Oliver De Croock

Author: Oliver De Croock

NACE Career Excellence Spotlight – Teamwork

Logan Olson is a senior Student-Athlete Double-Majoring in Math and Economics. This past summer he had the opportunity to work as an intern at Craig-Hellum Capital Group, a trading and investment firm in Chicago.

This article’s NACE competency focus is Teamwork. We had the opportunity to speak to Logan about how he was able to use his teamwork abilities as a student-athlete at Lawrence to succeed in his internship. Here is what we asked him.

Describe a situation where you had to collaborate with team members who had different work styles or perspectives. How did you adapt to ensure effective teamwork? 

During my summer internship at Craig-Hallum Capital Group, I served as an analyst in their Mergers and Acquistions team where I played a critical role in engineering sophisticated financial models. These models were instrumental in providing potential investors with the insights needed for informed decision-making and a comprehensive evaluation of our clients. Additionally, I was responsible for synthesizing financial information into Excel, which enabled accurate forecasting for model development. One of the most valuable aspects of my experience was attending management meetings with private equity firms and strategic buyers, which allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of deal lifecycles and sell-side operations.

In the fast-paced world of investment banking, teamwork emerged as a necessary behavioral skill that was crucial to my success at CHLM. Constant communication among team members was paramount — I frequently received feedback from vice presidents and managing directors, ranging from financial models to confidential information presentations (CIPs). In response, I adopted a collaborative approach, completing my tasks, sending them to fellow analysts for additional eyes, and then forwarding them to the VP. These submissions frequently returned with requests of the smallest of adjustments, such as formatting and alignment. In each instance, I promptly addressed the feedback, resolved the issues efficiently, and sought clarification when necessary. Drawing from my experience as a student-athlete, I recognized the foundational principles of being a team player as instrumental to my success at the firm. In a collaborative environment, it is necessary to carefully listen to others while also being accountable for individual and team responsibilities. These skills not only improved my performance as an analyst but also reinforced the importance of teamwork in the demanding world of investment banking.

Logan Olson ’24

Logan’s ability to collaborate in a team, embrace feedback, and remain coachable was a valuable asset during his internship at Craig-Hallum Capital Group. His openness to feedback, and being a “coachable” person allowed for quick improvements, making him an effective team player in the fast-paced world of investment banking.

And you? How would you answer that question? How are you showcasing your ability to work in a team in your resume?

If you would like to know more or have questions on how you could showcase your skills on your resume or in an interview, feel free to email me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or schedule an appointment here.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

NACE Career Excellence Spotlight – Critical Thinking

Kyle Gierman is a Senior student studying Economics and Data Science. This summer, he had the opportunity to work as an intern at JP Morgan, an American financial services firm.

This article’s NACE competency focus is Critical Thinking. We had the opportunity to speak to Kyle about how he was able to use his Critical Thinking skills to succeed in his internship. Here is what we asked him.

Describe a project or task where you had to gather and analyze data to make an important decision. What methods did you use, and what was the outcome? 

At JPMorgan Chase & Co, I was tasked with the critical project of streamlining dataflows to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of our macroeconomic calculators for the Investment Banking team. This project was crucial for making informed financial decisions and ensuring that our data was not only accurate but also up to date.

To tackle this challenge, I leveraged Alteryx, a powerful data integration and analytics tool. Alteryx allowed me to automate and optimize various data processes, significantly reducing processing time which was a problem in the past. I designed workflows within Alteryx to gather data from multiple sources, clean and transform it, and then integrate it to send to the Investment Banking team. By automating these processes, we were able to eliminate manual data entry errors and reduce the risk of human error, thereby improving data accuracy and reliability.

One of the key outcomes of leveraging Alteryx was the huge reduction in processing time. Previously, it took a considerable amount of time to manually collect, clean, and update the data required for our macroeconomic calculators. With Alteryx, we were able to cut down processing time significantly, allowing us to provide more timely updates to our calculators. This was particularly important in the fast-paced financial industry, where up-to-the-minute data can make a substantial difference in decision-making.

