This week I have learned so much about myself as a person and what I would like to pursue in the business world in the future and this is all thanks to what Cornerstone has taught me throughout the week. We began the day on Monday (and each day), at 9am sharp. Me and Uyen, one of the other externs, arrived at the office and met the two other externs there for the week, Joey and Nate. We then saw Tom Scalici, the Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstone and he spoke to us about what he does within the company as well as what will be expected for the week. We learned that Cornerstone is a private company which manages assets for wealthy individuals and organizations, as well as works with retirement accounts for their clients, etc. They truly put the client first and stress total transparency between the client and cornerstone when managing their funds, a trait I believe is very important and impressive. From there we spoke to four other employees that day, including Parag Joshi, the accountant who gave us an accounting problem to solve which really allowed me to jump right in to his position and what he does, since I have yet to take an accounting class and had little experience with the subject. We had a full day from nine to five, and I must admit by the end of the day I was exhausted and wondering how people in the real world work these full days! Tuesday we met with five other employees. Brian Bobeck, a Senior Consultant spoke to us about the importance of insurance (particularly life), and played out some comical scenarios between the externs and I to portray different situations that life insurance would be helpful. I definitely found this presentation interesting because I never really thought about all of the different ways life insurance can be crucial to an individual—and it is something we barely discuss while we are in school which amazed me. My favorite presentation of the day; however, was Ryan Wood’s, one of the Investment Analysts. He gave us a little project to do which basically outlined the importance of looking at multiple variables when choosing a money manager. I never thought I would be interested in this type of analytical work, but after Ryan spoke I realized that I really enjoyed interpreting the numbers and coming up with a conclusion. I obviously need to take a formal finance class and learn more about this type of field, but it definitely opened my mind up to what I would be interested in in the future. As the week went on, we met with many other interesting individuals. One that made a pretty large impact on my in particular was Mike Straubel, a Consultant who gave us some great advice on job interviews and how to deal with the transition from college to the real world. I found him very relatable to talk to (he was a Gettysburg Grad!), and his career path in the past was very interesting to hear as well, since he traveled internationally for work and is now at a smaller company and enjoyed both working for a large and a small organization.
Overall, I met some great people this week who taught us a lot about what Cornerstone stands for as well as what advice they would give us for the future. The overarching theme that many employees were preaching throughout the week was that Cornerstone was truly a family, and I definitely saw that as I watched the employees interact, whether they were joking around (we had an extern “competition” at the end of the week involving a tiny basketball hoop game ;)) or helping each other out with different projects and taking on tasks within many different sectors of the organization. Cornerstone employees definitely wear “different hats,” since they are a small company, and once you are in a position Tom and Skip (the President of Cornerstone) encourage their employees to continue their education and move around within the company. I think that is definitely a huge benefit working in a small company such as this. Moving forward, I plan on looking into taking some more in depth Finance courses at Gettysburg to see if I am interested in working as a financial analyst in the future.