What a Finance Major Can Learn as a Business Development Intern

Business Development Intern

By Chiara Kastanova, Business Development Intern  

As a finance major, my primary skillset revolves around corporate financial statements and stock analysis. I had signed up for Venture for Canada in hopes of finding an internship related to my field of study. That’s when David, Wingman Direct Marketing Crew Chief, first reached out to me about a position as a business development intern at his marketing agency. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was suited for me. After thinking about it some more, I decided to take it on as it was completely different from what I’ve previously done and would offer me an entirely new perspective. Fast forward a couple months, being a business development intern and I have to say, this role has taught me many important skills that I will carry over into any future roles, whether in finance or another sector entirely. 

1. Research, Research, and more Research 

  • Target – Let me emphasize this – you can never know too much about who you’re targeting. It doesn’t matter what industry or role you’re in, having the background knowledge about who your target customer is will help you set your orientation and goals. This will make any future work easier as you can reference back to the overarching idea of your customer and how it relates to them. 
  • Process – On the same note, you can always improve your process through researching technology developments that can make your life easier. Power Query was never part of my original vision, but after understanding the goal, I knew automation was the key. I took some time to familiarize myself with Power Query to automate some of my daily tasks. I now have time to expand my role into new areas and to learn about processes that will help me in the future. 
  • Test – Seemingly contradictory to the research, you still need to test your hypotheses to make sure you’re heading down the right path. Testing and trying is as important as your research to being efficient and moving forward. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not always right when it comes to the best course of action and testing before launching any big project or new idea helps steer me towards the end goal. 

2. Communicating with Your Crew is Crucial 

  • Because my personal background is finance, joining a marketing company was an eye opener into a new field of business. There were many processes that I had zero idea about and I felt a bit lost. Luckily, there was an easy fix – talking to my crew and having them bring me up to speed. They were excited to help, and the information they gave me ultimately helped me greatly in my role, even if it seemed unrelated at first. Therefore, I strongly recommend gaining your team’s insights before proceeding with a new position. 
  • At the same time, you can offer your expertise to your crew. Everyone brings in their own set of eyes, and you shouldn’t be afraid to offer a hand when you see a process that could be improved. Your skill set is valuable to the team, not just your role. 

3. It’s Okay to Slow Down Sometimes 

  • If you’re like me, you’re focused on being as efficient as you can be so you can move onto the next project. However, sometimes it is better to take a step back from your work and check over everything you’ve done. Question yourself – is there anything I can do to improve this process or know more about the subject? Chances are that the answer is yes. It is important to touch base with yourself and be mindful of your process. Taking the time to align your work with your goals will save you more time in the long run than rushing through for the sake of being done. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still have lots to learn when it comes to professional development. Luckily the Wingman crew will ensure I grow and meet my professional goals as a business development intern and beyond. If you want to hone your business intuition in the same way for your business, contact Wingman Direct Marketing and start soaring.