Moe, a finance and entrepreneurship major, spent the eight-week program interning with Milestone Wealth Management.
The Campus Alamance initiative provides students the opportunity to take the skills they’ve acquired at Elon to go out into the community and apply those skills working with some of the university’s most important community partners.
Several of the 40 interns who participated this summer shared their experience in the program and the lessons they’ve learned working in the community for eight weeks in this series of articles for Today at Elon.
Like many college students, Zillion Moe ’23 had trouble finding an internship in his junior year. With one opportunity after another failing to materialize, Elon’s Campus Alamance initiative offered him a chance to get closer to his career goals and set himself up for success.
“The Campus Alamance program is one of the best opportunities that Elon has provided for their students,” said Moe, a finance and entrepreneurship major who spent the eight-week-long program with Milestone Wealth Management. “Because of the program, you get to see that there’s so much that your community brings to you and offers, and you can provide back to them.”
The Campus Alamance initiative has just concluded its second year on campus and provided 40 Elon students with internships from 28 community partners. Students worked 20 to 30 hours per week for the eight-week program and attended weekly professional development sessions hosted by Elon.
The program is headed by the Student Professional Development Center and the Kernodle Center for Civic Life and is designed for all Elon students, regardless of grade or major. Each student involved is given a $2,500 stipend from the university.
Moe initially heard about Campus Alamance through an email from the First-Generation Student Support Services. Intrigued by the variety of positions available and remembering wise words given to him that the objective of an internship is to gauge if you would enjoy that kind of work, he decided to apply.
Moe landed an internship with Milestone and in the eight-week program, has been responsible for taking on several projects regarding data sets.
One of those major projects Moe took on was making a wide range of data sets simpler to digest and more efficient to work from.
Creating profit and loss statements and utilizing conditional formatting skills he had gained from his classes with Lecturer in Management Information Systems John Wimmer Jr. and Assistant Professor of Finance Thibaut Morillion, Moe completed the project, learning more about himself in the process.
Through the internship, Moe discovered his knack for data processing, a significant reason for his aspirations of becoming a financial analyst, while also recognizing a need to improve on communicating his findings.
Moe is also preparing for expert certification in financial modeling through Microsoft Excel since the importance of that mastery is essential in the line of work he hopes to get into.
“The more proficient I grow, the more successful I will be and the more I will be like the person I aspire to become after Elon,” Moe said.
During a gathering earlier in the summer of Campus Alamance interns and employers, Rob Cockman, a branch associate with Milestone Wealth Management, shared his thoughts on the multiple benefits students and employers gain from the experience. Cockman doesn’t think of what Milestone does as helping students, but more as a partnership to give them experience in what could potentially be their career field. And if even a student does the internship and realizes it’s not for them, there is value in that as well, he says.
“I think it’s really important to try different things and say, ‘If I do financial services over the summer and I find that that’s not the fit for me then I haven’t put a lot of time and effort into a job that I’m not passionate about,’” he said. “I think that’s beneficial for students.”
Cole Hudson ’22 began interning with Milestone as an Elon student and has started working full-time for the company as a branch associate following graduation. Although he was not a part of the Campus Alamance program himself, being able to help current Elon students is a chief priority for both himself and the company.
“As a partner with the Campus Alamance program, we love to help students learn about the many facets within the financial services industry, ultimately to find the right career path,” Hudson said. “Over the eight-week program, we were able to show Zillion many different aspects of what we do here at Milestone. We quickly found out that Zillion enjoyed the data-intensive, analytical projects. Throughout Zillion’s time with us, it was great to see how his analytical skills and technical knowledge progressed immensely.”
Moe expressed his gratitude for not just the Campus Alamance program, but its organizer Robin Kazmarek, director of internships for Elon College, the College of Arts & Sciences.
Moe believes internships are fundamental for a student’s personal growth as the new experiences help to build professionalism and allow access to a multitude of career paths.
The Campus Alamance program has provided Moe with a more comprehensive understanding of the local community, which he has initially assumed was just a “small, rural town.” After interacting with clients and seeing first-hand the growth of the region, Moe realized there was far more than meets the eye.
“The interactions I had with the community demonstrated all the different ‘campuses’ in Alamance that have their own culture and set of values,” Moe said.
“Campus Alamance made me realize the direction I hope to follow after graduating. I am excited to see how this program will expand next summer and the many ways it could help students like myself explore what their local communities may offer no matter where an individual might be in the world,” he added.