Ariana Yaffe

Internship Spotlight – Ariana Yaffe, Merrill Lynch

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Ariana Yaffe is a Marketing Major set to graduate in May 2021.  This summer she interned for Merrill Lynch as a Seasonal Client Associate in Westlake Village, California.

How did you get this internship?

I knew a financial advisor at the company so I applied and was given the opportunity to work there for the summer

What was a typical day like?

I would come in at 8:30, I would check my email and respond to them for the first 30 mins. After that my days varied. Essentially whatever the FA’s needed me to do, I did. I did many expense reports, I worked a lot on Salesforce cleaning up client profiles, and I also had . a large part in contacting clients and helping to switch them over to e-delivery for their tax statements, prospectuses, and other forms. After doing my work for the day I would usually end up leaving around 3:30 or whenever I finished. Everyday was so different.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part was when I was able to sit in on client phone calls. Financial advisors see their clients at times of happiness and stress, and are trusted with the responsibility of making the big financial decisions for them during those times. there is a lot of trust between clients and their advisors and I enjoyed seeing that.

If you worked on a big project, please describe it below:

I became very familiar with concur this summer as I worked closely with and FA who had many recent expenses as he had just taken over a new book of clients. I organized them all, uploaded them, and inputted them into concur, as well as did multiple gift pre-authorizations. That was one of my largest projects of the summer alongside the e-delivery I was doing for clients.

What did you find most challenging about your internship?

I was the youngest one there by about 30 years. I had to mature a lot and learn how to hold my own in an office where all the people had been in the industry for years. I  had to find a balance between not being stepped on while also being respectful and letting it be apparent that I was there to learn everything I could from them.

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

Reach out to anyone you know in the industry. Showing you are eager to learn can be the first step for getting your foot in the door. Any little connection can help.

How did Eller prepare you for your internship?

I used excel a large amount in my internship which I was very familiar with from BNAD 276 and 277. I also applied for this internship using my Eller resume and a similar cover letter template.

Anything else you would like to share about your internship experience?

It was overall a very good experience. I learned a lot about both the wealth management industry, and myself. I also learned how to act in a business professional setting.