship as a whole confirmed that I am absolutely in the right majors: finance and accounting. I look forward to next summer to begin a new internship and gain new experiences all over again.
Written by: Clayton Weirather, Honors Student
Clayton Weirather is a second-year undergrad studying Finance and Accounting at the University of Iowa. He is originally from Quincy, Illinois where he went to high school at Quincy Senior High. At Iowa, he is on the exec board for the HawkTrade Investment Club and the Financial Management Association. He is in the Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi: Professional Business Fraternity and the Hawkeye Marching Band. He is excited to share his experiences from his internship position this past summer.
Edited by: Chloe Sekhran, Blog Manager