Internship Spotlight: Alex Pan ’24

Like James Bond, I contemplated being an international crime fighter and got “thrown into it.” Fidelity Investments offered me a summer internship that gave me a taste of what that is like. 

Here is the “Sparknotes” version of what I’m about to share:

  • Internships are talent pipelines for companies. Denison interns are value-add-ons that make meaningful contributions to both their co-workers and clients. 
  • Companies have diverse cultures. Explore and learn about what you like and don’t about them – or even better, imagine your ideal workplace. 
  • Take advantage of the Knowlton Center and all of Denison’s career exploration resources. You have access to game-changing privileges that can give you an advantage as a career explorer – so use them.   

More specifically, I joined Fidelity as a Financial Crimes, Tech Strategy, and Assurance Intern in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Our team worked to solve complex problems for our clients, from managing the implementation of new technology to understanding the implications of government regulation on new financial products. What at first appeared to me as small Microsoft Teams calls with 20 people was actually a series of constructive conversations on innovation that would transform the experiences of millions of Americans who held accounts with Fidelity. I was amazed daily by the incredible team of professionals that I worked with, with the average colleague having stayed 15 years with the firm throughout various business lines. As Generation-Z adopts “job hopping” as a career norm, I was fascinated with the ways Fidelity adapted corporate culture to retain tomorrow’s leaders for long periods of time. A lot of this had to do with Fidelity’s roots as a private company led by the Johnson family. 

Confidentiality and trust are key pillars of Fidelity’s culture. From day one, I was shown the ropes and trusted to take on projects. The Financial Crimes space involves sensitive information, and as such I was limited in the details I could share with my co-workers and friends about work. This foundational principle was transferable throughout the firm, and my colleagues were very willing to share about their business lines from Government Relations to Wealth Management. Whenever I wasn’t working on assigned projects, I was seated next to a software engineer or project manager as they explained the various initiatives they were undertaking.   

Denison and the Knowlton Center were the envy of my fellow interns. From the Career Support Fund to the vast network of Denison alumni at Fidelity willing to hop on introductory calls, I was well resourced in tackling the challenges of working in an unfamiliar state. In addition, my classes at Denison equipped me with a suite of critical thinking and organizational skills that came handy as a problem-solver. I recall the ability to analyze court cases and write briefs being activated (thank you Dr. Ives) as I completed a capstone project alongside the other Financial Crimes interns within my division. Preparation never hurts, and in my scenario enabled me to delight my bosses and teammates. 

I hope this is insightful, and please feel free to reach out with any questions.    

By Jakob Lucas
Jakob Lucas Peer Career Coach