This article was originally published on September 10, 2019.
Bill Gates. Jeff Bezos. Steve Jobs. And now College of Business senior Angelo Policicchio.
Policicchio, while at his summer internship, had the chance to stand in the same place each of these entrepreneurs did before taking their firms public; Under the New York Stock Exchange Bell. Policicchio, a double major in finance and accounting, spent 10 weeks in the Big Apple over the summer for an internship with one of the world’s largest investment banks.
He was one of many UM-Dearborn students who experienced a summer adventure through internships, research work, volunteerism and more. We’ll share additional student summer success stories in the upcoming Reporter editions.
Policicchio — a summer analyst for UBS Investment Bank, a Swiss Bank with its trading floor on NYC’s Avenue of the Americas — said there’s nothing like having first-hand experience. Some days he would be in a morning client meeting talking about Fortune 500 business deals and later that day, he’d see a CNBC reporter covering the deal.
And if that isn’t enough for a summer, Policicchio was accepted to Harvard Business School’s weeklong Summer Venture in Management Program. He was one of 160 students from around the world selected.
Recently returned from his travels, Policicchio kept a journal about his summer and shared his experiences with Reporter.
June 1, 2019. Moving to New York
This 35-minute car ride feels like an eternity, but it’s not just due to traffic. I keep thinking about how I am finally living out my dream working on Wall Street and I’m ready to get started. Ever since I was a kid, I can remember watching CNBC and trying to pick stocks to invest in. I’d mow lawns and work at the family business to earn some extra cash. Instead of buying toys or candy with the money I earned, I’d ask my parents to invest it, of course with my recommendations.
Here, I found cooperative housing with 80-plus other students who are working in New York City for the summer. It’s on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and close to the subway, so I’ll only have a 25-minute commute to work.
June 3, 2019. On the job as a UBS Sales & Trading Summer Analyst
My goal is to be in the door at the UBS office by 5:30 a.m., to prepare for the daily first meeting, which starts at 6:30 a.m. sharp. My internship with UBS in the sales and trading division allows me to learn from the most brilliant minds in the industry. However, It’s not just learning about the industry and financial investments. I’ve noticed that many people I work with are from other countries — nearly one-third of the people here are from Europe — and they place a high value on cultural experiences like food, art and history, which they in turn incorporate into their conversations. I’ll start putting more of a focus on experiencing the culture around me as well.
June 15, 2019. Class of 2019, Harvard Business School (HBS) Summer Venture Management Program
In addition to my internship, I was selected — a lucky coincidence — to attend Harvard Business School’s Summer Venture Management Program. It’s a weeklong pre-MBA program that HBS provided support for me to attend. Presidents, CEOs, senators, congressional leaders — all these powerful people — have gathered in the HBS Baker Library/Bloomberg Center. And now I’m here.
Students attending represented firms such as Bloomberg, Google, NASA, Blackrock, Goldman Sachs and more. I also met students from UM-Ann Arbor and UM-Flint. I’m proud to say all three Michigan campuses are represented here. Go Blue!
I want to thank the College of Business for also providing financial support. This trip was an experience of a lifetime and I was humbled to be able to represent UM-Dearborn.
June 20, 2019 Gaining a new perspective
Harvard Business School professors challenged us like students in their MBA program. We analyzed 14 cases in five class days, looking at management decisions from companies such as Snapple, Alibaba, Cook County’s Pension Fund and Benihana Restaurants.
HBS professors like to use the cold-call method; which means you may be randomly selected to discuss your opinion on specific case matters. It’s intimidating at first, but now I’m used to it. I realize that I can’t retain everything about a case, but I can come prepared by knowing the main point of the case, the solutions the team came up with, and how I would have done it differently.
This method taught me that sometimes we can’t be 100 percent certain of what’s right, but you can give your best answer or opinion and explain how you arrived there. It’s important to make sure there’s a thought process behind the words you say.
