My internship at TIM Group29th August 2014
Like most formative occasions in my twenties, the course of my career trajectory has been unexpected and expansive. Having worked and interned in the non-profit and governmental sectors during my undergraduate studies, I had neither researched nor appraised myself as particularly suitable for the business and technology realms. With two years of intervening work experience in international relations and a divergent M.A. course on economics, I felt compelled to adapt my skills to a new industry and gain exposure to the business and corporate sectors.
There are many factors to consider when considering summer internship placements, on par with those of choosing permanent employment and an eventual career. These variables are complex and multifaceted, including company size, the purview of one’s office responsibilities, office environment, co-worker relations and firm-wide management and communications practices. Moreover, there are long-term implications, including career and advancement prospects and company values. Having interned for organizations in the past, I sought a placement with a firm that would allow me to fundamentally integrate myself into its work culture and operating structures while providing the greatest degree of first-hand project experience.
TIM Group (Global) is a mid-size firm of 83 employees with offices based on three continents: North America (New York), Europe (London) and Asia (Hong Kong). I was pleasantly surprised to find that TIM Group’s size has allowed it to cultivate an uncommon and vibrant sense of community, structural flexibility, and horizontal exchange. All employees are required to participate in quarterly ‘Kick-off’ meetings during which teams and managers address and give direct feedback about the company mission, financial targets, and quarterly revenue goals. I was fortunate to be invited to these meetings, which were duly insightful and constructive. TIM Group is constantly striving for improvement and adjustment; currently pioneering a new ‘discussion group’ model in which employees meet voluntarily to give broad-based input on topics of personal interest, ranging from employment practices and company strategy to office culture.
A majority of my work experience has taken place in settings where the average duration of work experience is skewed towards mid and late career professionals, and I often struggled to abridge my nascent skills and knowledge with more seasoned co-workers. One of the most impressive and advantageous practices at TIM Group is management’s willingness to hire individuals of diverse educational and personal profiles, career stages and specialties. This includes an uncommonly large influx of new graduate hires and twenty-something professionals who give the firm a vibrancy which few other employers can boast. Working as an intern in a new industry, TIM Group’s diverse demographics and management structure have encouraged me to reach out freely, ask questions and gain access to multiple mentors and resources. Moreover, I felt that my feedback and contributions were genuinely valued and taken into consideration, a privilege which few trainees can boast. Co-workers routinely went out of their way to provide direct feedback and assistance on projects, explain new concepts and make me feel welcomed and acknowledged in the office. Due to this cooperative and helpful office atmosphere, it was not difficult to strive to improve my knowledge and complete projects to the highest calibre of my ability. During my time at TIM Group, I was fortunate to contribute and collaborate on a large spectrum of projects which have allowed me to explore my role as Business Analyst/Client Services Intern thoroughly. My daily tasks were diverse, including database entry, writing/editing firm documents and memos, market research assignments, project management, tech support and account management. With support from my supervisor, I was provided with the opportunity to manage large-scale projects, such as a comprehensive Compliance Survey project for a major client, firm-wide department standardization, and the TIM Group Q3 Stock-Picking Competition. I supplemented these large-scale tasks with market research on behalf of sales managers, reporting, editing and client management related roles. I enjoyed producing client reports in particular; this included generating quarterly and individual performance reports for client meetings, weekly sentiment reports on stocks, as well as helping to manage firm service invoices.
Assisting with administrative and support roles at TIM Group has provided me with a firm-wide introduction to the so-called ‘Fin-Tech’ sector, a fast-growing, instrumental intermarriage between the finance and technology industries; combining advanced computing software with financial formulae to revolutionize the interpretation and decryption of financial market data. Working on behalf of a rapidly growing firm at the forefront of the trade ideas market has awakened my desire to pursue a technology and business-oriented career course that is challenging, intellectually stimulating and fast-paced.
I had the good fortune to come into my Client Services role during an unusually exciting and auspicious time at TIM Group; the launch of a comprehensive new product called TIM Investor in July of 2014. Being present in the midst of preparations for the Q3 product unveiling was simultaneously exhilarating and educational. In the office, I was able to gain understanding of the fundamental development processes that feed into the planning, sales, and cultivation stages of TIM Group’s product and accounts. Working for a mid-scale firm, collective company goals have become inextricably personal and intrinsic. There seems to be a firm-wide sense of mutual striving, optimism and realization that is often lost in more rigidly structured organizations. Operating in a new and as of yet uncharted industry, there is an insistent tone of promise for expansion, growth, development, and advancement that is so compelling to an ambitious new graduate.