How did you find your internship?

It actually started as a fellowship, which was open to all Alverno students with a PCM (Public Communications Management) minor. So I, along with quite a few of my classmates, pursued the opportunity and, after an extensive interview process involving people from Alverno as well as Baird, I was selected as the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship along with the fellowship opportunity. Eventually, I was interviewed for – and was offered – a long-term intern position in the Compliance Capital Markets department at Baird, which will continue through my graduation next spring.

Describe your internship.

There are five business units within Baird, so the Compliance Capital Markets department serves each of these units to ensure compliance with new regulations and rules, procedural changes and in-general approval for other personnel aspects. My role in all of this is updating manuals for business units and making sure the correct information is relayed as it pertains to compliance, new policies and procedures.

What would you list as the highlights?

Intern Profile: Lindsey Johnson

Lindsey Johnson is pictured in the conference room at Robert W. Baird & Co. with mentor Eric Field.

It’s all very interesting – from gaining an understanding of the financial industry to learning about regulatory procedures – but by far, the biggest highlight is the environment at Baird. It’s friendly and open; I’m never stifled and always encouraged to ask questions. The position is classified as a long-term intern, so there’s a significant investment made in each employee. As a result, I’m finding that it’s an incredibly rich learning environment. They expect you to be challenged, so it’s never easy or boring. Coming from a similar place like Alverno, it’s a welcome relief to continuously be challenged.

How has this internship prepared you for your next career step?

Alverno is very collaborative whereas the entire process at Baird has been extremely competitive, so I think that has been a highly useful takeaway. I can say that I used things learned at Alverno, especially in my business management classes, to get my point across and help me stand out from the competition. In addition, I’m learning so much about the financial industry; not only can I take that to my next professional experience, but I can also apply that knowledge to classes I’m taking, so that’s been incredible.

How has your Alverno experience helped with the transition to your internship?

One such aspect that is so relevant from classroom to workforce is networking. At Alverno, it’s called social interaction, but essentially the Alverno courses and assessments help you to react professionally to any environment you’re thrown into. I can take social interaction one step further and directly apply what I’ve learned at Alverno to the aspects and importance of client relationships to this position and, really, truly, any job in the real world. Regardless of the position, building trust among customers is crucial.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I’d love to explore the option of government or not-for-profit work. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the corporate industry because I do. I’m finding that for-profit has strong business structure, great policies and a solid framework, but I think in a year I’ll be ready to apply what I’ve learned at Baird and what I’ve learned at Alverno to a completely different sector. Beyond that, continuing education is important to me, so after I’ve had some time in the field I want to return to school to earn an MBA.