June 21, 2019. Giving credit where it’s due
This picture is in front of Baker Library/Bloomberg Center with the SVMP program 2019 class. I’m thankful for the time I had Professor Nick Vlisides’s Portfolio Management course. Professor Vlisides taught me what data points to focus on in a stock pitch, and how to understand earnings calls. That course assisted me when I received the internship with UBS and aided me in my application and acceptance to Harvard Business School’s program. I had no idea when I sat in Professor Vlisides class at UM-Dearborn that I’d be here today.
I also could not have done any of this without God and my family who have supported me every step of the way. My parents have been my biggest fans and continue to support me throughout all of my decisions.
July 18, 2019. On the job with another opportunity
Our intern class was comprised of 18 students from various universities across the globe. We were put into groups and participated in a “stock pitch.” Our group made it to the final round, where we ultimately won the competition.
In addition to the 200 people watching us in the New York office, there were screens around the room where others watched us from alternate offices across the globe. Pitching stocks is something I previously did in my College of Business classes; that’s where I gained confidence in pitching and presenting. Now, I have the chance to do it in front of thousands of people from around the world. It was an amazing and humbling experience.
July 19, 2019. An appreciation of the view from the South Ferry
New York City is intense and makes you bring your A-game every day. However, from this Hudson River ferry, the city looks calm and peaceful. It’s important to remember to take a step back every once and awhile — even when you like the intense environment — and enjoy a beautiful skyline view.
July 20, 2019. Taking time to enjoy NYC
I love the fast pace, but going at that speed for 16-hour days, six or seven days a week can be stressful. So experiencing jaw-dropping views of NYC on a Sunday morning helps take my mind off of work. Today I walked on the Brooklyn Bridge while it was 95 degrees, the hike was worth it.
I also had a slice of Theresa’s Pizza, a café on 51st Street, and it was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. I told my grandfather that he has competition — he used to own Bona’s Pizzeria in southwest Detroit — and he should come to New York to try it. He disagreed. I love that about him: He’s a proud, stubborn Italian.
July 23, 2019. On the New York Stock Exchange floor
The stock exchange itself isn’t like what we see on shows or movies; it’s mostly computers and screens now. However, the trading floor at the investment banks have much adrenaline, where traders are rushing around and yelling non-stop. Additionally, I’m surrounded by history and tradition in a building constructed of marble and granite, where traders wear their long distinctive coats. But, even with so much tradition, what’s happening around me in the markets today impacts the future.
Every day I read the Wall Street Journal, watch CNBC or go on Bloomberg to see what’s happening. I consider myself up-to-date on financial trends, the world market and investment news. But what I didn’t realize is how much volatility there is in the stock market. With today’s China/U.S. trade war and recession uncertainties the market can swing 1.5 percent in any given day. It’s a very interesting time. I keep reading about an upcoming recession in news outlets, but key indicators aren’t pointing to one. Data shows that the US economy is strong and that there is still growth in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
August 9, 2019. The summer comes to a close
At UBS, managing directors and executive directors have taken the time to chat and speak with me about my experience and offer advice. Some of the best advice I received was to, “Not try and build Rome in a day.” It’s important to remember that you can’t do it all at once, but each day you are putting together pieces that will – hopefully – come together. As I am wrapping up my internship with UBS, I am trying to stay focused on the goal I made when coming to Wall Street: Receive an offer!
Update: I've received a full-time offer to return to UBS upon my December 2019 UM-Dearborn graduation to work in the Sales & Trading division.
Angelo’s post-internship advice: Start Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
From the top Ivy League traders to the punctual fast-talking salesman, I learned about each person’s craft this summer. More importantly, it showed me how much education is gained through experience.
My advice to anyone looking for that first job or internship is go outside your comfort zone and expand your network. Start being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Go up to people and say, ‘Hi, my name is…I want to work for you.’ Or apply for positions that you are qualified for, but feel might be out of reach. You never know until you take the leap of faith.