To ensure the quality and accuracy of the data, I also used Excel as a complementary tool. I created pivot tables and cross-referenced the data processed through Alteryx with the original source files. This double-checking process helped identify any discrepancies, allowing for immediate correction.

In the end, the project was a success. By streamlining dataflows with Alteryx and implementing data validation using Excel, we not only reduced processing time but also improved data accuracy and timeliness.

Kyle Gierman ’24

Critical thinking was a fundamental aspect of every stage of the project, from recognizing the problem to designing solutions, evaluating tools, and ensuring ongoing data quality. Critical thinking is an essential skill for problem-solving and decision-making in complex projects like this one.

And you? Are you showcasing your critical thinking skills on your resume? How would you answer that same question?

If you would like to know more or have questions on how you could showcase your skills on your resume or in an interview, feel free to email me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or schedule an appointment here.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

Big Interview: Your Interview Practice Partner

Are you getting ready for an interview but not sure where to start? Try Big Interview!

Lawrence University has teamed up with this incredible platform that helps students like you practice for interviews. It’s easy to use – you can learn how to do interviews for different jobs and industries, record yourself to see how you did, and if you want, even share your recordings with friends, professors, or career advisors to get their thoughts.

Big Interview is a fantastic tool for anyone, whether you’ve done lots of interviews before or none at all. Remember, getting good at interviews takes practice, and Big Interview makes it super simple. Don’t miss this chance to boost your interview skills!

Login to Big Interview here.

Why Internships are Essential for Your Career Development

Many students feel lost when it comes to finding internships and understanding their value. With so much information available online, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. However, internships can be a powerful way to gain hands-on experience, explore different career paths, and gain clarity on your future goals. In this article, I’ll share my personal experience interning at M3 Insurance and how it helped me gain a deeper understanding of my career aspirations. Join me as we dive into the many benefits of internships and learn how they can help you find your own path to success.

Gain valuable experience

Internships offer students the opportunity to gain real-world experience. Quite often, that can be more valuable to hiring managers than coursework or degrees. Even if an internship isn’t directly related to a student’s desired career path, it can offer valuable insights into a specific work environment and develop new skills. By participating in internships, students can build a portfolio of work to showcase to future employers and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Build a professional network and your personal “brand”

Internships offer a unique opportunity to build a professional network and develop a personal brand. Working alongside industry professionals, students can gain valuable insights and build relationships that may lead to future job opportunities. By showcasing their work ethic and willingness to learn, students can establish their own “brand” and become more memorable to potential employers to possibly get hired in the future, or get referred to someone they know.

Understand what you don’t like

Internships allow students to experiment with different career paths and gain clarity on their professional preferences. By trying out various roles and responsibilities, students can gain valuable insights and identify things they don’t like about a job or an industry. Sometimes, instead of trying to find the perfect dream career job right away, it’s better to try out different things and start crossing off the list of what you know you don’t want to do. This will help you understand more about what you need and make more informed decisions about your career paths.

My experience interning at M3 Insurance

Last summer, I interned at M3 Insurance in Green Bay, and although I had never considered the insurance industry before, I discovered many fascinating aspects of it. Through the internship, I had the opportunity to meet inspiring professionals who generously shared their insights and advice with me. I developed valuable skills such as public speaking, project management, and client communication, which will benefit me regardless of my future career path. My internship experience opened up new possibilities for me and was a significant stepping stone in my career journey. It played a crucial role in helping me secure another major internship opportunity at Deloitte in my junior year, which I don’t believe would have been possible without my prior experience.

Internships provide students with the opportunity to get significant experience and get a head start on their peers right out of college. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed at first, but remember that no matter what you do, you will learn if the industry or career you are in is what you want, and you will be able to utilize that as a stepping stone to finding what you are truly interested in later on. Use the internship to meet new people and try out new things; you never know where it’s going to take you.

If you would like to have more questions about looking for an internship, or about my internship experience at M3, feel free to reach out by email (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or schedule an appointment here.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

Jumpstart Your Career: Why First-Years and Sophomores Should Consider a Discovery Internship

If you are you a freshman or sophomore looking to gain valuable experience in the business world, you may want to consider a Discovery Internship. These internships are intended for younger students who want to explore various industries and departments in hopes of discovering their passions and career paths.

