Ryan Connors ’16 began his senior year with one important item checked off on his to-do list: Find a job.
Ryan recently completed a summer internship with BlackRock, a well-known financial management firm. A few days later, the company offered him a job on its financial analyst team.
He knew that BlackRock likes to hire from its internship program, and he was honored to see that happen in his case. “For it to actually come to fruition is something that I’m extremely proud of,” he said. “I can’t wait to start there.”
Originally from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Ryan came to LC because he saw an opportunity to be challenged academically in the Westover Honors Program and athletically on the men’s lacrosse team. He chose to major in economics with an emphasis in finance and minor in political science and mathematics. Last year, he spent a lot of time researching career options in the financial field and interviewing professionals he met on LinkedIn.
“I always saw myself going into finance at some point,” he said. “The process of interviewing and trying to get an internship really led me to learn a whole lot more about the finance industry in general. I became more interested in making investment decisions.”
A contact at BlackRock suggested that Ryan apply for the firm’s internship program online. He worried that an online application was a dead end, but his resume stood out. He was able to spend the summer working with BlackRock analysts who manage fixed income investment accounts. He worked on a credit research project and learned how to navigate the software Blackrock uses.
Ryan said his experiences at LC played a crucial role in preparing him to succeed in the internship and land a job offer at the end. He recalled advice from his lacrosse coach, Steve Koudelka, who encourages athletes to sit at the front of the classroom, participate in discussions, and take questions to their professors. “I’ve always benefitted from getting to know my professors better and getting engaged in discussions with them,” Ryan said. The small class sizes at LC make it easy to interact with faculty, he added.
“They take incredible pride in what they do,” he said of his professors. “They definitely put the students first.”
The Westover Honors Program has helped him develop a breadth of knowledge in many disciplines. It required Ryan to take many classes he had never pictured himself taking in college, but that has led to the ability to make connections across disciplines, think critically, analyze information, and write well.
“Those things pay dividends,” he said.