A Meaningful Experience: The FHLBank Atlanta Summer Internship Program
Every year, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta) invites undergraduate and graduate students from the country’s leading universities to apply for the Bank’s nine-week, paid summer internship program.
Interns at FHLBank Atlanta have the opportunity to gain hands-on financial services experience from a range of disciplines, including Information Technology, Accounting Operations, Enterprise Risk Management, Communications, Credit Services, Legal, and Financial Operations Management, to name a few. They are exposed to real projects and challenges, and are given the chance to make meaningful contributions to the Bank and the member financial institutions the Bank serves.
This was the case for Jim Zhan, an auditor at FHLBank Atlanta. Zhan came to the Bank as an intern in 2016 and now works at the Bank full time.
While pursuing a master’s degree in accounting, Zhan took a couple of classes on auditing and realized that was the field for him. He says one of his main goals as an intern was to get involved with as many projects as possible and learn from each assignment. He aimed to get feedback from managers about what he did right, what he did wrong, and what he could do to improve.
But what surprised Zhan the most was the meaningfulness of his work. For a few weeks after his arrival, Zhan assisted with a review of the Bank’s annual Dodd-Frank Act stress testing. When that project was over, Zhan assisted with an audit of the Bank’s collateral operations.
“I thought internship meant mostly making copies,” says Zhan. “But I was able to apply so much knowledge from school. The work I did then laid the groundwork for what I’m doing now. It made my internship very meaningful.”
Unlike Zhan, Bindiya Patel, another 2016 intern, says she wasn’t quite sure of the career path she wanted to follow when she applied for the program. Her goal as an intern was to absorb as much information as possible and work to develop her skillset. However, Patel had such a good experience that she too now works at the Bank full time in the Collateral department.
“I got much more than I expected out of the program,” says Patel. “I was able to work with different employees from various educational and experiential backgrounds and truly learn new concepts and principles that can be applied and transposed in any industry or working environment.”
Bryan Delong, FHLBank Atlanta’s Chief Human Resources Officer, notes that while giving students real-world experience helps them achieve their goals, it also helps the Bank provide good customer service to its member financial institutions, and paves the way for a strong future for the industry.
“Today’s interns are tomorrow’s financial services industry leaders,” says Delong. “The energy and curiosity our interns bring provides real value for our members, and we are proud to offer them a meaningful experience as they get started in their careers.”
Click here to watch a quick video about FHLBank Atlanta’s internship program.