A Startup Internship in New York City for a High School Sophomore


It was wonderful to discover that Neeraj went on to UCLA after high school and interned at Goldman Sachs last summer, as an investment banking analyst.

So how did Neeraj’s journey in finance begin? When he was at Princeton Day School, in our initial conversation with him, Neeraj told us that his cousins in San Francisco were involved in investment banking. He thought that he might like to have an internship in finance to gain early exposure to the field.

Why he chose to intern for a startup company instead of a financial firm?

We encouraged Neeraj to shift his focus from a financial firm for the time being. We explained that for someone who was age 16, a better idea might be to intern for a startup company, where he would actually be able to be delve into real work, and at the same time, see how businesses get started and funded.

Internships must be educational

We often hear from many parents who tell us that the summer before they contact us, their child interned for a relative or friend of the parents at either a law or financial firm, to their dissatisfaction. The students usually end up filing and photocopying and often get turned off from their experiences. My philosophy at Internship Connection is to make sure, when contacting a potential workplace mentor, that the student will be involved in a variety of tasks and meaningful work. The experience must be educational.

He learned about the financial aspects of running a startup and how to raise money

After researching potential businesses, we connected Neeraj to Privy. A startup funded by investors for over five million dollars, the company offers a local online marketing platform for businesses. Privy’s focus is to make it easy for local merchants to offer in-store promotions on the web that customers can redeem at their locations with their mobile phones, allowing local businesses to enhance local visibility and better target deals to consumers.

We thought that Neeraj, since his family owned a small business, would really be able to understand Privy’s mission and contribute his own ideas. In addition, he could learn about the financial aspects of running a startup and how the founders raise money.

Jake Cohen, Director of Strategy took Neeraj under his wing, providing thoughtful and challenging tasks.

Words from Neeraj’s journal

Question: List the kinds of things that you’ve been doing at work.

  1. Providing Research Analysis on different Venture Capitals and Startup Mentors in a spreadsheet format
  2. Attending and participating in and out of office meetings with different people and companies
  3. Providing insight and suggestions on the Privy Database through examination of the Dashboard
  4. Participating in company calls
  5. Participating in Privy Dashboard analysis
  6. Learning new marketing skills and concepts through real-world situations with Jake.

Question: What has been the best part of your internship?

With many great parts about my internship, the best part is gaining real-world experience while participating in meetings with clients and partners. By sitting in and participating in these meetings, not only am I receiving new marketing knowledge and experience with dealing in people to people situations, but also these meetings have provided me with a new perspective on the inner workings of a company’s growth. Seeing Privy grow daily as a startup has truly been a great part of my internship with both myself and Jake happy with company progress as the weeks go by.

Question: Can you describe a situation during your internship in which you took a risk by putting yourself in a new position, such as meeting new people, asking questions, making suggestions? Write a paragraph or two about this situation explaining how it made you feel and what you learned about yourself as a result.

During the second week of my internship, I was asked by my boss to provide analysis for the new Privy dashboard for merchants and small business owners. By simulating myself as a small business owner, I was able to step into the shoes of the client, a pivotal part of the development of a company, and my primary job was to provide advice and suggestions for the dashboard to make it user-friendly for clients.

Knowing well that by providing valid and beneficial suggestions would boost my reputation as a good intern while helping the company, I was faced with thinking on my feet with pressure to provide good advice. As the simulation continued however, I realized that by focusing on simulating an SMB owner and by focusing on the task at hand without emotional or mental constraint, I was able to provide sound advice without overthinking the situation. The result was positive with some of my advice actually helping and being implemented in the newer edition of the dashboard providing me with some confidence. As a result of this, I started trusting myself and my ideas more as the internship has continued.

A note from Neeraj’s mother, Sudha Devulapalli

Hi Carole,
It was a pleasure talking to you this morning. No amount of words and gratitude is enough for the role you have played in inspiring Neeraj. I really appreciate your valuable suggestion about incorporating Neeraj’s internship experience in to his college essays. I think it is a great idea and will add a lot of value to his essay and application.
Best regards,
Sudha Devulapalli

Penn’s Finance Internship in Boston

Penn recently wrote to us that he was just accepted to the Ross School of Business at U Michigan. He valued his summer internship experience in high school at a financial firm where he was assigned to five different financial consultants.
Penn’s assignments included litigation work, data entry and calculating cost basis into the office system. He learned to use many basic business programs and especially enjoyed creating graphs and working with Excel.

In her letter of recommendation, Penn’s mentor wrote, “It was impressive that Penn sought out an internship before he even entered college. Because we are a financial investment company, Penn learned how financial consultants manage their businesses and what services we provide for our clients. He was able to gain a rounded view of the financial industry.”

New York City Finance Internship for a High School Junior

Scott was a junior at Glen Ridge High School, when after many attempts on his own, he found that it was impossible for a high school student to land an internship at an investment firm in New York City. Our counselor in New York connected Scott to one of the most well known firms and facilitated a unique summer internship. Scott was assigned to the team that oversaw the training program for new analysts. He was able to attend networking and social events as well as training sessions on global corporate strategy and financial market overviews.

