Dan – Reflecting on the summer

As my internship has ended, I have taken a look back on the ten weeks I have spent in New York City with the Securities and Exchange Commission. I had experienced such great things that I would not have been able to see and feel anywhere else in the world. I was able to eat some of the best food in the world. This included an ice cream sandwich with two black and white cookies, vanilla ice cream, and everything bagel toppings around the ice cream. It sounds odd but is one of the best desserts I have ever had. Pizza does not compare to anywhere else in the world and I don’t know how many different types of cultural food I had eaten, but it is like I traveled the world in that aspect. I was present for multiple bomb scares. In times of great terrorist turmoil, I fully expected to be threatened by possible bombs and shootings. I fully knew the risks but knew that they could not change the way I live my life or they would win. One was on the subway platform I use to get to work in Grand Central Station. Another affected the commute of many colleagues that caused an eight hour standoff with NYPD in Columbus Circle. Lastly, another one was in the newly built and magnificent World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Seeing first hand what big city workers and dwellers have to live with quite frequently was eye opening. These may have only been threats, but a threat can turn into reality in a second. Lastly, I was able to participate in events in the city as well. I played in two different table tennis tournaments. One was with the SEC, which I ended up winning. The other was at Bryant Park and was truly humbled by a 21-17 win in the first round but a 21-2 loss in the second round.

Those are some of my experience in New York City with my internship but the most rewarding experience was probably finishing up an assignment and submitting it to my supervisor. It always felt amazing knowing that I was helping in some way in the examination of a broker dealer. I was taking work off the hands of the other examiners and we were collaborating and making sure all numbers and detail match up and there were no hints of suspicious activity. Every assignment I was able to work on, I learned something new that I have yet to experience in my college career. This was knowledge that helped me perform better on later assignments and in just a few weeks I was able to take home knowledge I had never even known existed in the financial world.

One of the biggest challenges of the internship was the traveling. My personal discipline was tested each and every day. I am a person that takes fitness seriously. I believe great fitness and discipline lead to a happy and healthy life. Commuting three hours each way to and from the city made it incredibly difficult to continue my fitness goals to the level I wanted. A typical day without working out would have me waking up at 5:45AM to catch a 6:30AM train. This would get me to work at exactly 8:40 with no delays. However, I needed to stay disciplined even in these times of early mornings and late nights, I had to stay disciplined and continue to reach for my fitness goals. That meant waking up at 4:30AM four out of five mornings during the work week to get at least an hour of training in before my work day started. This led to me being incredibly tired at some points but was something that needed to be done. This kept my motivation strong because, to me, it was a major accomplishment waking up so early day in and day out. This may have been the biggest challenge of the internship.

Overall, I was incredibly happy with how my internship experience played out throughout the ten weeks. I learned more than I ever could have imagined, met a few Scranton alumni that worked at the SEC, came home with many contacts, and ate GREAT food many times. I could not have had a more rewarding summer after only my first year of college.

Dan Muenkel

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