Building finance industry knowledge during internship

My name is Olivia Kulevich and I am a sophomore majoring in English.

During this past spring semester, I was fortunate enough to have an internship with Wheaton College alum Sandra Gilpatrick ’95, and I am continuing during the fall semester.

As Sandra’s editing and writing intern, I composed blog posts and vlog scripts to be placed in a monthly newsletter to clients. I assisted in enhancing blog content and researching relevant topics. I also edited articles Sandra drafted, sections of the company’s website and other marketing materials. A significant part of my time with Sandra was devoted to helping to improve her clients’ lives through research, writing and social media.

While collaborating with her, I began to understand many effective editing techniques and the best ways of communicating feedback. As a writer for a business, I have learned how to write in a professional setting and take on the voice of a company. Writing in accordance with intricate compliance guidelines allowed me to become more attentive to my diction and the message I am conveying. While working with Sandra, I have gained skills in building professional relationships and developing long-term networking channels.

Photo of Sandra Gilpatrick ’95

Sandra Gilpatrick ’95

I also had the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the financial industry. Sandra’s professional advice and mentorship helped educate me on the importance of effectively managing my finances as a young woman.

Sandra graduated from Wheaton with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She went on to become an accomplished Certified Financial Planner™. After 17 years as an investment professional for a wirehouse (a full-service broker-dealer), she started her own practice to help women manage their finances.

As a wealth consultant through LPL Financial, Sandra educates women on organizing their finances, in accordance with their values and personal goals. Her business achievements and expert advice have been featured in the media, including The Boston Globe, Barron’s/MarketWatch and Money. In 2013, the Wheaton community recognized Sandra’s professional success and community service by presenting her with an Alumni Achievement Award.

I met Sandra through a networking opportunity during Wheaton’s Weiss Women Leadership Program. When the cohort visited two Wheaton alums in Boston, Sandra’s office was our second stop. After mentioning she was searching for an intern to edit and write blog posts, I introduced myself and noted that I was pursuing a degree in English. Shortly after I expressed my interest and interviewed, Sandra offered me the internship position.

I am truly indebted to the Weiss Women Leadership Program for not only affording me the opportunity to meet Sandra, but also to connect with fellow first-year women classmates and to build confidence as well as skills in communication and leadership.

To earn credit for the internship, I was required to fulfill certain academic criteria prior to the start of my position in April and throughout the semester. With the guidance of and help from my academic advisor, Professor Claire Buck, I gained skills in networking. I met with faculty members in the English Department, Wheaton staff members as well as industry professionals. These interactions shed light on the career path I hope to pursue.

In the future, I would like to work as an editor for a publishing house reading manuscripts by young authors. However, I am still pursuing different academic experiences to learn more about my career interests. My internship with Sandra will no doubt open doors for many more professional opportunities in the future. Her partnership and mentorship have contributed greatly to my growth and will help lead to future career successes.

With the abundant resources available at Wheaton, I am getting a head-start on my professional career and preparing for the workforce.