In his letter of recommendation, the Vice President of Scott’s division wrote,

Scott was our youngest intern. His high level of maturity and professionalism coupled with his positive “can-do” attitude made him one of our most valued interns…….In summary, Scott is a team player with a maturity level beyond his years. In his short time here, he made an impression upon his colleagues and superiors. I am confident that Scott would be a great asset to any university or place of employment.

Scott described his experience in his college essay:

Walking into my boss’s office with high expectations, and at the same time reservations, I felt I was ready. Little did I realize how ready I would have to be. He greeted me and immediately told me to sit in on a conference call. Having expected to be a “coffee gofer” I knew from that point on, I was going to do something meaningful. What also startled me was the respect I received. I was elated with my first day and knew I would look forward to going to work each day. This experience confirmed my thoughts about the area in which I eventually would want to work.

High School Finance Internship At Edward Jones

Now a film producer working with clients such as Amazon, Netflix, CNN, History Channel, The Discovery Channel,The Food Network and more, Dan is a graduate of NYU. Before his senior year at Newton South High School, Dan thought he might be interested in finance, so we matched him to a mentor at Edward Jones who was very active in the community.

In his journal, Dan wrote,

I’m learning how the stock market operates and what to look for when recommending a stock to a client. Now I understand when to buy/sell stocks and bonds and how to work with others to achieve a common goal. This internship is a great match with my skills and interests. I’ve always been good with numbers but I’ve also learned that good people skills are important for communicating to clients. I have a great mentor who has also taught me the importance of giving back to the community.”

A Finance Internship in Boston for a High School Junior

When Fabian was a junior at Concord Carlisle High, he told us that his dad inspired his own interest in the stock market and he wanted to experience learning about money management and finance, as well as taking the train into Boston. We matched Fabian to a fantastic young woman who is a principal at Penobscot Investments, a downtown investment management company. As a member of the Boston Economic Club and the Boston Security Analysts Society, Lisa was the consummate mentor, providing both guidance and inspiration.

When we visited Fabian at work, he told us,

“Everyone here is very welcoming, the location near Faneuil Hall is great and I like working with numbers. This is a practical application of math which is very different from the math I learned in school. I’ve learned how to look stocks up online and how to evaluate them based on their annual percentage increase or decrease. I was introduced to the Baseline program and how to compare different stocks. I am also responsible for researching and summarizing client information and creating a client database for the company. I was even taken to a lunch lecture on Securing Massachusetts’ Leadership Position in Financial Services.”

In her letter of recommendation, Lisa writes,

“Fabian and I worked closely on various methods for equity research. He took quickly to the analytical process of reviewing annual reports and other data gathered in his research. Among his strengths as an intern is his ability to work well independently and to ask questions as needed. He consistently produces work that reflects he is personally invested in the outcome. I am grateful he took the initiative to seek an internship with us this summer and I am certain his enthusiasm and curiosity will lead him to continued success in whatever interests he may pursue in the future.”


An Inspiring Internship at PayPal’s Boston Headquarters

Are you thinking about a college internship in Boston? What could be more exciting than a summer internship in the ultra modern PayPal headquarters? Harrison, a student at Babson College, told us about his interest of interning at a startup, so we established an internship for him at an exciting company in PayPal’s business incubator, Start Tank, which offers entrepreneurs free office space in downtown Boston, along with seminars and mentorship from PayPal employees.


Harrison had a very successful interview on a Friday and went to work immediately on Monday! At Cylent Systems, he interned for the two founders, seasoned entrepreneurs who sold their last company to IBM. Cylent Systems is a high tech startup that delivers automatic real-time disruption of cyber attacks and a 24×7 response service to businesses and organizations.


                                                                        Working at PayPal


Harrison: “I’ve enjoyed working with my mentors Mike and Jack, as well as all of the other founders at Start Tank. Everyone that I have met has been very friendly and my mentors have acted more like teachers than bosses. To best describe the environment at the Start Tank it would be similar to a giant library with small study groups working on their own projects.


I’ve vastly enjoyed the work I have done, which has included researching similar companies’ strategies and creating lists of potential clients to contact. I have also researched competitors. That research included their fundraising, financial statistics, revenue and all demographics. I have been able to sit in on meetings with design partners and clients who will be testing our beta product. I have found the work very meaningful and I have also learned a great deal about computer security and hacking.”


                                                                        Lunch with My Bosses

“My favorite part of the internship was being able to go out to lunch everyday with both of my bosses. It has allowed me to get to know both of them on more of a personal level and I have been able to ask questions about starting a business, something that I tentatively plan to do when I’m out of college. It’s also been great because I have been able to try a lot of really great restaurants close to us, and because of that I’m a huge fan of Thai food.”


Lessons about Speaking Up

“One time I was sitting in on a meeting with the engineers. I by no means have any kind of knowledge about computers or programming so while I felt a bit timid, I kept asking  questions about the software. This turned out to be helpful because I better grasped the concept of how anti-virus software works and in turn I acted as a potential client where the engineers on the team had the opportunity to explain the software on a less advanced level. I learned that it’s certainly better to ask questions rather than pretending you know the answer.

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