Internship Diaries

Working at an Investment Bank in Texas as an International Woman

When more than 20% of the graduating classes of elite colleges are taking jobs in financial services after graduating, it’s impossible to ignore the women on the front lines! Welcome to finance week in Internship Diaries!

Jenny Lim shares her experience working for an investment bank and experiencing life in Houston! She manages long hours learning about the energy sector with office happy hours and her own exercise regimen.

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Name: Jenny Lim

Job Title: Investment Banking Summer Analyst, Tudor Pickering Holt

Location: Houston, TX

College: University of Chicago

Year: Rising 4th

Major: Economics

What are you doing this summer?

Working at an energy focused boutique investment bank! We advise energy companies on how to grow, sell, or combine their businesses. The analyst’s role is to decide how valuable these businesses and their assets are, and communicate it to companies that are interested in buying, selling, or otherwise looking for a financial perspective on their business. It’s mostly about what should be on the price tag and why!

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Jenny at her desk!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I am grown up! But when I become a real adult, I want to help build communities, both in software and hardware. Unclear what that exactly looks like–it could be anywhere, and take a million different angles. Advising countries like Puerto Rico and Greece on their finances, planning cities and infrastructure systems in places like North Korea, or thinking about how industries should adopt technology without hurting the labor market–are all things that get me excited

How did you get your internship?

A friend of mine worked at TPH last summer, and recommended a week long “bootcamp” on the energy industry run by the company. I joined the bootcamp because I knew very little about the energy sector, and loved every part of my experience. The people are great, learning about energy is fascinating, and the American South has been my dream destination for a long time. With Thursday fajitas and people calling me Jeeny, I feel like I’m traveling at work everyday!

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Jenny enjoying Houston.

What do you wish you had known during your internship search?

My internship search began unexpectedly and ended early because the bootcamp led to an interview before my previous internship even ended. By the time I interviewed, I had met a good number of people at the firm, and have spent a full week learning about their work, which helped me feel like I was making my own decision to try energy, and investment banking more broadly. With investment banking becoming increasingly popular, I hope everyone get a chance to evaluate the industry through a personal lens and make an independent decision!

What does a day in the life look like?

Early morning run around the neighborhood at 6:30 or 7am is the only consistent, routine part of my day. Once I get to the office around 9am, the rest of the day is an unpredictable mix of work, classes by the company, and happy hours, which could last until 8pm or 2am.

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Office snacks!

Last Thursday, for instance, I had breakfast with my entire intern class and a group of senior bankers at Tiny’s No.5, worked on presentation slides from 9-12, then had lunch with my intern friend Michael in the downtown tunnels, which connects our office building to 6 miles of restaurants and stores underground. In the afternoon, I read about how oil and gas companies talk about wells in a particular area to their investors, until the office happy hour at Revelry on Richmond with quesadillas and cocktails. My day ended with a drive with another intern Karl through the River Oaks Boulevard, a tree-lined row of Houston’s fanciest mansions. (including the Bush family home)

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Jenny and her office plant Mint the Banker.

But Friday was a little different–I made graphs all morning, dialed into a class 11-12, went to a meeting with our CEO at noon, and worked on excel until 1am while listening to Disney songs. When we finished, everyone who had stayed at the office late went to a 24 hour diner together for a late night breakfast-for-dinner and beer.

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Jenny’s office has many opportunities for team bonding!

How has this job changed what you see yourself doing in the future?

This summer’s internship is a crash course on finance and energy to try out one of my potential routes to building communities, but I don’t know exactly how it’ll fit into that dream.

You can follow Jenny’s Texas finance adventures on Snapchat!

Hello! My name is Rosana Rabines! I'm a student, stationery enthusiast, and runner constantly reorganizing my life to make the most of my college experience in Chicago.

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