Katie Leonard '12

I can’t believe this is my last post and that my internship is officially over! It really feels like yesterday that I was posting about how excited I was for the summer to start. I have learned so much in the past 10 weeks that it is hard to sum it up in one post, but here goes trying.

First I have to thank everyone at Source Media, particularly those at the Asset Securitization Report, for being so kind and patient in helping me understand not only professional writing but the financial world as well. Especially my boss Karen, I never would have gotten the hang of if without her! She’s a great boss and was always willing to answer questions and go over concepts whenever I needed.

I also have to thank the Holy Cross Leadership Council for their unbelievable generosity   in providing stipends to HC interns.  It would not have been possible without them, and all of my friends from other colleges are always so impressed that we have such a strong alumni network that ensures students get paid for their summer work, especially during tough economic times.

If I had to pick one thing from this summer that I will take with me back to HC (and into the real world soon, very scary), it would that I was able to learn about something so different than I usually do. (Economics and finance are not the same thing if you were wondering.)

Whenever I talk to a prospective student about HC and our economics or pre-professional programs, they always ask “How can you study business at a liberal arts school? They don’t have a business major.” My internship has provided me a different, but equally effective way of learning about it.

While I may not study asset-backed derivatives or collateralized debt obligations in the classroom, I know go back to school with a pretty good understanding of finance and securitized products.  I was able to take my one semester of Financial Markets course at HC and really build on it. I even impress myself when I read the Wall Street Journal on the train and understand the issues going on right now.

My internship has allowed me to learn firsthand by being a part of the business world, and that beats learning about it from a book in some classroom. So to answer that all too common question, yes you can go to Holy Cross and get a good background in finance!

In parting I will leave you with what I think is the most valuable lesson I’ve learned from working. I read this particular advice last year in one of the summer intern’s blogs and it stuck with me, so now I pass it along to you: always check your work and be thorough, but never too much so that you waste time.  In other words, always make sure that you are turning in your best work, but don’t obsess, be confident.

Now that my summer of work and play in NYC is over, I am going to make the most of my remaining vacation days.  I will be back on the hill before I know it to start senior year!  And I will be sure to bring everything I’ve learned back with me.

So I just realized that in all of my posts, I haven’t really given you all an idea of what a typical day is like for me at Source Media. Better late than never!

Most days I get in around 8:30 and check my email to see what my boss Karen has sent for me to start on. Usually there are a few stories waiting for me to post on our website. To explain, because our publication, Asset Securitization Report, is housed within the larger Capital Markets Newsletters division, we can post published articles from our affiliates on our site, with proper credit attributed to them of course.

So after I enter in all the info and submit the stories, there are usually press releases or reports waiting for me to writeup. They can be anything from a short corporate hiring announcement to an in-depth data analysis report from a bank or ratings agencies. Always different subjects, and I never get bored!

Once I finish and check each story I send it over to Karen for the final approval, and after I get the okay, I post it up on our website as either a features piece or a news item (depending on the type and subject).

If it’s a slow day I will either look around the web or check the Bloomberg machine (a special financial news network/service) for securitization news we may have missed.

Other days I may be listening in on a conference call or web-conference (technology can be so handy), like I did earlier this week.

On deadline days, which come once every 4 weeks or so, things are a little more hectic. Today at 4pm was the deadline for our August publication, and there was much to do!

I was very excited that Karen trusted me enough to do a whole multiple-page story for this month’s issue, it was sort of a culmination of everything I’ve learned this summer, both in finance and journalism. After I put the finishing touches on it this morning I got started on copyediting the other stories that had been submitted.

After putting all of the corrections in, I took it upstairs and went over all the changes with our layout and design guy to add them in. I repeated this process after each story and luckily we made it time-wise. So much to do but I loved getting to see all of the different aspects of the publication process up close.

Now all there is left to do is wait for the magazines to be printed and shipped out!

Hello again, sorry for my lacking of posting, somehow, despite the 100 degree NY heat this week, I managed to get a bad cold.  So I will keep this brief.

Thanks to my aforementioned cold, I had to miss out on dinner in Noho with friends on Wednesday for restaurant week (best time to get reservations and great deals in the city, by the way), but I’ve still been at work.  Things are still very busy, our issue for next month goes to press next Thursday so there’s lots to do!  While I write multiple stories daily for the website, we only have a print issue every 4-5 weeks.  Last month our deadline was when I was just starting, so I got to do a short article on some industry data-tables.  Now that I’ve been here a while and I (somewhat) got the hang of it, my boss Karen has assigned me to cover a web conference for a more detailed article this month.  Wish me luck!

Can’t believe I am so close to the end of my internship, it really has flown by.  Hopefully I will be better soon to make the most of my time left of summer in NYC!

It has been a short yet crazy week. I’ve been so busy at work, but just wanted to share this photo of another new obsession I have: the Yogo truck! It drives around the neighborhood all day and let’s you customize your own yogurt with different toppings and everything.

Such an ingenious idea with all of the offices around to get a quick but fun lunch. And for someone who loves yogurt as much I do, it seems revolutionary!  I realize I sound a little crazy, but it really is like an adult ice cream truck.  Only in NYC!

Sorry for the delay in posting, things at work have been so busy! But I am still loving it. I’m hoping to get over to South Street Seaport sometime this week and I will be sure to recap afterwards. Luckily it hasn’t been too hot (yet) and having an office by the water has the added benefit of a nice breeze.

On a random note, now that I have almost reached the official halfway point of my internship, It is safe to say I have become quite the pro on commuting. It definitely helps that I spend nearly 4 hours a day on either a subway or train, and along the way I have picked up some good tips.

