SAGEbroadview Welcomes Our First Summer Interns
Should a boutique firm like SAGEbroadview take on student interns? It’s a question we posed to ourselves a while back. After weighing the considerations for our clients, ourselves and our would-be interns, it became clear that the answer was YES, we should. We love educating – not only ourselves and our clients – but those who represent the future of our profession.
That said, Chris Annello, who is overseeing our internship program, had one key qualification: If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right. “Right” means ensuring that students gain real-life experience and meaningful mentorship, to help them make the most of their future careers. It means using the extra support deliberately, to accomplish projects most likely to improve our clients’ wealth experiences. It also means selecting strong candidates we can entrust with our firm’s reputation as they participate in and contribute to our business.
Fortunately, we found two “right” matches to launch our program: Zach Bennedsen and Mike Iannetta, both of whom joined us last week. Take a moment to get to know Zach and Mike in their own words, so you can help us warmly welcome them to the SAGEbroadview family. (By the way, you may also encounter Sheri’s son Dominic Cupo this summer, as he will be helping out around our New Jersey office with technology assistance and general office support. Dominic just wrapped up his freshman year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he is majoring in Robotics Engineering.)
Zach joins us for the summer, prior to entering his senior year at Virginia Tech University (Sheri’s alma mater), where he is majoring in finance and is on the CFP Certification Track Program. He describes his discovery of SAGEbroadview as a “lucky coincidence;” he met David Principe at a financial conference last fall, and they discovered they had attended rival high schools in the same home town. He soon capitalized on that lucky encounter by expressing his desire to intern at a firm that shares his passion for objective, fee-only advice and where he could make a meaningful difference while gaining a “360-degree” financial education. That sounded good to us, too.
Why financial planning?
Out of high school, I knew I didn’t want to go into engineering or liberal arts, so I decided on business school in general. Finance in particular is a more forward-looking field than economics or accounting. You get to shape future outcomes rather than just look back and assess what happened.
What’s in store for your senior year at Virginia Tech?
In my sophomore year, I joined the Financial Planning Association’s on-campus chapter, which further piqued my interest in finance. Next year I look forward to giving back to the group by serving as its vice president. I also plan to apply this summer’s experiences to narrow my particular areas of interest.
When you’re not studying or working?
I started playing hockey when I was nine years old and I plan to play until I can’t skate anymore. I also am a ski bum whenever I get the chance. I like to play the guitar to unwind, although I’m not always as patient with it as I should be.
Your definition of “success”?
Success is when you’re exceling where you want and focusing on what’s important to you, with balance across all the fronts of your life – family, career and personal interests.
Favorite life experience?
I’m also majoring in Spanish and got to spend two months in Spain last summer. It was interesting to realize, while it is a different culture – different ideology, food, language, etc. – one-on-one, we’re all still people. I always found common experiences to relate to and talk about.
As you might have guessed from Mike’s surname, he shares a family connection with SAGEbroadview; his father is Sheri’s and Lynn’s brother. But that doesn’t mean he was a shoo-in. As he wraps up his senior year in high school, Mike has taken on a three-week internship program requiring him to work a minimum of 30 hours per week and present what he’s learned to his principal and superintendent. That’s not an assignment for the faint of heart! Next fall, Mike will be attending Fordham University, where he intends to study finance. Chris Annello comments: “We look forward to exposing Mike to the range of financial interests found in our offices. Not just investing but insurance, taxes, estate planning, college funding, debt management, cash flow, etc., so he can begin to consider which areas may appeal to him the most.”
I was inspired early on by my Aunt Sheri’s profession and how she built her own advisory group out of her home office 15 years ago. She has come a long way. I also always found the stock market interesting. I took a class in financial literacy and enjoyed learning about the market and asset allocation and similar topics. This led me to invest some of my own money and I loved it. From then on, I knew finance was for me.
Biggest moment in life?
I’d say my first mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico when I was 10 years old was a big moment for me. Seeing the poverty there, how little they had, and returning to the U.S. … it changed my perception of how good I had it back home. I’ve been on seven other trips since then, building houses in Mexico, working with the homeless in Philadelphia and giving back when I can.
Your most important value?
I chose Fordham University in part because it stresses being an ethical businessman, and that’s important to me. I’ve seen so many headlines and heard Chris and Sheri talking about the Bernie Madoffs of the world and how many people in the finance industry take advantage of their clients. To me, business shouldn’t be just about the paycheck. It should be about staying true to your morals and being humble, while putting the client first.
When you’re not studying or working?
I’m a huge soccer fan, both playing it and watching it. I also play the drums and guitar on the side for fun, and I enjoy going to the gym and running. I like just about any kind of music there is. Shuffle my iPod and you’ll hear anything from Frank Sinatra to Eminem to Bob Marley. But I’ve never been to a real rock concert before. I’m going to one of the last-ever Grateful Dead concerts in San Francisco next month, which I’m really looking forward to.
Your definition of “success”?
Being in a better place than the day before and continuously striving to be that person that you want to become. When your head hits the pillow every night you should be content and happy with where you are at that moment; that’s success.