Kimmy Zhang ’16 interns at Hilliard Lyons
Applying ideas learned in the classroom to the world beyond the college campus is an important part of the Centre College experience, so much so that beginning with the class of 2017, the Centre Commitment guarantees an internship or research opportunity to all students who meet the College’s social and academic standards.
Dozens of Centre students are spending the summer as interns all over the nation and world, including rising junior Borui “Kimmy” Zhang, who has been accepted into an internship at Hilliard Lyons, one of the nation’s oldest wealth management firms. The company was founded and remains headquartered in Louisville, Ky., and Zhang is based at an office in Lexington, just a short distance from Centre.
The financial economics major from Chengdu, China, welcomes the opportunity to see how the knowledge he has gained in courses at Centre translates into the workplace. “This is a learning-oriented internship,” he notes. “I do a lot of reading on issues regarding the economy and marketplace, and I am also asked to read stock reports and come up with my own analysis.”
Zhang will receive college credit for his internship, and he is mentored by Assistant Professor of Economics Jason Rastovski.
“Firms like Hilliard Lyons give student interns the chance to see how dynamic the fields of economics and finance are by having them closely follow current events for the objective of providing sound advice to clients,” says Rastovski.
The process of analyzing stock reports draws on skills that Zhang honed at Centre. “A lot of material that was covered in my economics classes comes up often in my readings,” he says. “A recent discussion with my supervisor revolved around the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis in the U.S., which is a topic that we discussed in great detail during Dr. Rastovski’s CentreTerm class on financial crises throughout history.”
As an international student, Zhang also appreciates the opportunity to develop his language skills. “The reading skills and ability to quickly summarize material that I developed in class comes in very handy in my internship,” he says. “This summer I want to continue to improve my reading ability and English skills in general.”
When Zhang returns to Centre in the fall, he will continue his participation in the Centre Investment Society, a new initiative led by Rastovski that allows students to manage a real $100,000 portfolio on behalf of the College. “Kimmy’s internship this summer will aid him in actively contributing analysis and advice to the Centre Investment Society during the upcoming academic year and provide him with a sound introduction to the financial advisory profession,” says Rastovski.
“This opportunity helps me further explore the business world,” says Zhang, “and it allows me to better understand how the industry works. As I come closer to choosing my future career path, this experience will help me make my decision.”
This summer isn’t all economic readings and stock report analyses, however. Zhang also spends time at Hilliard Lyons carrying out tasks often associated with interns: printing, copying and making sure the coffee pot stays full. “Making coffee is also a great skill to have,” he notes.
by Laurie Pierce