Manning School of Business junior Lynn Le had to make some major adjustments when she started her co-op job at MSF Investment Management: commuting to Boston every day, working eight hours in an office, juggling multiple assignments and meeting rolling deadlines. The transition was challenging but she wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
“It was one of the best experiences I ever had,” says Le, who was among the first group of MSB students to participate in the co-op program.
A finance major, Le worked from January to July 2012 at the Back Bay headquarters of the global mutual fund firm, which is led by alumnus Robert J. Manning, for whom the Business School is named. She supported the sales team, preparing daily performance reports and sending information to clients. Through monthly meetings with MFS staff and co-op students from other colleges, she got a birds-eye view of the entire organization, learning how the company works.
One of the key skills she honed was prioritizing her work assignments – knowing what projects to tackle first.
“At school you have deadlines that are weeks in advance. At work you have deadlines throughout the day and things are thrown at you out of the blue,” she says.
At her co-op job, she applied the concepts she’s been learning in her classes. And after returning to campus, she has found the curriculum in her investment class is related to what she learned at MFS.
“It has all just clicked,” she says.
Le found mentors at MFS who offered career advice and guidance. She was urged to broaden her experience and took on extra assignments analyzing investments. She loved that work and now wants to become a certified financial analyst after getting her bachelor’s degree.
As a counterpoint to her interest in finance, Le’s minor is music and she sings with the Music Department’s vocal ensembles. On top of her full course load she works part-time at a call center.
She is planning on doing a second co-op rotation from July to December 2013 and would like to work in Boston again, this time getting analyst experience. She is confident about her career prospects given her course work and the professional experience she is getting as an undergraduate. When she met employers at the Fall 2012 Career Fair, the mention of her MFS job evoked a positive reaction.
“You could see their eyes light up when I said I already had co-op experience. It’s a differentiating factor,” she says.