Studying Finance or having a keen interest in it is one thing. Knowing how to get a job in Finance is another. Alex Baum, TIG alumnus and New Jersey native, was majoring in Finance when he decided to do an internship in Spain at an international investment bank. After working at ONEtoONE Corporate Finance for two months as an analyst, Baum went back to school with a full-time position on the horizon. After graduating in December, Baum was hired to help ONEtoONE Corporate Finance expand into the United States. Baum currently works at ONEtoONE Corporate Finance USA in New York City.
TIG: Could you tell me a little bit about why you were interested in interning abroad and what attracted you to The Intern Group program?
Baum: I really wanted to get international experience and, seeing as I had been undecided in my major, I did not have the opportunity to study abroad. I saw The Intern Group as the perfect opportunity to get work experience and immerse myself in another culture.
TIG: What internship did you end up taking on through The Intern Group and what were your main duties?
Baum: I worked as an M&A analyst for ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. I had a wide range of responsibilities mainly in research for our deals. I did industry and economic analysis, created teasers and other pitches, contributed to company information memorandums and created industry segmentations for potential deals, among other things.
TIG: What is one important professional lesson that you learned on the job in Madrid?
Baum: I learned the importance of attention to detail. In M&A basically everything you work on is a deliverable (gets presented or delivered to the client), and as such must be perfect. I distinctly remember being asked to fix a presentation and, after seeing nothing wrong with it, my boss pulled me aside and showed me that the columns on tables on different slides were different sizes. At first I was frustrated as it seemed somewhat ridiculous, but I learned that the little things and the detail set the best apart from the rest.
TIG: What was it like working in an international office?
Baum: I thoroughly enjoyed working in an international office, and would have to say that I learned that we are much more alike than we will ever be different. Also, 2-hour lunches were nothing to complain about.
TIG: Could you name a professional and a personal highlight of your experience in Madrid?
Baum: I became extremely close with some members of my team, and still frequently Skype with them, as we are not only coworkers but friends. For personal, I would have to say San Fermin and running with the bulls was a once in a lifetime experience, and quite frankly a lot of fun.
TIG: How did your internship prepare you for the work that you’re doing today?
Baum: Well it was an introduction to the exact same work. That being said, as the first true employee in the US, I have a lot more expected of me and having a foundation is helping me to learn more quickly.
“Working abroad forces you to immerse yourself and teaches you that there are other ways of doing and seeing things that you’ve been taught.” -Alex Baum
TIG: Would you recommend an internship abroad to others? Why or why not?
Baum: Yes. It’s an absolutely fantastic experience. I loved my time in Madrid both professionally and personally. Working abroad forces you to immerse yourself and teaches you that there are other ways of doing and seeing things that you’ve been taught. It really broadens your perspective, challenges the truths that you hold to be self-evident and greatly increases the empathy and understanding that you have for others, both at home and abroad.
TIG: What would you say to people who have doubts about doing an internship in a foreign country?
Baum: Doubt holds you back from going after what you want. Honestly, when else can you pick up for a few months and experience an entire new world? “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” -William Shakespeare
TIG: Anything else you would like to add?
Baum: Experience and try new things. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and you will be rewarded.
Photos by: Alex Baum