Name: Kaloyan Valchev
Minor(s): Business Institutions Program
CFS Class: Business Field Studies
Employer: Green Courte Partners
We all have a couple of friends who ace all of their exams, hold leadership roles in a bunch of clubs, and land Investment Banking internships in the middle of their sophomore year. You don’t need to be like them. For some of us, it takes time to decide which career we want, and even more time to prepare for it. At the end of my sophomore year, even though I already had an idea of what positions I was looking for, it was difficult for me to express why I was interested in them and had little experience to support my applications. I knew it was necessary for me to do CFS in order to gain that experience. I was not just proved right; there were additional unexpected benefits that you should also consider before deciding whether CFS is worth it.
I started interviewing for Fall CFS in June. I had around fifteen interviews over the summer. Rejection after rejection. No feedback, no explanation. I could feel that I was more comfortable with every other interview, and finally I got several offers in late August and early September. These interviews are one of the most overlooked advantages of CFS, not only because students can practice interviewing in a less stressful yet real circumstances, but also because they make one think thoroughly about his or her career interests, choices, preferences, and strengths.
I chose to intern at Green Courte Partners, a real estate private equity firm. I was their first CFS intern, so it was an exciting start for both sides. The relaxed environment, meaningful work, and flexible schedule made my time at the company valuable and enjoyable, but I was surprised by how much this experience helped me define my career interests and improved my communications with other employers. Claiming I was extremely interested in an internship position was one thing, but being able to draw from my own work experience to support my claim made my conversations much more authentic and my supporting arguments much more plausible.
I was also surprised by how well the CFS class complements the internship. One of the benefits of the class that I want to focus on are the discussions with other interns who talk about their own experiences with the companies and industries they are interning at. Participating in such conversations and listening to others’ opinions helped me learn more about the other industries I was looking at in the long term. Therefore, the CFS program does not only provide an experience which is limited to one’s specific internship, but through these discussions, as well as the interviews mentioned earlier, one can get an almost equally fundamental understanding of a variety of companies and industries.
But what about those couple of friends I mentioned in the beginning? How did they get there? Well, chances are some of them also did CFS. The benefits of having internship experiences are indisputable, and CFS is a unique way to get started.