By Rebecca Wang
The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) had the tremendous opportunity to receive a tour at the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and gain insight in working with them. This would be a substantial relationship to help ILF and the SEC in working together to connect interns. John Moses was an excellent host and very knowledgeable on explaining what the SEC does. He engaged the audience and tried to get to know the interns better.
Working at the SEC is a great way to work in public service while also protecting investors and common people from fraudulent stocks. It is a rewarding job and field that is different from the other federal agencies by helping businesses and the economy. Everyone really enjoyed their work at the SEC and encouraged us to look into the opportunities in working or interning at the SEC. There are plenty of areas to grow and move around within the agency, and interning helps with gaining experience. Olawale Oriola from the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy gave us a presentation on financial education. He was very knowledgeable on financial literacy and shared advice about investments. This was comparable to a mini lesson on how to start investing and budgeting our money. These tips are important as we transition into adult life and our finances become more crucial to manage. He taught me how to potentially save thousands of dollars in interest by just having a higher credit score. I really enjoyed their tips to start saving money earlier, and it sounded easy to get started. Saving a small percentage of your income every paycheck to go into investments really helps to set for a more financially stable future.
In the MarketWatch room, they had computer screens full of data and graphs to track the stability of the market. There were TV screens displaying different news channels to keep current updates. Any abnormalities detected where the market has a change in over 3% is analyzed, but that rarely occurs. We learned about the 2010 Flash Crash where there was a dip of almost 9% within a few minutes, and then recovering back. The causes of the Flash Crash are not clearly known, but part of their job at SEC is to determine what happened. They have to contact multiple agencies, countries, and exchanges to find the source, and then come up with a report to explain to the public about the crash.
The accomplished group of panelists explained their work experiences and gave tips on achieving our job goals. Even if the process may seem long, all the experience benefits us to be more attractive candidates for the position. Although it sounded more like they were seeking potential law students and accountants, they had a variety of fields applicable. The panelists included Duc Dang, Sunny Jeon, and Holly Pal who are a part of the AAPI Committee, and Lindsey Nedd, the Program Manager at the Office of Human Resources. Listening to their advice, how they got started in public service, and networking tips really helped to give us a direction in our careers. They were passionate about what they contribute and the impacts they have made. I was impressed by Sunny who was an intern. She was very knowledgeable and confident in discussing about her work and education. Although the panel was diverse in their areas of expertise, it would have been great to see other careers outside of the law sector.
This was a great learning experience and a good introduction into the SEC. Though I’m not sure the SEC would be a great fit for with my background, this could be an interesting internship opportunity for students interested in accounting, finances, IT, law, and other disciplines.