Name: Nicole Perez
Class Year: May 2020
Major: Computer Information Systems, Health & Industry LSM
Position: Risk Advisory Intern
Can you describe your career path for me? (This may include HS jobs, internships, etc.)
During my summer between sophomore and junior year, I had my first internship experience as a Launch Intern for EY. It was my first ‘job’ and it was also one of the most amazing experiences I have had so far. As a Launch intern, I was able to rotate among EY’s main service lines, including: assurance, tax and advisory. Through each rotation, I was exposed to different projects and by the end of my internship I had participated in external audits, tax returns and a some SOC reports. However, my internship experience taught me so much more. I was given the opportunity to meet and network with so many professionals who shared their career paths with me and were always willing to guide me towards my ideal career. Moreover, I was also surrounded by a great class of interns with whom I was able to form lifelong friendships.
Given how much I enjoyed my Launch internship, I decided to go back for an Advisory client-serving internship. Over this past summer, I reconnected with people I had already met last year but I also able met so many more people within the Advisory department. I was involved in multiple projects that involved clients in a wide range of industries. I was exposed to internal audit projects for which my team and I had to create sample populations and use IT controls to implement a system that would improve their current payroll process. Later on, I was also involved in the early phase of a millionaire project proposal. For this, I contributed with the presentation and was able to attend their dry-run meetings before the orals. It was definitely challenging but significantly rewarding having been able to collaborate and learn more about a proposal process.
My greatest takeaway from my internship was my passion for serving clients and being exposed to a wide array of industries. I enjoyed meeting so many people, gaining valuable career insights, and I can’t wait to see where my future takes me!
How did you become interested in this career?
I became interested in an Advisory career after I attended a workshop hosted by EY in their Boston office. During this workshop, I learned more about the company’s culture and all they had to offer. It was extremely important for me to intern in a company that felt strongly about helping others like EY does. Thus, pursuing an Advisory internship allowed me to interact and collaborate with clients on a daily basis. I felt passionate about learning about my clients’ challenges and being capable to develop solutions that will help them achieve or even surpass their expectations. Additionally, a career in Advisory would be constantly challenging me to learn more about new clients, industries and problems which would ultimately led me into becoming a well-rounded and strong professional.
What aspects of your position do you find most rewarding?
There are many aspects of my position that I find rewarding such as having constant interactions with extremely knowledgeable professionals as well as being involved in different committees and organizations within the firm. However, there is nothing I find more rewarding from my position that being client-facing. I really enjoy interacting with multiple client representatives from various departments to determine and develop viable solutions to their problems.
What aspects do you find most challenging?
The aspect that I found to be the most challenging was being able to take full advantage of all the resources and opportunities I was given. As an intern, I was responsible to attend all client meetings and I had deliverables that needed to be turned in to follow the project timeline. However, I was also receiving invites to attend events sponsored by various employee organizations and I was also given access to an online portal containing millions of certified courses.
Although I believe I did a good job managing my time to fulfill my client obligations on a timely manner while also getting involved with EY and its people. It was certainly a challenge at first to attend all the events or to complete all the courses that I was interested in. However, once I carefully planned my schedule to fit all of my responsibilities and personal activities, I was able to accomplish what I had planned.
What advice do you have for someone preparing to enter this career?
My advice to anyone preparing to enter a career in Advisory would be to have an open mind that will allow and encourage for learning. As an advisor there should be nothing more important than your professional experience. Every day you should be prepared to encounter a new risk for which you will need to use all the resources available to develop the most efficient mitigation strategy. Thus, I deeply believe that people interested in advisory should learn from one’s experience but also from other experienced professionals. Therefore, I encourage everyone interested in Advisory to network, network, network and further develop strong relationships with professionals in their field.
Are there any Bentley specific courses or resources you would recommend to help someone pursue this career?
I would recommend to someone interested in technology advisory to take courses such as CS180 and CS360. In these courses you are able to strengthen your critical thinking skills while learning a coding language like Java that is extremely helpful in the workplace. In CS180, students are challenged to develop a series of programs. In order for the programs to run, the students need to understand the information they are managing and the relationships that exist. Furthermore, CS360, a communication intensive class, exposes students to real-life business scenarios and requires students to act as advisors to ultimately design an object-oriented information system.
Who is one person at Bentley that helped you get where you are today?
I consider myself to be lucky enough to have received all the coaching and support from Janet Ehl and Jen Graham. During my sophomore year, Janet and Jen were working collaboratively as the CIS Career Advisors and it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly for me. During that time, I was able to learn what my real interests were and the possible career paths I could take with my degree. Since then, I have remained very close to them as they have always been willing to help me achieve my career goals. I can’t thank them enough!