Marykate Kelly ’20, a marketing major while at Merrimack College, interned in the HR department at Fidelity Investments last summer, which led to being offered a full time position as a Brokerage Operations Associate. She attributes accepting the internship position in the HR department to a conversation with her career advisor, Morgan Phipps. Morgan explained how her skills were transferable and suggested that Marykate be open to learning about the HR field in order to determine focus for the future.
Q: Explain how your internship in the Human Resources department at Fidelity led to being offered a full-time position as a Brokerage Operations Associate.
A: I loved the internship in the summer, and I learned a lot about Fidelity. I knew that Fidelity was the company I wanted to work for after graduation, so I worked very hard over the fall applying for positions there. I had made lots of contacts during the previous summer at Fidelity and that was huge. Whenever I applied for a position at Fidelity, I would send an email to a contact there to let them know I had applied and to ask if they knew anything about the position.
Q: What was the interview process like, and what was the timeline between interview and offer?
A: After speaking initially with the recruiter, I went to a grueling three-hour group interview process. The first hour was learning all about the company and there were a number of people I knew were also vying for the position. Then I had two separate 45- minute interviews, each with two interviewers. It was stressful, but having met with Morgan and doing lots of interview role-playing with her, I felt comfortable in the interview process, and I felt like I nailed it due to all of the practice. Two weeks after the interview, I was offered the position.
Q: Can you recall some of the interview questions?
A: There were a lot of scenario questions about working within teams. It was hard answering the situational questions, but as long as you back up your answers, it should be fine. I think it’s really important to have questions for them too. My career advisor gave me this question to think about asking at the end of an interview – What can I do to impress you in this position in the first six months of working? I ask this question so that they know I want the position and have the motivation to do my best.
Q: It sounds as if your internship at Fidelity was key. How did you meet so many people and begin the networking process?
A: I cannot stress enough how important it is to have internships. While I was working there last summer, I would have one-on-one conversations with random people to talk about what they did at the company and how they got to where they were at Fidelity. I had the drive to really want to work there so I put myself out there to meet lots of people.
Q: What does a Brokerage Operations Associate do on a day-to-day basis?
A: I am part of a one-year program called the Fidelity You Program. It’s the Year One University where the first two weeks of the program are all about Fidelity, the company, what they do, their culture, and then some professional development to get ready for the workforce. Every month of the program, we will have professional development days focusing on different topics. I’m in Client Experience within Operations. On a daily basis, I’m responsible for timely and accurate processing of transaction requests, which might include new account creation, asset or money requests like changing the amount of money from $500 to $300 for instance. It’s a great foundation to have.
Q: What skills have been important for you to have in this role?
A: Good communication skills are so important in this job, especially with Covid-19 and working remotely. We use Teams, Skype, and Chat. Also, just being willing to learn and being motivated.
A: I attended the PDR [Professional Development Retreat] and lots of networking events in my time at Merrimack. The PDR was the greatest experience. It was the first time I broke out of my shell and learned about my strengths – the balconies and bottoms and how to talk about them, and I brought that with me to every interview. I loved it! I worked in the O’Brien Center for Career Development and it made me aware of how important career development is.
Q: Is there any advice you have for Merrimack students with regard to career development, interviewing or applying for positions?
A: My biggest advice is to not be afraid to go to all of the events that are offered or to reach out to your career advisor. I went to a Marketing lunch in my freshman year, and it was filled with all seniors. I was so nervous and didn’t even know how to network, and I thought, what am I doing here? Meeting my career advisor was so important, and she helped me so much with my resume and with the interview process. You cannot be afraid. You just have to do it.
Q: What advice would you give to students now during this Covid-19 pandemic?
A: I know it’s stressful right now and it’s hard to stay motivated, but I would say to take this time to work on your professional development. You can still make appointments with your career advisor over the summer. I’m a huge advocate for LinkedIn Learning, which is free to all Merrimack students – even if it’s just an hour a week. And I would say to just keep applying because companies are still hiring remotely.