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Brian Zaffino joined us last year for our Virtual Internship program, and we are excited to welcome him back to SSA & Company for another summer. We asked Brian about his biggest takeaways from last summer, how he applied them, and what he is looking forward to accomplishing this summer.
Thinking back to your experiences with SSA & Company last summer, what were some of your biggest takeaways?
Brian: Last summer, I was just getting my feet wet in the internship program. I enjoyed being able to learn and get guidance from all of the different people I was working with. Their wealth of knowledge and the opportunity to get real, hands-on experience was what I appreciated most. Being able to go and try different things on my own throughout projects and get feedback on my work as opposed to just watching someone do their work was really valuable and allowed me to make an impact.
Because I had a solid foundation from last summer, this year I was able to jump right in and get to work on two project teams and have already started building on what I previously learned. I think it’s more fun learning on the fly and trying to succeed right off the bat— it helps you to learn as much as possible.
With Brian coming back to SSA & Company for another summer program, we asked him to reflect on his experiences and how he applied them this past year.
Brian: I am an English major so the crossover between the business components of my experience last summer was less direct, but I think that the critical thinking skills that I developed helped me a lot even though it’s not necessarily the same topic areas. I also learned how to quickly develop an understanding of information that’s put in front of me, build a clear analytical strategy to assess the information, and communicate what I see in the data.
Last summer, Brian worked on data- and research-related projects, supporting client teams remotely, but this year he has the opportunity to work face to face with clients. Now that his responsibilities will be different, we asked him what he was hoping to learn and what skills he will be working on this year.
Brian: Coming in this summer, my goals are to continue building on the skills I developed last summer and continuing to learn how to develop an analysis with respect to the scope of the project at hand. I am also looking forward to getting the opportunity to work alongside some of the more experienced team members. Getting a glimpse at what they do on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s seeing how they interact with clients or understanding the behind-the-scenes preparation they put in, it is a great way to learn about the business. I think this summer will be an opportunity for me to really experience what it is like to be an advisor and work in consulting.
Finally, Brian told us what made him decide to come back to be a part of another summer program at SSA & Company.
Brian: The biggest things that brought me back this summer were the team and the opportunity to continue learning. Despite my internship being completely digital last summer, I felt like I was still able to build strong relationships with my team and other members of the firm. Because of this, I was eager to come back. It’s an environment where I feel comfortable and am excited to continue learning and growing.
We are lucky to have Brian back and excited to have him as a part of our team for the summer. Interested in finding out more about working at SSA & Company? Learn more about our company culture here and browse our latest job openings here.