CFS Class: Business Field Studies
Employer: CDI Global
My summer CFS experience has been valuable in several different ways. Foremost, my internship at CDI Global, an M&A advisory firm, has been a great learning experience primarily because my supervisor, the Managing Director for the North America division, is extremely invested in our development and career advancement. On a daily basis, he will check in on our progress and will often spend a couple of hours teaching us about an industry or giving us advice on our careers and life in general – having this direct and close association with one of the firm’s leaders and someone who has had 30+ years of experience in consulting is invaluable for my career journey as I am also interested in consulting. In addition, he includes in his meetings and calls and takes us to lunch every week to deep-dive into our week’s progress and talk about varied topics.
Another factor that has contributed to my internship experience is the nature of the industry we were working in – M&A is an exciting and dynamic space in which I was able to get a lot of exposure to different sectors, companies and executives. All of our clients were looking to grow and being a part of that transformation was very interesting. The skills I gained in researching different target companies, analyzing strategic fit with our client, communicating with executives directly and creating teasers and presentations for these projects developed a host of my professional skills and will definitely come in handy in a career in consulting. Another skill I gained was multitasking and time management, as we usually had several projects on our plate at once. From this, I also learned that I thrive in this kind of a dynamic working environment in which I am learning several different things and contributing in different ways.
Finally, the work environment was very productive yet enjoyable as it was a small space shared by myself, the two other interns and our supervisor, allowing for effective communication and a more intimate work culture.
At the same time, however, the internship did have its challenges. Firstly, towards the later part of the internship, the actual work I was doing was getting monotonous – although the learning I gained was still valuable. Creating target lists with 15+ companies for 8 weeks can get repetitive, and it did frustrate me for a short while. However, I then realized that creating these lists is just the surface level of the work and if I am consciously taking note of all the research, analysis and learning that goes behind creating them, I will appreciate its value. Once I started doing that, I not only started to enjoy this work like I did at the beginning of the internship, but I also started getting a lot more engaged in my projects and started producing better quality work. This made me realize that every internship ,and every opportunity, really is what you proactively make of it. Similar to this, there were several other rudimentary tasks that I came to value later after following this train of thought – for example, finding the right contacts on databases, constantly communicating with them and keeping record of each of these communications. These were all repetitive activities, but I later began to engage more closely with them and extract as much learning as I could.
In sum, my internship at CDI Global was extremely enriching and I am grateful for having been given this opportunity. I am definitely going to use all this learning in my future endeavors, and stay connected with my supervisor, who has been the driving force behind all the knowledge and skills I have gained.