MBA Student – Finance and Strategic Management & Certificate in Business Analytics
Pre-Program career: Construction Finance
Previous Degrees: Binghamton University (SUNY) – B.A. Economics
What did you do for the summer?
I was a Commercial Banking Intern within the Diversified Industries group of BMO Harris Bank. My group fell under the Middle Market Banking group and focused on lending senior level debt and revolving lines of credit to borrowers with revenue between $20MM and $2B. I actively participated on several deal teams completing due diligence, financial modeling and sensitivity analysis as well as creating credit presentation materials.
In addition to the various deal team activities, I completed multiple research and prospecting projects across the healthcare industry.
How did you best prepare for your internship experience?
Before arriving at Purdue in the fall of 2014, BMO was top of list for firms I was interested in working for. Over the course of the year, I spoke with several employees of BMO and BMO Harris Bank (the Canadian and US entities). I also connected with alumni and local contacts with connections at BMO. In total, it took a lot of work to form the connections needed.
What has been the most challenging part of your internship?
Perhaps different than most internships, I was quickly immersed in the day-to-day operations of several Diversified Industry group teams, a Sponsored Finance team and an Asset Based Lending team. Given that I was apart of several teams my workflow constantly changed and I had to be ready for deals to “pop” at a moments notice. Balancing all of these responsibilities was undoubtedly the most difficult part of my internship.
What did you enjoy about your internship?
BMO Harris Bank offers both a challenging and engaging workplace combined with a well-defined culture of excellence and respectable practices. No matter what my goals were or the opportunities that I sought, my supervisors were there to facilitate any actions and steps necessary. Whether I worked on Asset Based Lending compliance (ABL) or Term Loans I had the support and mentorship needed to succeed.
How did you find your internship? What drew you into this company?
Being from Canada I personally bank with BMO. Knowing the market perception of the bank and its emphasis on employee development and training I knew the company would be a good fit for my ambitions. Thanks to Randall Lewis of the KPDC I was invited to interview in late March at the Indianapolis office.
What has surprised you about your internship experience?
There have been two things that have surprised me equally while at BMO. The first is the sheer number of changes that are happening and will continue to happen as a result of increased regulation concerning things such as compliance. With an organization of 47,000 employees widespread changes are metaphorically Band-Aids on issues. The second is BMO’s openness to lateral movements within the organization whether across lines of business or into other groups. This stems from the banks goal to retain top talent in any capacity that will continue to intrigue and challenge them.
What courses from the MBA program have you found beneficial?
Not surprisingly I’ve utilized my skill set developed from courses such as Spreadsheet Modeling & Simulation taught by Professor Li, Financial Accounting, and Corporate Finance.
What courses do you plan to take upon returning to Purdue?
After the first half of my internship, I began to reflect back on what I had worked on and how it did or didn’t complement my existing skill set. This has led me to adjust my upcoming course work to include an additional accounting course (or two). As Warren Buffett suggested for a 2015 New Years resolutions “Take as many accounting courses as possible.”
Advice for someone looking to work at the company you are interning at?
BMO Harris Bank, the U.S affiliate of BMO Financial Group, a Canadian firm, has not historically recruited from Purdue but rather focused its efforts on eight other major universities in the Midwestern region of the U.S. Looking to the future, expect to see this company on campus, recruiting students for opportunities across various groups of the business.