Yeske Buie’s Internship Program: Good for the Company and for the Intern

Yeske Buie’s Internship Program: Good for the Company and for the Intern

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

Yeske Buie believes in supporting and fostering education and ingenuity of our youth. Because of that strong belief, we have a very vibrant internship program in both of our offices. Interns bring novel perspectives, fresh ideas, and specialized strengths and skill sets – all while augmenting our firm’s capacity.

We strive to provide hands-on training, real experience, and mentoring opportunities to every student who walks in the door. What makes our internship program stand out is that we constantly evaluate our workload and ability to provide interns with a dynamic, engaging and challenging experience. If our current workload or ideas for improvement don’t look to provide the ideal experience, the firm will forego having an intern for that semester.

We also believe that our internship program is a great way to Give Big and help in our community of the Financial Planning Profession and beyond. Hosting interns in our offices is a way to help students get started in their professional careers and find what drives them to work with passion and zeal. Our interns not only gain valuable experience, develop new skills, and get many chances to network – they learn what really resonates (or doesn’t) to help guide them in future decisions. As Elissa Buie, CEO explains: “When students get input from people who are out in the world doing [the work], it’s really valuable.”

What exactly do Yeske Buie Interns do?

Just as we refine our internships based on the degree track that the incoming interns will have – be it financial planning, finance, or business management – the interns provide a different layer or addition to the team. Below you can see two of our typical tracks:

  • Financial Planning: Our most rigorous track for students who have chosen Financial Planning as their major. Yeske Buie strives to give these interns as much real experience as possible. They draft insurance, beneficiary and estate templates, and start the process of creating or updating financial plans. They also get to sit in on different types of Client meetings. Financial Planning interns get exposure on what to expect daily once they move into the workforce. These students also perform value added work for our clients, as Elissa describes “Maybe we have client tax returns, but we haven’t been tracking losses carried forward. We might have [interns] create the database, go through the returns and enter the data. Is it generally done very well? Yes,” she continues. “Perfectly? No — but it’s easier for an Assistant Financial Planner to do cleanup than to do it all from scratch.” It is also a great hands-on learning experience for everyone involved.
  • Business Management: These interns will focus on more operational areas of the firm and do ad hoc projects. We typically strive to match most of the projects with the firm’s needs coupled with the intern’s interests and studies. Interns on this track get a vast array of experiences ranging from social media strategy, researching new software, learning about compliance, vendor management, marketing, business development, database management/clean-up, etc.

How else does a robust internship program help Yeske Buie?

Our internship program is run completely by the staff. Interns have access to Dave and Elissa, but the hiring, training and management of the interns is done by the staff. This allows our firm to learn essential training and management skills to foster the development of our Assistant Financial Planners, Financial Planning Residents and support staff.

How do interns impact my experience as a Client?

Our goal is for all of our interns to positively impact our clients in some way. For example, Jeff Realjo, an intern in our Virginia office in 2014, did a lot of the research to help us find IdentityForce as a partner in keeping Client identities safe. In spring 2015, Anthony Castaldi did an enormous amount of research and reading to help us advance our Financial Literacy offering to the younger generation. Additionally in summer 2015 , our two CA Financial Planning interns, Taylor Agostino and Aviv Florenthal, worked diligently to revamp our summary templates to include more valuable and pertinent information we like to track.

Where do you find these interns?

The short answer is – all over the world! We post with all highly recognized Financial Planning degree programs in the country. In San Francisco, we reach out to local schools like Golden Gate University and University of San Francisco. In our Vienna office we leverage The Washington Center during the school semester. The Washington Center is an independent, nonprofit organization that hosts quality students for a semester from all over the country and world to have Washington D.C.-based internships and challenging seminar curriculum – all for academic credit at their home universities.

Yeske Buie has hosted interns from several top financial planning programs in the country including Virginia Tech and William Patterson. Additionally, we have hosted finance and business management interns from all over the country and world – including Rhode Island, Iowa, Indiana, South Korea, India and Kyrgyzstan. Our interns have gone on to be successful at a variety of organizations such as Goldman Sachs, KPMG, FJY Financial, Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough LLC, Morgan Stanley and RBC Wealth Management.

As Julia Childs puts it, “Find something you’re passionate about and stay tremendously interested in it.” At Yeske Buie, we’re passionate about our internship program because we believe it provides a multitude of benefits to all involved.