On July 9, 2020, the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) conducted the Seventh Annual Intern Career Conference. Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the event gathered more than 250 interns, students, and business leaders from approximately 14 Chicago-area financial services firms and 8 nonprofit partner organizations. This was FSP’s largest Intern Career Conference to date! The theme of the conference was “Navigating your Career through Adversity,” and sessions highlighted career tips to thrive in a world that is quickly shifting with the current global health crisis, civil unrest, and a precarious job market.

The conference offered well-rounded tips to thrive in the COVID-19 job market with tactical skills taught by a diverse panel of individuals. Interns and students were able to work on their brand by sharing and developing their elevator pitches with timely and effective feedback from professionals in the industry.

Samara Hernandez was the keynote speaker and delivered an empowering presentation on “Getting out of Your Comfort Zone – a Personal Success Story.” Her story of perseverance despite the odds energized our attendees to keep pursuing their dreams. Attendees received a wide range of inspiration from hearing stories of success despite facing significant adversity. Interns and students were equipped with advice that will allow them to elevate their careers and defy challenges they may encounter throughout.

While navigating the workforce and dealing with adversity, it is always important to be mindful. Interns and students participated in a step by step mindfulness demonstration facilitated by Ela Aktay, a meditation instructor, who provided tips for immediate implementation.

A post-conference survey showed that over 89% of attendees felt that the conference had an impact on their growing journey for a successful career in the financial services industry.

Quotes from event attendees:

  • “The FSP Conference has made me feel seen, supported, and inspired most of all. This will help me push through the ups and downs of my career. Thank you.” (Juan A.)
  • “There was so much great advice about future careers in the industry and how we can better prepare! I loved all the speakers and information that was provided! It was an amazing conference! Thank you for putting it together and for showing us all of the diverse people who work in the financial services industry.” (Jess M.)

View the agenda from the conference.