Success Stories | Mar 26, 2019 | Gabelli School of Business
Success Story: David Zhong ’19 in JPMorgan Chase internship
David Zhong, MBA ’19, is no stranger to internships. As an undergraduate finance student at Drexel, he gained experience as an operations analyst, finance controller, and investments representative. Now that he’s in graduate school, he wanted his internship experience as a summer associate at JPMorgan Chase to be even more meaningful.
His goal for his time at Fordham was to progress his career to the next, more senior, managerial level, and that meant picking an area on which to focus. While he had worked in finance for nearly four years at companies including Capital One, Wells Fargo, and KPMG, Zhong still wanted to “decide on a [specific] career that challenges me every day.”
He found that his summer internship was the perfect place to try out the different areas of the industry, such as consulting, compliance, and risk.
Zhong started in risk advisory and then transferred to enterprise management, and, in both areas, he says he was pleasantly surprised to be given real responsibilities, including strategic initiatives and budget management, and to be treated as a part of the team, as opposed to being assigned the more basic types of tasks he remembers performing in his undergraduate internships.
This treatment gave him the space to expand upon his interests.
After learning “so much about project management and financial services in New York,” he has decided to pursue a project management role in consulting.
That’s not set in stone though. Zhong is focusing his final year at the Gabelli School on “learning as much as I can before I leave,” which includes doing more networking and exploring, of both the finance industry and New York. He loves to experience different areas of the city on the weekends.
He also loves to travel, having squeezed in a visit to Barcelona and Amsterdam over the summer, so saving money for future trips is a priority as well.
To professionals considering pursuing their MBA, Zhong suggests to “make sure you’re at a place in your career where you’re ready to advance to the next level.”
And once you’ve started the program, “network as much as possible and try to connect with people in your industry. Also, continue to develop your interviewing skills with Fordham resources and mentors. You may find that there is always a better way to present yourself and prove your value.”
The most important lesson he’s learned, which he says applies to both undergraduates and graduate students—and everyone—is one he’s tried to keep in mind this year:
“Our futures are only in our own hands—it’s not up to anyone else.”