“This is why soft skills are crucial”

Beloiter Matthew O’Leary’23 shares his internship experience as a treasury intern!

Matthew O’Leary’23 worked as a treasury intern at StoneX Group Inc. The internship began in May and lasted until August.

His primary responsibility was to keep one of the treasury email accounts up to date for the treasury staff. This inbox comprised duties such as automated clearing house networks (ACHs) and wire transactions, account transfers, late draws, integrated file transfers, and any questions brokers or clients had about their accounts. In addition, he was assigned two summer-long projects to work on anytime the inbox was slow. The first step was to double-check over 3,000 ACH and wire templates to ensure they contained the relevant information and nickname. The second task was to confirm the daily reports of their complete workforce over the last three years in case the organization was audited.

He recalled the working environment to be quite calm because everyone in the office knew their roles, embraced discipline, and focused on their work. “My supervisor never tried to micromanage us because she treated us like professionals and felt we could do our jobs efficiently and on time,” said Matthew. “This leads to what I loved the most about my job, which was my ability to interact with others and make connections with people on my team as well as across the company.”

Another aspect of the internship that he enjoyed was that a mentorship program was set up for every intern. He was paired with someone whose responsibilities he eventually took over full-time. “This allowed me to watch and learn from them and allow me to ease into my role and get immediate feedback whenever I made a mistake, which made the first weeks with the company extremely valuable,” he said.

For Matthew, there were some blues among all the blooms in the meantime. The primary issues he had were when certain members of the team with who he needed help were not in the office. He worked from the office every day, whereas others just came in 2-3 days a week. “This compelled me to learn to communicate in new ways, whether via email or Microsoft Teams. It also required me to master the etiquette of communicating via email and Teams.” Understanding the proper terminology for specific questions and people was critical to maintaining excellent connections with coworkers and consumers.

Matthew credited his liberal arts education background in helping him succeed at his job. “Classes like Introduction to Accounting & Finance, and Money & Banking, introduced me to terms that came up in my responsibilities. This lessened the stress that I had while entering the internship, which was that I would not recognize anything and would struggle to learn important terms and tasks.” He further attributed the communications and the connections with professors in the economics department to preparing him well for the ability to interact with other adults who have been in the corporate world for many years.

“There weren’t many hard skills required for my position because they believe that they can teach you anything you may not know. The soft skills I believe were crucial to succeeding in my role included the ability to communicate with all types of people as well as time management. We had a hard deadline for transactions every day, which forced you to manage your time and responsibilities to ensure that you got everything done to meet customers’ needs,” said Matthew.

While Matthew continues on his career adventure, he advised Beloit students to be on top of all of the applications on various job sites such as LinkedIn and Handshake. “I would also reach out to people you know in the field you are interested in. Employers like to hire people they know or people their friends know because they are able to trust them. You never know who has connections and opportunities for you so reach out to everyone.” Lastly, he advised starting the research as early as possible because it relieves a lot of stress when you have solidified an internship for the summer.

By: Ojaswi Dhakal'25
December 26, 2022

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