By Cory Oringer W’16, 2014 Neff Entrepreneurial Intern Fellow at Estimize
Interested in doing an internship at a startup this summer? Come to our WE Wednesday session: Is a Startup Internship Right For Me? on October 29, 4:30-5:30pom Jon M. Huntsmann Hall room 365.
This summer I worked at Estimize, a venture capital backed, financial technology (FinTech) start-up. Estimize operates an open platform for crowdsourcing structured financial data such as earnings estimates of publicly-traded US companies, as well as macroeconomic indicator forecasts.
Estimize aggregates its data from not just sell-side analysts, but more importantly, buy-side and independent research analysts, alongside corporate finance professionals, industry experts and academics. By crowdsourcing from the broadest and most diverse distribution of biographies possible, Estimize’s equity dataset has proven to be more accurate than similar sell-side only datasets such as Thompson Reuters I/B/E/S over 65% of the time. For Wall Street analysts and others in the finance ecosystem, Estimize solves the unmet need of providing a better representation of the market’s true expectations.
Estimize came onto my radar when I attended a Wharton MBA guest lecture given by alumnus and venture capitalist Bob Greene, founder of NYC-based Contour Venture Partners. I had recently declared my dual concentration in finance and statistics at Wharton, and I recognized that working at Estimize could be a unique way to get my first real-world exposure to the finance industry. I did some further research and discovered great press about the company on Forbes, Fast Company and Bloomberg, to name a few. As well, I was excited to learn about its founder and CEO, Leigh Drogen, who is 28 years old and started his career as a quantitative hedge fund analyst. I wrote an email to Leigh to introduce myself and share my story. A few weeks later, I had an interview at the NYC office.
For those in pursuit of the “ideal” summer internship, think beyond the starting point of utilizing Penn Career Services. Build and expand your network by regularly attending guest presentations on campus because, as the saying goes, “If you don’t go, you won’t know.”
It’s hard to be brief about my phenomenal summer experience at Estimize. I worked directly for Leigh and I was excited to be at the office early every morning. I never had a shortage of meaningful responsibility. I was especially privileged in that Leigh set aside time to personally mentor me, teaching me about technical analysis, trading and investing, among other things. It was an extra bonus sitting beside Leigh on the day when Business Insider recognized him on its list entitled, “The Most Powerful Person in Finance at Every Age.”
My first week’s assignment involved analysis of company financials and collecting historical earnings fundamentals data (EPS and revenue). I gained Leigh’s trust through this very first assignment, and he provided me with increased responsibility by asking me to subsequently work on two larger, summer-long business development projects.
In my first business development project, I sourced a contact list of Senior and Chief Economists at several major financial institutions, including bulge bracket banks and boutique economic research groups. Although I had no previous cold-calling experience, I quickly became comfortable on the phone. I organized conference calls involving Leigh with a number of these economists, and successfully developed and managed relationships with these executives. My second mandate, which also required direct customer contact, was to upsell to existing Estimize buy-side community members newly released paid products. As with the outreach to macroeconomic indicator estimate contributors, Leigh and I held numerous conference calls and had great success in closing deals.
In addition to my day-to-day work on these projects, Leigh suggested I challenge myself even further by diving into the summer’s earnings season, creating a personal analyst profile and contributing my own forecasts to the Estimize platform. I covered over 50 stocks in various sectors of interest to me, submitting my own estimates for each company’s quarterly earnings fundamentals (EPS and revenue). In upcoming quarters, I plan to continue building my track record on the platform.
At the end of the summer, Leigh offered me the opportunity to continue working remotely from school with Estimize. Fortunately, I was able to structure my schedule at Wharton to take advantage of this phenomenal paid, part-time role. Needless to say, I’m incredibly appreciative of all that Leigh has done for me, grateful that I can continue to be part of the team, and excited for what’s ahead for this fast-growing company.
Remember, a summer internship is short in duration, so it’s critical to make your mark quickly by proving yourself, starting day one, as diligent, reliable and trustworthy—and to be sure to carry this out every day of your internship. I encourage you to learn more about the financial support provided by the Wharton Entrepreneurial Intern Fellowship. Also, leverage the peer support provided by the Ambassadors of Entrepreneurship program to further extend your personal network.
Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to me anytime!
Bio: Cory Oringer is currently a junior at Wharton, currently dual concentrating in Finance and Statistics. He’s most interested in financial markets, technology, analytics and, especially, all things about hockey and the Montreal Canadiens, his home team.