Meet Olivia Parks '18

An Early Start on a Career in Finance

Senior introduced to world of investment management

Olivia Parks ’18 has one foot on campus and the other in the working world—at a prominent Chicago investment management firm.

A finance major from Troy, Michigan, Parks was a member of the Bluejays’ Volleyball team for her first two years and then shifted her focus to land an internship that would help prepare her for a career in finance.

Parks began early last year as a part-time intern at William Blair & Co, which specializes in investment banking and wealth management for companies, foundations and individuals. She worked full-time during the summer and has continued there three days a week during the fall term. For spring term, she’s lined up an internship in wealth management in the Chicago office of financial services giant Morgan Stanley.

At William Blair, Parks handles administrative work and prepares reports for investment advisers, who buy and sell stocks on behalf of clients, and as well as planners who offer longer-term advice on investment mix. The analytical and consultative role of the planner is appealing. “How can we help clients in the long run and enable them to continue their lifestyle?” she said. “I’m interested in the way stocks and bonds are allocated in a portfolio.”

A January-term study away trip to Italy indirectly helped her land the internship at William Blair. “The interviewer was Italian and she was interested in my trip,” Parks recalled. “We made a connection.”

In her free time, Parks enjoys cooking and learning about home design and real estate. She enjoys coffee and espresso, and brews her own beverage every morning with a French press coffee maker. She’s a purist—no cream or sugar.

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