When we first began partnering with the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund to help students in Chicago discover unique career opportunities in asset management, we weren’t sure what impact we would have. But over the past three years, the Blair Connect internship program has helped us think differently about recruiting and development.
Hear from the program’s founders—Drew Buckley, CFA, partner and research analyst on our global equity team, and Yan Krasov, CFA, partner and research analyst on our U.S. growth and core equity team—as well as Sergio Gaona, a former program intern and current William Blair colleague, in the videos below. Transcripts follow.
“We’re already in our third summer of the Blair Connect program in 2023. In the beginning, we weren’t sure what kind of impact we would have on William Blair with this program, and within Investment Management. Were we going to find good candidates? Will this help us think differently about recruiting?” wonders Drew Buckley, CFA, partner.
“It’s exciting and interesting to think about the impact we’ve had over the past couple of years,” he continues. “On the direct side, we already have two full-time hires that we’ve found from the program. We’re proud of the candidates that we’ve found through the program so far.”
“On the indirect side, it’s made us think differently about the way we hire people, the places that we can look to find unique candidates, and ways we can ask questions or talk to these candidates who might not have the same background in investment management.”
“As we look to the future, we’re excited about the impact we can have,” says Buckley. “One of the ways we’ve seen that is some of the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund recipients are already talking to their friends about coming into the Blair Connect program, and what it can do for them as part of their education and career aspirations.”
Cultivating a Passion for Finance
“There are many bright and motivated students in Chicago, but not many know about all the potential career paths and opportunities that are available for them in the world of finance,” says Yan Krasov, CFA, partner. “Through the Blair Connect internship program, these students get to learn about potential career opportunities that exist for them in investment management.”
“While most internships take place during the summer between junior and senior years of college, we tend to recruit earlier to both increase the pool of available candidates and to give students the chance to learn about investment management earlier in their career decision-making process.” He continues, “Some end up developing a passion for investing and come back to intern with us again, getting hired on a full-time basis. Others may choose a different career path while still gaining valuable skills and experience.”
Redefining Career Possibilities
“Growing up on the South Side of Chicago and being a first-generation college student made it seem impossible to get my foot in the door in the financial services industry. Luckily, the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund was able to help make me aware of the Blair Connect internship program at William Blair,” shares Sergio Gaona, a fund accountant on our pooled vehicle administration team.
“From there, I was able to experience what it’s like to work at William Blair and to hone my skills in the financial services industry. The culture is just nothing like I’ve seen before. I’m very fortunate to be back as a full-time employee in Investment Management. I’m so happy to be here and to continue my career,” he says.
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