Internship Spotlight – Spenser McDonald, Catalina Investments

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Spenser McDonald is a Finance major expecting to graduate in the Spring of 2018. This summer, he was an Analyst Intern for Catalina Investments in Tucson, Arizona. Since his internship was local, he was able to live at his house near campus for the summer.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part of the experience was the treatment I received from the staff. They were truly there to help me learn more about their industry and answered any questions I had for them. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself  included in many more aspects of the business than I had anticipated. I grew both personally and professionally through my internship experience. Catalina cares about their interns and definitely wants to see them succeed.

What big project did you work on this summer?

My big project for the summer was to build a portfolio for a client based on their needs and financial goals. I was able to do my own research and pick which investments I thought were the best fit. It was an exciting experience and something I initially thought would be outside the realm of an internship. My portfolio was looked over by an adviser and with his help, we were able to apply it to the client’s investment.

What advice do you have for other students seeking a similar internship?

My advice for students interested in this type of internship would be preparation. Be prepared to work hard and learn the basics of the industry before going in. A strong foundation is important to a firm and they want to see that you are interested in what they do. Expect to do things you won’t necessarily want to do and be open to criticism because it jump starts growth. Go above and beyond what is asked of you, keep your head on straight, and be genuine.

How did Eller prepare you for your internship?

Eller prepared me for this internship in terms of knowledge and communication. I was able to use the information I learned in my finance classes to help me perform better during my internship. Eller’s focus on communication and public speaking helped me greatly in presenting to executives and speaking to clients. Eller has taught me to be comfortable in high pressure situations.