Courtney Lee is a finance major with a minor in psychology. She joined TAMID in Fall 2020 (Lamed class) and is currently the VP of Operations.
What is your co-op (role, company, basic responsibilities)?
“I am working at Fidelity Investments as a Corporate Audit Co-op. The main objective of audit is to examine the internal business processes as an independent entity to help Fidelity manage risk, improve customer service, and enhance business performance. I work in the Workplace Investing realm and assess the adequacy and effectiveness of controls, risk management, compliance and governance processes. I have wrapped up three different audits with my team relating to retirement plan company match programs, transfer of assets for healthcare savings accounts, and ETF asset verifications.”
Why did you choose this co-op?
“Internal Audit is an area where you are able to work on a wide variety of project cycles on various different areas within the organization. Being able to apply strategic and data analytics concepts, principles, and techniques to solve issues and document results are some of the best parts of being in the field. In addition, you are able to gain extensive knowledge on the business, work with key clients and business units, and present recommendations to executive management. It is a very rewarding mix of dynamic projects, data analytics, technological skills, communication, and agile work style.”
What was the co-op application/interview process like for you? Do you have any advice to other TAMID members who will be starting their job search in the future?
“The interview process consisted of three rounds. The first round was a 15 call from HR with basic fit questions, the second round included two senior managers from the audit space who were interested in my previous experiences/co-ops and knowledge of the space. This round also consisted of a brief technical interview where I was able to showcase the different knowledge I had surrounding data-sets, databases, and learning about information on the fly. The last round consisted of meeting members on different teams which helped narrow down the specific space (workplace investing) that I would work within. As advice, always have answers prepared for these questions: “why the company”, “why the role”, “what can I do to enhance the role”, and “how else can I get involved”. You want to be able to showcase during the interview that you have the required knowledge, are eager to learn the knowledge you don’t know, and want to go above and beyond what is expected.”
What is your favorite thing about the company you work at?
“The company culture at Fidelity is one of my favorite parts of working there. The team is very supportive and eager to give me fulfilling work and experiences during the duration of my co-op. Additionally, as Fidelity is a big company, there are many resources, training, and networking opportunities built in as a structured part of the co-op. It as a fast way to grow and develop your network outside of your team and explore other areas of interest.”
What are some projects you have been working on?
“Currently, I am working on a company match audit, a consumer marketing insight audit, anti-money (AML) audit, and wrapping up a few other past audits. Generally the project cycle is similar with:
1. Research phase – includes meeting with the business units and becoming experts in the subject matter
2. Planning phase – narrow down scope and target the risk areas
3. Creations of the risk matrices – map out the desired testing areas and controls
4. POV phase – meet with the various stakeholders and risk units to introduce the risk matrices and testing
5. Testing – use data analytics, data sets, and tests to analyze the controls *which takes up the bulk of the project
6. Finalizing results / creating the executive report
7. Presenting the results and recommendations to the business and upper management
8. Post audit – monitoring action plans based on the recommendations
All the audits mentioned above are different in nature and subject. One of them works with the automated process surrounding upper core and middle market contribution match calculations for plan sponsors, another looks at the security of data management for external vendors within the marketing insights group at Fidelity, another looks at the recommendations made by overseeing governmental regulators.”
Describe what a day of work look like for you:
“The great thing about auditing is that every-day looks different. You have different meetings with different people across so many business units and departments. Everyday I run into a term or part of the business that I did not know about. Every audit can have different tests and it is up to you to judge, interpret, and present those results. My day usually involves meetings with the clients and independent work related to any of the research, planning, creation, testing, and presenting phases.”
Is this your first co-op? If not, how is this co-op different from your previous co-op?
“This is my second co-op and the main difference is that I moved from a very operational and business analytics position surrounded by specific mutual fund vehicles to a very data, IT, and risk management heavy field. It has allowed me to gain skills in a completely different area in a short amount of time which I am grateful for.”
What do you hope to gain or learn from your co-op experience?
“A key to being a successful auditor and a successful person is being able to communicate results, findings, and suggest recommendations in a cohesive and impactful manner (most importantly to upper management/peers/stakeholders. By the end of this co-op I know that I will gain far more experience with this.”
Any advice to someone who is looking to have a co-op similar to yours in the future?
“This co-op is perfect for someone who likes to constantly learn. Due to the dynamic nature of the projects you are never bored or stuck with learning the same content over and over. Technical skills like knowing sql, python, and powerBI will give you an edge over other candidates. Meanwhile, I cannot emphasize enough the power of networking, practicing your pitch and behavioral based skills, and being able to showcase an inquisitive nature and willingness to learn quickly.”