Hello, again. I have been hard at work since my last posting, doing what I can to learn more about APCM, learning more about the wonderful world of finance, and gearing up the early stages of my career in the industry.
I have been fortunate to work through 3 internships with APCM, who stayed patient with me as I navigate the post-graduation process of ‘ok, now what I am going to do for the rest of my life?’ After Internship #2, I was given the opportunity to job shadow and participate in Operations, where I have been learning about different security types, active fixed income and its role in institutional investing, fixed income portfolio statistics, equity trading, portfolio construction…there is an endless list of things to learn about!
I am still working on completing my MBA from UAA, with one semester left for a graduation of Summer 2023. My undergraduate degree is a BBA in Management with a Minor in Economics – so I sometimes feel newer at the role than my colleagues, who have both been there longer and generally have degrees in finance. While I may have much to learn, I am also excited to bring a slightly different skillset to the team.
I fell in love with finance after being thrust into the ‘real world’ with my bachelor’s degree, where I found myself back where I started – construction. I would come home from a day on the roof and watch Jim Cramer on CNBC – and for a second, I thought I was getting the hang of some of these concepts!
Plus, my parents would always solicit me for advice with their money. I think they planted the seed in my head that makes me want to understand the markets. ‘I need a financial advisor,’ they say.
‘Go to one!’ I tell them.
‘You are my financial advisor!’
‘No, I am not!’ Of course, they now know the difference between an actual financial advisor and their mid-20s son. Even now, I am an Analyst, not a Financial Advisor.
Once I went back to school, I found myself hunting for a new job in finance. I was sure I had to leave the state to find that job. But eventually, I was sent an internship opportunity for APCM from a teacher. I quickly wrote up a resume and cover letter and sent it off ASAP. Shockingly, little old Ryan from Anchor Point, AK was eventually offered a job as an Analyst.
And for that, I am grateful. It took me awhile to really understand the value of an internship opportunity at APCM. As a smart person once told me (and I paraphrase), working for free means that the value I am getting from the opportunity is knowledge, understanding, and experience. Of course, APCM interns are paid – but the lesson stands: I was there as an intern to gain knowledge, understanding, and experience.
And clearly, it paid off for me. Now, I tell me girlfriend the same thing about her upcoming clinicals: “Working for free means that you get free experience, real insight to the company, and a better understanding of the way these businesses work.” Of course, she doesn’t need to hear that from me.
Today, I am working on making sure trades settle, keeping an eye on wires to and fro, processing trades, sending tickets, developing processes, beginning to help with presentations, running reports, and overseeing daily items, along with the help of Joel.
Next, I will graduate with an MBA from UAA. Then, I will begin Level 1 of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credentials. After CFAs?
I am not sure. I feel comfortable here, in the great state that I grew up in and working in the industry I have been aiming for. I am impressed with the professionalism and the deep knowledge base of my colleagues. It is nice to be a part of a good team. It is a unique firm where the entry-level analyst can stay in the room with the CIOs and Portfolio Managers. There are a lot of interesting ideas around here. There isn’t anywhere else I’d rather be.
But for now, I have much to learn. Luckily, I picked an industry with decades of history and knowledge to pull from. I will have much to learn for a long time – perfect.
See you in the office, bright and early.