This is also a good way for large companies to find new talents early and bring them back every year while the student is still in college so that they can hire them out of college knowing that they already have one, two, or three summers of experience in the company, making it simpler for them to reach their full potential and succeed in their job right out of college.

Interns in a discovery internship are expected to rotate between departments and work on a variety of smaller tasks.

Personally, I didn’t know about these internships until later in my college career, and I wish I had discovered them earlier. Here are a few reasons why:

  • I would have had the opportunity to intern with a larger company earlier and gain exposure to different sectors
  • I could have tried out various departments within a company to better understand my interests
  • Having a big-name company on my resume early on would have made my life a little bit easier when looking for an internship in one of these big companies in my junior year

Some examples of Discovery Internships in the business and entrepreneurship fields include programs offered by Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. These internships typically last for 6-12 weeks and provide a range of experiences such as project management, finance, data analysis, marketing, and more. Like most internships in big companies, make sure you start looking early while they are still open (August, September, October for the following summer)

Here are a few job postings that I have found (still open at the time of this article):

By taking part in a Discovery Internship, you will be able to develop valuable skills, interact with industry professionals, and explore potential career paths very early in your career. Also, having this experience on your resume will help you differentiate yourself from other applicants and secure future internships and jobs.

If you want to learn more about Discovery Internships, or have any questions, feel free to email me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or schedule an appointment.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.

Mastering HireVue Interviews: Tips and Tricks for Success

HireVue is a digital interviewing tool that enables companies to optimize their recruitment process and more efficiently evaluate candidates. This AI-powered service assesses candidates remotely using video, audio, and AI technologies. In this article, I will share my experience and give you a few tips and tricks on how you can prepare to ace your next HireVue interview.

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in two different HireVue interviews from two competitors in the same field, EY, and Deloitte. On the one hand, EY asked me three long and elaborate questions (see example below) and only gave me 30 seconds to prepare, making it difficult to structure my responses properly. Deloitte, on the other hand, had a total of 8 questions, but they were shorter, and I had a full two minutes to prepare, making it simpler to organize my thoughts and successfully answer the questions.

Example of long-form question asked (EY):

  • New technologies and new ways of doing business are emerging all the time. In such a disrupted environment, you must embrace innovation or risk being left behind. We believe that having an innovative mindset is critical in this time of near-constant change. That’s why at EY, we recruit people today based on their mindset – not just their skill set. With a focus on innovation in mind … Provide a recent example of how you leveraged your expertise on a specific technology or topic to drive innovation and impact the results of a project, organization or role. What steps did you take? What challenges did you face? What was the end result?

Examples of short-form questions asked (Deloitte):

  • Tell me about yourself and why you are interested in this position.
  • Provide an example of a challenging situation you faced and how you overcame it.
  • Describe a project you worked on and the results you achieved.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Here are a few tips and tricks I wish I knew before going into my first few HireVue interviews:

  • Practice all the most common interview questions ahead of time so you know how to respond before you begin.
  • Make the most of your preparation time! If you are unsure what to say after the initial preparation period, use the entire length of your first take to gather your thoughts and figure out how you want to answer so you can be much more confident in your second take (remember, that will be the one and only take you will have). It’s better to have one really good take rather than two average ones.
  • During the preparation period, develop a bullet point list of the points you intend to cover; don’t stare at it, but use it in case you run out of ideas.
  • Be confident and, if possible, look at the camera – this will make it appear as if you are speaking straight into the viewer’s eyes – it’s a simple way to differentiate yourself from others, as eye contact (even virtually) goes a long way.

HireVue is a useful tool for companies looking to optimize their recruitment process, but it can also be a difficult experience for candidates. If you are prepared, you’ve been practicing interview questions, and you know what to expect, you will be able to navigate the HireVue process with confidence and give yourself the best chance of standing out against other applicants.

If you want to learn more about my experience with HireVue, practice behavioral interviews, or have any questions, feel free to email me (oliver.decroock@lawrence.edu) or schedule an appointment.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.