While the COVID-19 pandemic canceled many internship opportunities, Virginia Tech Finance and Marketing senior, Kelsey Phelon, spent her summer interning as a Sales & Trading Summer Analyst with Citigroup. Phelon, who serves as Industrial-Specialties Sector Head for BASIS (Bond And Securities Investing by Students), was able to adapt to working remotely and found success in the midst of an uncertain year.

After an on-campus Citigroup visit Phelon knew she wanted a position with the firm and took steps to secure the internship by connecting with alumni at the firm. She also networked with recent Citigroup interns. The position provided an opportunity for Phelon to speak with professionals in the industry and collaborate with other interns to complete team projects.

Though her internship was condensed from the initial ten-week plan to five weeks and adapted to remote work due to COVID-19, Phelon’s position provided her with an opportunity to work with representatives from a variety of desks instead of rotating on fewer specific desks. Those rotations included projects in all four asset classes. “We delivered four different pitches,” Phelon said, “each in a different asset class and with a different team.”

The change in weekly parameters led to increased networking opportunities and exposure to a variety of asset classes and products from the simple to the exotic. Interns had access to Citigroup’s market platform and Bloomberg for their projects. Phelon said the Citigroup team was helpful in providing contacts and additional information to the intern teams.

For other students seeking a valuable internship experience, Phelon suggested they branch out. “Explore different sources like career fairs, calls with alumni, job websites, and LinkedIn,” she said. “You never know where you will find the perfect opportunity. You must ask questions and network. Building relationships is a key element to one’s success in business.”

In addition to BASIS, Phelon is currently a member of the Business Horizons Planning Committee, Sigma Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Beta Gamma Sigma, and has formerly participated in the Consulting Group at Virginia Tech and Collegiate Women In Business. She also represents Pamplin College of Business as a Pamplin Ambassador and Pamplin International Ambassador. As an Ambassador, Phelon shares her experiences and recipe for success with her peers and prospective students.