Connelly ’19 Dives into Emerging World of Financial Technology with Summer Fidelity Internship

When management major Michael Connelly ’19 chose Emmanuel, he did so because of its location in Boston and its proximity to the city’s “big players,” at which he hoped to land an internship.

When management major Michael Connelly '19 chose Emmanuel, he did so because of its location in Boston and its proximity to the city's "big players," at which he hoped to land an internship. He knew his coursework in business and management would come with many transferrable skills he could put to use in a variety of sectors, and he immediately set his sights high. He found that a little patience—and a lot of persistence—pays off when he landed a summer internship at Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT) at Fidelity Investments.

When he approached counselors in the Career Center during his first year at Emmanuel, he did so with the goal of working for a big name in the financial industry.  

"I was meeting with the Career Center every three weeks or so," Connelly said. "I shared my goals with my counselor, and she gave me the work I needed to do before landing that type of internship. I remember countless times going to the Career Center to update my résumé. After my first year, I checked in often to get updates or guidance on moves I should be making career wise."  

Connelly was first introduced to multinational financial services corporation Fidelity Investments in one of his management classes, and again through Christopher Coutsoukis '16, who began his career at Fidelity as an administrative intern and now serves as a communications analyst with the company.  

"I ended up meeting him at the 'Introduction to Business' fair, where he gave me his business card," he said. In the spring of 2017, Connelly served as a digital marketing intern at Coutsoukis's music marketing and promotion start-up, Headrush-TV. He now controls all the business development and compliance aspects on behalf of the LLC. "He has been a mentor, friend and business partner for a few years now."  

Connelly's initial interactions with Fidelity ended in frustration. Hoping to work with the personal investment and asset management division, he participated in several interviews with the company and emailed the recruiter bi-weekly for updates on the options positions. When the recruiter finally emailed him back and informed him all positions had been filled, Connelly assumed he was facing another summer working in retail.  

"Nearly a week later, I was invited by another recruiter to interview for a position in FCAT [Fidelity Center For Applied Technology]," he said. "I did the interview and ended up landing the job. It's funny, because I had given up when all I needed was patience for the right role."  

FCAT is the research & development arm of Fidelty's FinTech (financial technology) arm, an innovation catalyst that "helps clients and businesses imagine the possibilities of new ideas and emerging technologies to enhance the customer experience." Some of their areas of research include virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, digital currency, the future of work and the "gig economy."  

"My time there was filled with accelerated learning on emerging technologies and new management styles known as Agile and Design Thinking," Connelly said. "The internship further sparked my interest in FinTech. I have learned so much from the company, and I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity."  

Connelly, who also served as a human resources intern with the Hilton hotel chain, is a big proponent of experiential learning, both for the technical experience and the network of connections gained.  

"Internships are great for gaining real-world experience," he said. "When you first start to apply, you're looking for someone who is willing to take a chance on you. If you want to work for a large corporation, you need to make connections and gain experience in the field in which you want to work. Experience speaks for itself; the more internships you complete, the more likely these types of companies will immediately see your value."

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