Clifford Swan’s summer internship program has successfully – and happily – been reinstated following a two-year hiatus during the pandemic. The internship provides undergraduate students considering a career in investment and wealth management a fundamental educational experience and opportunity to develop skills in multiple components of an investment advisory firm, while at the same time providing Clifford Swan with an opportunity to use the interns’ skills to better serve our clients.
The internship program was led by Jennifer Maqueda, who, along with Gretchen Lee and Dan Mintz, conducted the interviews and selected Sean Hall and Mihika Desouza from a competitive pool of applicants. Sean is a Pasadena native and rising sophomore at the University of Southern California where he is majoring in Physics. Mihika is originally from Berkeley, California and is a rising junior at Scripps College majoring in Economics-Accounting. She is on the board of the student investment fund and a member of the Claremont College’s investment banking club.
Over the course of six weeks, Sean and Mihika completed several projects and learned about key aspects of the firm, including portfolio management, securities analysis and research, trading and execution, client service, compliance, marketing, and operations. The interns worked directly with Clifford Swan colleagues who served as their teachers and mentors.
Alongside new research and technical skills, Mihika valued the financial education she received, saying, “Every curriculum portion and conversation with firm members opened my eyes to a new complexity of managing money.” Sean shared that his favorite project was working with the CEO, Peter Boyle, to outline the structure of trust documents to understand the flow of money and mitigation of taxes. His second favorite project was conducting credit analyses for municipal and corporate bonds. Mihika’s favorite project was researching and pitching a stock internally, saying she enjoyed becoming a mini expert on the company and consolidating her findings into a succinct presentation.
When asked what advice they have for those that follow them, Mihika decisively answered, “I highly encourage future interns to get lunch with everyone!” Sean and Mihika set this goal for themselves on their first day and found that these meals enriched their experience by helping them get to know the team better on a personal level and professionally.
Looking back on the seventh year of the internship program, Clifford Swan is confident that both the structure and curriculum of the program have been refined to provide an enriching experience to both the firm and the interns. It is a program our firm looks forward to each summer! We are grateful to Sean and Mihika for contributing so meaningfully to the firm, both practically and culturally.