Internships are Key to the Lubar Experience

Internships are a huge part of the student experience at the Lubar School of Business. With the Lubar School’s close proximity and long-standing relationships with companies in the metropolitan Milwaukee area, there are abundant opportunities for students to intern throughout their studies – often multiple times.  Even today’s “remote” nature of work hasn’t hampered those opportunities, as you’ll learn from these five Lubar students.

Agustin Benitez
Credit Investment Intern, Public Fixed Income
Northwestern Mutual

As a student in the Lubar School’s elite Investment Management Certificate Program, Agustin Benitez (Senior, Finance and Information Technology Management), has been uniquely trained to conduct fundamental research and analysis for investment strategy. A Credit Investment Intern at Northwestern Mutual since May, Agustin has developed financial models to drive better decisions on investments in municipal debt, such as debt issues by local governments and non-profit districts like schools, hospitals, and airports. In addition he is working on credit analyses on specific municipal debt issuers, such as universities and water authorities. He has also conducted fundamental credit analyses for the “high yield” team, which invests in companies with below investment grade ratings, to determine the soundness of an investment. He says that his remote internship couldn’t have gone any better. “Management has continuously reached out to make sure everything is okay on my end.” Agustin was previously a Research Intern with the Wisconsin Policy Forum and a Financial Analyst Intern at Robert W. Baird. In January, he’ll begin a full-time position with Allstate Investments in Chicago as an Associate Analyst-Municipal Research, where he will analyze and recommend municipal bonds on a portfolio that has close to $9 billion in municipal assets under management.

Julianah Olukotun
Audit & Assurance Intern

Earlier this year, Julianah Olukotun (Graduate Student, MS-Professional Accounting) experienced life in the accounting “fast lane” working with clients in the trucking/transportation and manufacturing industries as an Audit & Assurance Intern with Deloitte. Julianah squeaked her internship in just prior to Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order that went into effect in late March, making her one of the few Lubar School interns who worked on location rather than remotely in 2020. Working closely with a team of audit associates, seniors, managers, and partners to audit clients’ financial statements and internal controls, her daily responsibilities included interacting with clients and performing audit procedures. “What I loved about the experience was that I was given the same tasks as a first-year associate,” she says. “Being able to have that kind of hands-on experience and exposure allowed me to gain a deeper, practical knowledge of the audit field.” While pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the Lubar School, Julianah also gained experience as an Accounting Intern at Walgreens corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, and an Innovation Intern at The Commons-Milwaukee. After completing her master’s program and passing the CPA exam, she will be off to Seattle, Washington in 2021 to begin her full-time career at Deloitte. Ultimately, she plans to return to school to pursue a PhD in Accounting.

Isabel Buckley
Merchandise Analyst Intern

Isabel Buckley (Senior, Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing) says that her summer internship with Kohl’s solidified her passion for retail and her ultimate career goal to become a buyer. A Merchandise Analyst Intern (or buying office intern) on the Apt 9 brand team, she sent out daily sales recap emails to the team, communicated with vendors, and regularly analyzed how her department was performing compared to the company as a whole. She was also involved in projects related to the best seller categories and comparison shopping. “I gained so much valuable knowledge from this internship,” Isabel says. “I think that being able to see behind the scenes of retail allowed me to have a greater appreciation for everything that goes into getting the clothes on the store floor.  Additionally, I was able to build great relationships with those I worked with and some lasting friendships.” It also has gotten her to think more strategically about the path it will take to her end-goal of being a buyer. “I can see myself as continuing as a merchandise analyst or switching into product development, which has more direct involvement with merchandise, as I begin my career journey.”

Kaelyn Arlt
Global Financial Planning and Analysis Intern

These are interesting times for businesses, as many reexamine their contingency planning to address the seismic changes they have experienced during the pandemic. And also a great time for an intern to be assigned to a strategic planning team of a global Fortune 150 company. Kaelyn Arlt (Junior, Finance and Human Resource Management) is excited to have a window into that process. As a Global Financial Planning and Analysis Intern at ManpowerGroup, Kaelyn’s summer assignment was to select a visualization tool to use in an interactive, four-year strategic playbook. Using Power BI, she created an interactive visual that allows drilling down into specific regions, countries, quarters, and years. As her internship continues this semester, she is assisting with tracking operational progress within the three-year strategic plan. Though she is working remotely, she has still been able to create relationships with people – including a coworker in Singapore. “All of the interns get together in Teams meetings on a daily basis to connect and network with others in the finance and accounting departments,” she says. Being back in school for the fall semester, Kaelyn also sees an advantage to remote work, in that she can easily switch between class and work. She plans to gain meaningful corporate experience before going graduate school in a few years.

Arturo Esparza
College Financial Representative
Northwestern Mutual

Arturo Esparza (Senior, Marketing) says that one of the best things that he’s getting out of his experience as a College Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual is knowing that he is helping people to manage their money.  “I’ve learned about financial opportunities that are available to basically everyone, and I can teach people about them,” he says. Through his internship, Arturo says that he’s learned how to deal with business clients effectively one on-one. That means not only being knowledgeable about Northwestern Mutual’s financial products and overall financial trends, but understanding how to build relationships and rapport, and being client-focused. This is his first internship, and though remote, he’s comfortable with the daily Zoom meetings that have included training, activity tracking, and client calls. His goal is to learn as much as he can from this position and to pursue a career in finance.