Reagan Huber, a native of Ellicott City, Maryland, had the opportunity to secure an internship near home at Baltimore’s T. Rowe Price. However, not all prospective interns have the same luck: According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), hybrid internships are on the rise and expected to remain prevalent, with 64.8% of employers planning to offer hybrid experiences to their 2022-23 interns. The significance of hybrid or remote opportunities lies in their importance for graduating seniors who often struggle with the high cost of living in cities where their dream internships are located.
“This summer, our intern cohort comprises students from 60 universities across the globe,” said Leah Stewart, an early talent leader for T. Rowe Price. “While a significant portion of our interns are local, it is noteworthy that over 30% of the interns have relocated for the summer.”
Stewart’s statement underscores T. Rowe Price’s stated aim to cultivate talent from diverse backgrounds, which she elaborated on by saying that interns who relocated over 50 miles receive an additional housing stipend.
NACE’s survey reveals that a significant percentage of interns (50% to 60%) transition into full-time employees. NACE’s report also indicates that interns have higher retention rates compared to other hires, suggesting a potential long-term commitment. We also spoke with Leah Stewart, Early Talent Leader at T. Rowe Price, to learn about the program’s evolution, its impact on interns and the strategies to attract diverse interns. Huber, currently a systematic equity trader and market structure analyst at T. Rowe Price, also discussed her journey from intern to associate. Please note that this interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Could you please share your experience as an intern at T. Rowe Price and how it prepared you for your current full-time role within the organization?
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to intern at T. Rowe Price on our multi-asset team in the quant development pod. I had no prior experience working in finance, so the internship really introduced me to how my interests in math and computer science could directly apply to investing. Through the internship, I learned more about what a full-time position at T. Rowe could look like. This program expanded my learning into different areas of the firm, including quantitative equity research and global trading, where I went on to accept a permanent role as a transaction cost analyst (TCA) and market structure analyst before moving into my current role as an equity trader.
What did this personalized experience entail, and how did it contribute to your professional growth?
My manager and mentor were great about steering me in the right direction based on my skills. Because I had a computer science background, my main project for the summer was building an app to quickly perform a historical analysis of our glide paths based on different user inputs. It was very eye-opening to see how data visualization and analysis are used in practice and how they add value. This set me up to build a number of apps in my trading rotation that are still used today, which helped showcase and differentiate my skillset to get my current role.
How did the diversity and inclusion initiatives within the internship program impact your experience?
I think the internship program really emphasized that diversity comes in a lot of forms. While gender and race are still at the forefront when people talk about diversity, and rightfully so, it all stems down to the diversity of thought and how it can [help] our clients. It’s so important to include people of all backgrounds so we have multiple perspectives when solving problems and coming up with new ideas, and finding those people starts with campus recruiting for internships. Being a woman in a predominantly male industry, and one of two women on the TRPA trading desk, could easily make it hard for someone to feel like they belong. However, T. Rowe’s inclusive culture makes me feel more than welcome and that my differences are embraced.
How has T. Rowe Price’s internship program evolved to promote diversity, equity and inclusion?
Our internship program is designed to offer a comprehensive and hands-on experience, providing valuable real-world work exposure and networking opportunities to interns. It serves as a pipeline for attracting top-tier talent with diverse backgrounds, fresh perspectives, innovative ideas and valuable skill sets.
Over the years, we have witnessed significant growth in the scale of our internship program, the number of business units seeking early talent and the number of global locations participating.
What strategies and initiatives does T. Rowe Price employ to attract interns from underrepresented groups and ensure equal opportunities?
To enhance diversity and establish early identification channels, we have implemented several hiring initiatives. Our strategy involves prioritizing early identification efforts and engagement on campuses. We organize tailored exploratory events for collegiate freshmen and sophomores and collaborate with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other educational institutions to attract a diverse range of students to asset management while providing educational insights about the industry.
How does T. Rowe Price collaborate with local schools and universities to support the internship program and talent pipeline?
To ensure a robust talent pipeline, we have established partnerships with local universities. Our engagement strategy is tailored to each university’s characteristics, including participation in career fairs, “meet the firms” events and engagement with relevant clubs and student organizations. This targeted approach allows us to connect with students who have specific interests or backgrounds related to our field, fostering meaningful dialogue.
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