My Life As A Skylight Intern – The Life for Me!

Throughout my whole life, I’ve spent each summer just like everyone else by relaxing and hanging out with friends.  But this year as I embarked on my 12-week internship at Skylight I wasn’t quite sure how my summer would work out.  I knew it was going to be different but to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect.  All I knew was that I liked finance.  I liked talking to people and collaborating with them and that I had aspirations at some point to manage my own business and my own schedule.  Financial planning seemed to make sense.

So I was delighted to find that the program that Skylight offered gave me the real-world experience that I was looking for and it helped me come to the realization, very early into my internship, that being a financial planner was the path I wanted to pursue.  It was an amazing experience, lots of fun and I learned so much not just about the job itself but also about myself. I would like to share what I learned:

#1 I learned that I can accomplish what I set my mind to and that I am suited to being a business owner
It felt great to be part of conversations with clients on a very professional level and to be taken seriously and not treated like a kid.  Also I loved the challenge of not being told what to do and being able to create my own schedule.  While at times this could be daunting, it was so rewarding and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The internship also forced me to be proactive in terms of what I wanted to accomplish.  I thrived on the reality that nothing would happen unless I put in the effort.  I’ve definitely come away feeling that I have what it takes to be a business owner.

#2 I’m certain I want a job where I can help people
Developing good relationships is always something that’s come pretty naturally to me so this aspect of financial planning was the best part of the internship.  I felt really happy to be doing something that helps improve the lives of others through my work.

#3 It was up to me to make things happen but the people at Skylight were there to give me all the help in the world
It was very clear from the start of the internship that things weren’t going to be handed to us on a plate and it was up to us to seek out knowledge, speak up for ourselves, and learn from others.  I knew I could figure it out but I was blown away by how personable and helpful all of the planners at Skylight were when I approached them. When I would seek people out with questions, they would go out of their way to check in with me and I really appreciated it.  Corbin Blackburn, my mentor, was very patient and answered all of my sometimes ridiculous questions.  I made sure to soak up everything I could through assisting and observing him in order to see what it was like to be an established planner while at the same time accepting his help in showing me how to building a practice from scratch. It’s a great feeling knowing that I’ll have such a great start to my career when I graduate.

#4 Skylight’s culture helped me thrive
I love the supportive, friendly, and relaxed culture of Skylight, and as a result I feel like I can thrive there.  The planners are all there to help each other and learn from each other.  It was interesting to see how they combined their experience and expertise in order to serve their clients together.

There was also a great social aspect to the internship.  We had activities like pizza Fridays, lunches, an Indians game, and group training sessions where we could learn together in a fun environment.  Even the office space was bright and spacious so I felt that I could really spread out which I found helpful.  Skylight has a great penthouse were you could always go to get air and enjoy the views of Cleveland, arguably the greatest city in the world.

So now that my internship is over I can definitely say that I don’t regret my decision to start my career with Skylight. I know I was really busy these past few months but this was so much more productive and fulfilling than a lazy summer. It’s great to have a summer internship but I’m even more excited about my opportunity because the work didn’t just end in August. This is literally the beginning of my own financial planning practice, and knowing that made me take it more seriously than anything else I could’ve done.  Thanks to everyone at Skylight for their help and in particular, Corbin Blackburn.  I look forward to what I can hopefully accomplish during my senior year and after.

Connor Faix is a Senior at Case Western Reserve University