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Syracuse University iSchool student Emily Simens interns with the Federal Reserve Board.

Challenges of Interning at the Federal Reserve: Reaching Out and Finding Focus

The Federal Reserve is an amazing place to work, and everyone on my team is great. But, adjusting to any workplace can be difficult at first. In this post, I will go through three challenges I faced in my internship, but overcame easily by utilizing the resources around me.

Internship Challenges and Solutions

Challenge: Working with a team that is partially remote and extremely busy. The Federal Reserve has a perk of working from home 2 days a week.

Solution: I make sure to create meetings with analysts and my manager on days that they are present in the office, and attend team meetings every other week. In addition, I check in with my manager periodically over email or Skype.

Challenge: Focusing on a technical project for long stretches of time.

Solution: Doing fun things during lunch breaks to re-energize. Some things employees at the Federal Reserve do are go out to lunch in the area (a favorite spot is GCDC), seeing local art through the Fed Fine Arts Program, and participating in workout classes that are in the office gym!

I eat lunch with the other IT interns every day to hear about what they’re working on and doing after work. I also took a short break from working on projects to take an R Programming class, which is just one of the cool perks of working at the Board.

Challenge: Running into technical issues I haven’t encountered before.

Solution:  I make sure to reach out and ask for help if I can’t figure something out by troubleshooting and a Google search first. It’s really helpful to be working with experienced analysts because they know the ins and outs of all the systems being used on the team. Asking for help is sometimes better than being stuck for hours, and it’s always great to learn something new.

Fun Fact: How IT plays a role in the Federal Open Market Committee minutes

Something I learned at my internship is how Federal Open Market Committee minutes are released to the public, and how information technology is an extremely important part of the process.

A few weeks after the FOMC meets, there is a press lock-up at the office, and reporters are given the minutes. There is no internet connection in the room for this time, and articles are rapidly written. At exactly 2:00 p.m., the media can release their articles to the public.

Since I work with the network infrastructure team, they play a big role in how this financial information is distributed.

Knowledge From the iSchool That Helped Me

This week, I met with one of the vendors my team works with to get more information on the product. Working in groups in almost all my School of Information Studies classes helped me with this task.

In addition, IST 344, Information Reporting and Presentation, prepared me to public speak within meetings and networking with other teams. Looking forward to the rest of the summer, and seeing how else my knowledge can be applied here!

Emily and her fellow interns in the Board Room.
Emily and her fellow interns in the Board Room.
Emily Simens

Emily Simens

I’m a rising junior in the iSchool and I’m from Hewlett, NY. In the past I’ve worked at Girls Who Code and the ITS department at SU. On campus I’m involved in Hillel, Information Security Club, and iSchool Peer Advisors.

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