IR interns learn the ropes at Catalyst

Aug 30, 2012
<p>NIRI-NY&rsquo;s 9/11 internship program places two students at New York-based Catalyst Global over summer</p>

Two college students got their first taste of investor relations this summer thanks to an internship set up by New York’s NIRI chapter to support the children of 9/11 victims.

The interns spent a month at Catalyst Global, the New York-based IR firm, building company fact sheets, drafting investor presentations, managing contact information and generally immersing themselves in the world of investor relations.

Erin Murray
Intern Erin Murray with Catalyst vice president Eric Lentini

‘I’m a huge fan of having interns, teaching people the business and benefiting from their perspective,’ explains Catalyst founder David Collins. ‘It’s a very mutual experience – they walk in and ask simple questions that can really force you to think about how you’re doing things.’

The students found Catalyst through the NIRI-NY 9/11 Logler Internship Program, which offers work experience in IR, PR and corporate communications to young people who lost a parent during the September 11 attacks.

Each year, NIRI-NY locates companies willing to take on interns and matches them with individuals put forward by registered 9/11 charities Tuesday’s Children and the Silver Shield Foundation.

The program is named after Elizabeth (known as Beth) Logler, the head of IR at eSpeed, who lost her life during the terrorist attacks 11 years ago.

As a firm focused on small and micro-cap companies, Catalyst got the two interns to work on projects helping clients get their names out in front of investors and the wider market.

‘We had them working on some fact sheets, where they would try to boil down an investment story into a one or two-pager that we can send to institutional investors who we’re trying to get to take a look at the company,’ says Collins. ‘We also had them work on some in-depth industry targeting of media and blog opportunities, as well as our implementation of Salesforce.com to manage our firm and client contacts.’

Caroline Parks, who becomes a junior this year at the University of Dayton, says she enjoyed getting stuck into some real work – rather than having to run the usual intern errands like photocopying and making coffee.

‘It is hard to say the most important thing I will take away from this internship because it has taught me so much,’ she comments. ‘Being in a workplace environment and being responsible for projects has helped me prepare for my future in a huge way.’

Erin Murray, now a third-year student at the University of Albany, also got a lot out of the internship. ‘I think it’s a great way to explore different careers and find out what you want to do,’ she says. ‘With such a competitive job market, an internship is an excellent way to gain experience and make connections.’

For NIRI-NY, the many benefits of the Logler program include the opportunity to introduce a new group of people to the investor relations industry.

In the wake of 9/11, the New York chapter met to decide how it could help those affected. After considering a number of options, the board settled on an internship program as it would be sustainable and also support NIRI’s mission of promoting IR.

‘The IR profession still has so far to go in terms of raising awareness and understanding of the role, and gaining more appreciation in the business community, so anything that gets more people to understand what goes on within the investor relations process is good for all of us in the industry,’ concludes Collins.

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