GPP’s Summer Intern Class of 2022: Coffee, Comms and Q&A
This summer, GPP welcomed four summer interns to its Midtown office. It was a busy season, packed with networking events, presentations, and many iced coffees to combat the summer heat. Here are some takeaways:
Q: How did you find Gladstone Place Partners and what drew you to financial communications?
Jacob: The route I took to find GPP was a rather circuitous one. I knew I wanted to pursue something in the financial world, but the prospect of staring at an Excel sheet all day made my skin crawl. I recalled that one of the lawyers with whom I’d networked had mentioned something about financial communications. I decided to research the industry and became increasingly intrigued by the niche, albeit incredibly important, work GPP did. I threw my name in the hat, interviewed with the team, and the rest is history.
Nicole: GPP was my last train stop during my hectic search for a finance internship. As an international student, I had to travel the linear path of applying to opportunities solely linked to my Economics degree. Naturally, this entailed writing aptitude tests, rehearsing “super day” interview responses and psyching myself to rise above the flood of rejection emails that follow after a painstaking 8-month recruitment journey. All these fragments of failure – or “lessons” – led to a phone call with Vanessa Esparza, SVP, human capital, one Friday morning when I decided to give myself one more shot at something that I actually envisioned myself doing. I had no clue what financial communications entailed, but three things that stood out to me during my conversation with Vanessa were: corporate governance, strategic communications, and an emphasis on client confidentiality. Immediately, I was intrigued by GPP, and how it maintains a reputable portfolio of clients.
Q: What was your favorite or most unexpected experience of the summer? (This could be about GPP, the city, etc.)
Shantinque: This summer I threw everything I thought I knew about the media out the window. There is such a unique ecosystem that lives within news outlets and social media, which I had no idea about prior to working at GPP. I never took a second thought about the individuals that wrote pieces for outlets such as The Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg, and the same things goes for influential people who voice their opinions on platforms, such as Twitter.
Lorenzo: I loved all the GPP social events and getting the chance to bond with the team outside of the office. The tour of the Bloomberg NYC offices was especially interesting. We got to see the Bloomberg TV studio and radio stations from behind-the-scenes, and the visit was capped off with a stunning top-floor view of the Manhattan skyline.
Q: In what areas did you see yourself grow the most? Did you develop any skills this summer that you can use in the future?
Jacob: Before coming to GPP I had never been a part of a professional team. Working alongside my fellow interns, as well as being a member of larger client teams, has afforded me the ability to practice my collaborative work skills—from bouncing ideas off one another, to actively working in tandem on a variety of different projects.
Nicole: I have been able to gain a clearer sense of how to adapt messaging to different stakeholders. Crafting emails, working directly on client teams, and drafting huddle discussion points have all contributed to my greater appreciation for an audience, which is a guiding skill as I forge a career in financial communications. Intent should always be backed by audience awareness.
Lorenzo: Since I began my internship with GPP, I have become a more confident and efficient writer. I think this skillset is applicable to every job and industry and will stay with me well into the future. Additionally, rather than assigning us simple research tasks or sending us on coffee runs (every intern’s biggest fear), GPP consistently gave all of us the opportunity to work on actual client teams. The work we completed was useful for the rest of the firm and it really helped me grow more comfortable in my written and verbal skills as a communicator.
Q: How did GPP’s company culture influence your experience?
Shantinque: Last summer, I interned in-house and quickly learned that I wanted to pivot in a different direction. I wanted to experience working for a wide range of industries and leverage my skills in a better manner. Then I found GPP, a boutique firm filled with individuals with tremendous experience who are happy to share their wealth of knowledge. From day one, I was communicating with senior people at the company and felt a sense of belonging as an intern. The fast-paced nature of the financial communications world can become overwhelming, but GPP meets this challenge, as professional development and rich conversation surrounding the news and media is embedded deep into the company culture. I didn’t feel like just a summer intern, I felt like I was truly apart of GPP and ready to deliver value with the plentiful knowledge I acquired this summer. GPP has helped me on my journey to becoming the professional I aspire to be, and I couldn’t ask for a better experience.
Jacob: At GPP, summer interns are staffed on client teams and are able to interact and have substantive conversations with senior members of the firm on a daily basis. This culture of teamwork, inclusion, open mindedness, and collaboration all helped to foster an environment that encourages growth.
Lorenzo: GPP has a great team of people. Everyone is kind, caring, smart, and incredibly supportive. I felt welcomed from my very first day as an intern and felt like I could approach and chat with everyone else at the firm no matter their position or title. The weekly internal huddles are great breaks from day-to-day tasks, and they not only help keep everyone at the firm up to speed, but also offer an opportunity to openly exchange ideas and opinions. As communications advisors, GPP places a significant emphasis on being up to date with the news. That importance rubbed off on me and I’ve since become much more invested in reading financial news and comfortable discussing topics I previously thought I would never understand in my life.
Q: What advice do you have for future GPP interns?
Nicole: Everything counts, even the things that seem small. Maintain an indisputable professionalism in everything that you do (no one expects perfection: it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them along the way). Respond to emails on time and be punctual to meetings. Strive for professionalism in the details as much as you strive to produce high quality work. Finally, ask all the questions you can think of, as it’s one of the best and quickest ways to learn.
Lorenzo: Be proactive and dependable. It’s important to demonstrate to others that you not only want to help, but that you can prove your worth and surpass their expectations, so that next time they come straight to you for help. That said, I think it’s also okay to make mistakes and to ask for help if you have questions. I’ve heard people at work repeatedly say, “there’s no such thing as a stupid question”, and it’s true. The internship program is designed to help interns become better professionals and communicators, so don’t worry about coming off “dumb” or feel like you are being judged. The team at GPP is eager to help you learn and improve, particularly if you actively seek guidance.
Q: What meme best describes your internship experience?