Here are just a few for any of you that will be braving Metro-North next summer:

1) If given the choice, take the inside seat of a three-seater on the train. The outside one may seem more appealing in theory, but the head rest is a lot lower and you will get bumped the whole time. Also, if its a slow day, this is where you will have the best shot at having an empty seat next to you.

2) If there’s only middle seats, you might as well stand.

3) If you get on a train or subway car that seems even a little warm, keeping going onto the next one. You’ll usually find one that’s at least somewhat better. Don’t settle, the ride can seem longer than you think.

4) Don’t be the person talking on your phone. Its like an unspoken code of the train. You may think you’re being quiet but, be honest, would you want to listen to someone chat away 7 am? Absolutely not.

5) Download decent iPhone games or something to keep you entertained, you never know when mass transit will breakdown and believe me you don’t want to find out that lesson the hard way.

Hope you enjoyed and I will catch up again later on this week!

As promised, here is a (quick) retelling of my very first industry conference as a member of the press.

I arrived at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday, and after first getting in the wrong registration line, and then the wrong session, I finally found the right place (in my defense, it is a deceivingly large hotel).

Anyway, I loved every second of getting to sit there, press badge and all, and soaking it all in. It was a little weird to introduce myself as a member of the press, but I got used to it. I did notice that most people talk to you differently when you have the little ‘press’ header above your name tag, they seem a little more on edge. My boss says to expect that. I have to admit, I kind of liked it!

There were some great speakers, and not just from the financial sector but from the political world as well. How often you get to listen to former members of Congress talk firsthand about issues like healthcare and the national debt? So cool.

I still can’t believe that after just a few weeks, I got to cover a conference on my own. Jumping right in really is the best way to learn.

It was also great to spend time around Midtown, an area that I am much more familiar with but always enjoy. Little by little I am getting around the city!

I also have to mention, I have a new obsession with this natural to-go market in the Financial District called ‘Flavors’. If you are ever downtown, please go! Everything is delicious but I would recommend trying their homemade yogurt and granola. So so so good. Im not sure if it’s a blessing or burden I found out about it so early on in the summer…

Just wanted to share this picture I took the other day while I was walking through Battery Park.  It is a great place to sit and relax and watch the boats go by.   So peaceful and quiet, and such a beautiful day!


Anyway, today was the first day of my first conference as a member of the press. I will be back soon with all the details!

So it is now week two of my internship and things are going pretty well.  Since I last posted I have done quite a few more articles for the website, ranging in everything from corporate acquisitions to bond ratings.  And let’s just say, the Financial Markets and Institutions class I took at HC last year has definitely paid off big time!  I’m still learning more and more about the financial system everyday, as well as how to write professionally.

Today, some of my co-workers took me out to lunch at this great little Mexican restaurant near my office to welcome me and another new reporter to the division.  The food was delicious, but the part I loved the most was the walk there.  It was so much fun getting to walk through the neighborhood and take in my surroundings.

When we finally got to the street the restaurant was on, I could have swore I was back in Paris!  It was the cutest little side street filled completely with tables and chairs.  It was like serenity right in the middle of the New York daily chaos, and I loved the atmosphere.

This got me thinking about just how big New York City is.  Having grown-up just outside of New York, I had the typical mindset that I knew the city like the back of my hand.

But now that I am working here, I am spending time in an area of the city that I had never really been in before.  It’s like I’m in an entirely new city!  It amazes me that after so long I can still find so many new things about NYC that excite me.

Anyway, I am once again on the train home and it seems to be becoming a habit that I do my best thinking/writing here.  Early next week I am attending my first financial council conference as a member of the press so I will check back in then to let you guys know how it goes, wish me luck!

Okay, slight lie, I am currently on the train entering CT once again, but you guys get the idea.

As I am closing in on my first, albeit shortened, week of my internship, there is much to tell!

Tuesday was my first day, and as I rode the train in with my best friend from high school (who is also interning in NYC this summer) we could not help but feel like we were back at the first day of school.  You get the same mix of excitement and nerves.

Cut to one successful subway ride and short walk later, and I was there.

Luckily, my first-day-of-school fears quickly subsided when I met my boss, Karen (the editor of the main publication I will be working on), and got to see my office.  Okay, it is just a cubicle, but for a college student it is so exciting!  My view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is absolutely to die for.

The first few days have flown by as I have been meeting a ton of new people and learning so many different things, but I have loved every minute of it. Before I knew it I was writing stories on securities and Treasury sales to post online, and even editing the website!  I dove right in and it really feels like I have been there for forever. Karen has been such a great help in teaching me and answering all of my (millions of) questions.  I am already loving the New York—life and can tell that this is going to be a great summer!

I will post again early next week, but in the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying summer!

Hello to all and happy summer (finally)!  I am writing to you to introduce myself and give you a little background on who I am and what I will be doing this summer.

My name is Katie Leonard and I am a rising senior at Holy Cross.  I am an Economics major with a minor in Art History, and in my free time I serve as the Co-Director of Student Athletics for the Student Government Association, a tutor, and, as of next year, a Senior Interviewer for the Admissions department.

Okay, enough about my life up on the hill, let’s get to the real reason you are reading this post:  what I will be doing this summer!

This past fall I was admitted to the Summer Internship Program, and, after all of their tireless help and support, I was lucky enough to secure an Editorial Internship at Source Media.  I will be reporting and writing on financial trends for their Capital Markets Newsletters Division, in addition to helping with copyediting and layout.  I will be working in Manhattan and primarily commuting from my home in southern Connecticut, about 50 minutes from the city.

I can’t wait  to put my HC liberal arts background into practice as well as to further my understanding of the financial and publishing industries.  Of course, I also can’t wait for everything else summer in New York City has to offer along the way!  I will check back in next week after my first few days.

I am so excited to take you all on this journey with me, Bon voyage!