PCE Investment Banking Internship Launches Careers of Crummer Grads

One of the few investment banking internship programs in Central Florida continues to turn to Crummer for new talent.

For a Crummer student looking to get their first foray into hands-on, real-world mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and business valuation experience, a quick 10-minute walk from campus is all you need.

Led by shareholder and Crummer graduate, Michael Poole ’84MBA, PCE Investment Bankers, located a block from Park Avenue in Winter Park, offers students a unique opportunity into the world of investment banking.

The relationship built over the years between PCE Investment Bankers and Crummer has provided students with the best investment banking experience an MBA student can get, and PCE with cream of the crop candidates.

Since 2008, PCE has mentored more than 75 students through their internship program.  With the objective of preparing interns for a career in investment banking, each candidate goes through a rigorous interview process before being hired.  Once hired, interns work directly with the associates and investment bankers on M&A and business valuation engagements, gaining real-world experience.

“The internship is designed for any candidate wanting to learn. While it is rooted in investment banking and valuation fundamentals, several of our past interns have been focused in marketing, philosophy, or other academic areas and have excelled during this program,” said Melissa Ritter, one of the directors of the PCE internship program.

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Michael Poole added, “PCE is proud to have a strong relationship with Crummer.  Both of us benefit from the internship program.  It has been very gratifying to see our interns go on to pursue advanced careers. “

Crummer News spoke with four former interns, all of whom have found success working in various investment banking, commercial real estate, and finance roles.

How did you first get connected with PCE?

Jennifer Anderson ’08MBA, Investment Analyst at Merrill Lynch in Winter Park, FL: I went to the PCE information session, and since I wanted to do finance, I thought this would be a great way to get my foot in the door.

Ryan Stoffer ’15MBA, HFF Orlando, Real Estate Advisory Team: I was fortunate enough to be searching for an internship; I was interested in investment banking, and I was searching the job boards, and I found the PCE internship and realized I had a mutual connection there.

Andrew Manguart ’11MBA, Investment Manager (U.S. Financials) at Internal Equities, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority: I think it was featured on a job board, but I was already aware of the relationship between Crummer and PCE. I knew I always wanted to get into finance. There’s not a ton of opportunity in Orlando in finance and investment banking specifically, so it was always on my radar to find that opportunity.

Hugh McMillan ’16MBA, Financial Consultant for Questus Solutions: I heard of PCE through events and word of mouth through Crummer. I started researching them more online and found it was right up my alley. I was interested in investment banking at the time. This is one of the only investment banking internships in Central Florida, so I had to go for it.

What was your internship experience like?

Jennifer Anderson: Michael Poole has a passion for every intern that comes through that door. PCE really has a commitment to every intern that comes in and they truly care about your career. You really feel that when you are there. It was a really great family feel. You were learning, and they were cognizant of learning curves. They were very open to teaching; it was fun, and it was always a friendly environment.

Ryan Stoffer: I interned there in 2013 and 2014. I liked the people there a lot; I liked the culture and family atmosphere. I appreciated the exposure to different deals—I was doing market research and pulling standard valuation methods. It was great because it translated over into evaluating commercial real estate like I do now. I really liked the exposure to finance, and getting hands-on experience with valuation and financial analysis.

Andrew Manguart: It was a very positive experience. I got exposure to modeling, real-world
kind of modeling as opposed to what you do in a classroom. I learned about how deals get constructed, the things they care about and look at, and at the same time, I was looking into industry-time research and broader industries.

Hugh McMillan: It was my second internship overall. Every day I use the knowledge I learned about financial statements, and how to relate, read and analyze a company based on their financial materials.

How did the PCE internship prepare you for your career now?

Jennifer Anderson: It taught me what it means to have a job in finance; I had never had one before. I was working at a talent agency and a law firm before that, so I learned what it’s like to work in an investment bank at PCE.

Ryan Stoffer: I think there are a lot of skills I use now that stem from what I learned at PCE about valuation. When it comes to valuation there are different aspects you can tailor to some extent, but from a valuation perspective, it gave me the fundamentals of how to evaluate a cash flow asset such as pulling sales comps, market research and being able to project future cash flows

Andrew Manguart: It was more of an exposure type of experience, as opposed to what I was seeing in textbooks and in the classroom. The real value was the ability to put that experience on your resume and when it came time to transition away from Crummer, you’ve got that investment banking experience to set yourself apart. If you want to segway into a finance career, you’ve got to have that experience.

Hugh McMillan: I did a lot of research at PCE and a lot of spreading of financial statements, which is knowledge that I use every day. This is one of the best internships you can find.

Do you recommend the internship to current students?

Jennifer Anderson: I learned the ins-and-outs of investment banking at PCE. Everything from mergers and acquisitions, what a stock option is and how to evaluate a company for a merger and acquisition. These were all things I learned about in textbooks, but at PCE I got physical and tangible experience that made it real. When it becomes real, your confidence grows in other aspects of finance.

Ryan Stoffer: I do recommend this to any student, especially if you want to get into investment banking. It’s right here in our backyard, and if you still aren’t sure if you want to get into investment banking, it’s still a great way to get some solid financial analysis skills, some great evaluation skills and apply that to a similar career down the road.

Andrew Manguart: Absolutely, it’s a great opportunity to feature direct finance experience on your resume, and if you have any interest in making a career in finance and specifically investment banking, it’s really a unique opportunity in the Winter Park area that you can walk to from Crummer. It has definitely helped open doors for me.

Hugh McMillan: I’d definitely recommend it. I think it’s one of the best finance internships you can find in Central Florida, and compared to similar companies my classmates interned at, this one had much more of an investment banking aspect to it. I would recommend it to anyone interested in finance at Crummer.