My name is Talha Bin Fahim. I am a rising junior from Pakistan pursuing a Business-Economics double major. This summer began with me working in New York city working for one of the world’s largest financial corporations: AXA. For me, this journey started about a year ago when I took my first course in financial accounting. Since then, I have worked for numerous clubs and organizations including the Skidmore Investment Club to being a member of Budget and Finance committee for the Student Government Association of Skidmore. However, this internship was unique for me because it marked my first experience in the corporate world – A world I could not afford to dream about a few years back. As the head intern for AXA Advisors in the Manhattan branch, I was responsible for investment analysis, case preparation, delegating responsibilities to interns and assisting with marketing and recruiting.
I started out this internship with a lot of ambition and dedication. I had realized before my internship even began that I was highly fortunate to have been provided an opportunity to excel in my field of interest; so, I used this avenue to bring out into the world my skills for leadership, innovation and perseverance. After an extensive 10-week internship, I am delighted with the progress I have made on both a professional and personal scale. I was one of the first interns to join the 2019 AXA summer interns. I took this as a potential opportunity to mark a favorable impression with my immediate supervisors and to seek a personal mentor relationship with my boss. This turned out remarkably well because I was able to hear valuable insights and freely discuss my career prospects with my seniors in AXA. Throughout my time interning at AXA Advisors, I learnt a great deal about professional networking, interview tips and highly informative knowledge about how the stock market and various financial departments work.
During my internship, I was initially tasked with basic responsibilities including finding potential clients through different databases and assisting in the recruiting process. Personally, I did not find the work as challenging as I would have liked it to be and constantly looked-for avenues to challenge myself. As I consider hard work, leadership and technical analysis to be one of my strongest virtues, I looked for platforms within the AXA network where I could expand on my skills. I requested my supervisor to adjust my schedule so I could attend a training workshop held by the Vice President of AXA Advisors for junior financial advisors. There, I learnt a great deal of technical information regarding insurance policies, tax efficient methods and understanding the stock market. Meanwhile, I worked closely with my boss to come up with efficient ways to track progress and improve the quality of work. Impressed by my innovation and dedication, I was tasked with more responsibilities including training upcoming interns and supervising their tasks, which I gladly accepted. As the youngest summer intern for AXA, becoming the supervisor for my fellow interns was really humbling and a matter of great pride for me.
Looking back at my summer internship, I feel proud of what I have accomplished in such a short tenure and it makes me optimistic of what I can achieve if I continue to pursue my dream of becoming an investment banker with full dedication and perseverance. I am beyond grateful to Skidmore Career Development Center for having given me the opportunity to pursue my dreams.