Austin Studebaker is a senior finance major from Richardson, Texas, who will graduate with his bachelor's degree in May 2016. While pursuing his degree, Austin has been highly involved in organizations at both the Rawls College and Texas Tech. He is the former vice president of finances for the Texas Tech Interfraternity Council; a student senator for the Student Government Association from 2013-14; and a current member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, where he has served as chaplain. This upcoming semester, Austin will become president of Financial Advisors and Analysts Society of Tech (FAAST). This past summer, Austin wanted to gain more experience in the financial industry and secured an internship as a JP Morgan Securities intern with JP Morgan in Dallas. Learn more about his internship experience in the Q&A below.
What were your responsibilities at JP Morgan?
I worked with a team of financial advisors and helped them with portfolio construction, financial planning, client communication, and a variety of other tasks. I developed an investment strategy model tracking asset performance for high-net-worth individuals, and conducted research and analysis on equity and fixed income markets, industry performance, and macroeconomic trends. I was also tasked with competing in a five-week stock challenge with 40 other interns across the U.S. I then had to give my final analysis and explanation of my decisions to a group of JP Morgan representatives.
What was your favorite part of the internship?
I enjoyed seeing how the markets worked in the real world. We learn about everything in class and through projects, but I never saw firsthand how everything came together. It was also nice being in a professional work environment where I had to deal with clients and financial advisors on a daily basis. Each advisor is different, with their own philosophies, and I was able to bounce around and learn from a multitude of industry professionals.
How did the skills and knowledge gained through your finance curriculum transfer to your internship?
I'm currently enrolled in Investments (FIN 3324), and my internship experience directly relates to this class. While it would've helped to take the class beforehand, I feel that my internship has prepared me for the lessons I'm currently learning. Other courses that were beneficial were Corporate Finance (FIN 3322) and Financial Statement Analysis (FIN 3321) because I used the lessons I learned there in several of my tasks. Other skills that I acquired through my time at the Rawls College that directly applied to my internship were my abilities to communicate and network. Like I mentioned, I had to present my stock challenge results to industry professionals, and I felt confident doing so because of the education I've received. I've also made great connections with people who can help me once I graduate, which again relates back to the networking skills the college instills in students.
What advice would you give other finance students who are pursuing an internship?
I would honestly say that you need to pursue as many internships as possible, even if you get turned down by some. Additionally, it's never too early or late to apply. I didn't receive confirmation from JP Morgan until March. You just have to keep pursuing internships until you find the right one. You also can't be afraid to put yourself out there. Network, be confident, and show prospective companies that you have the skills they're looking for in an intern.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.