Sharing his financial skills — near and far

Image of Sean Anderson standing infront of IBM letters on a building.

Sean Anderson is a financial analyst intern at IBM in Rochester, Minnesota. It is not his only practice in the finance field. He also teaches, mentors and presents as a peer mentor in UWL’s It Make$ Cents! financial literacy program.

UWL junior gains practice in the finance field through internship, peer mentorship

Sean Anderson is learning a new language and culture. The UWL junior isn’t studying abroad — he has immersed himself in a financial analyst internship at IBM in Rochester, Minnesota.

The new language he is learning is one of company acronyms, programming languages and computer software programs. And he is adapting to the culture of the workplace setting.

“One of the famous phrases at IBM is that ‘You’re drinking from a fire hose,’” says Anderson. “Even though it’s this difficult, I have learned to adapt to this and I think that is where I have grown the most.”

In the summer and fall position, Anderson is doing a wide range of tasks from analyzing, preparing and reporting financial entries to assisting with contracts between the U.S. and other countries. Anderson plans to return to complete his degree in spring 2019.

But internship experience is not the extent of Anderson’s practice in finance. He has been a peer mentor with UWL’s It Make$ Cents! financial literacy program since spring 2017 and will continue the role when he returns to campus in spring. As a peer mentor, Anderson presents, teaches and mentors fellow students on financial topics such as: budgeting, credit, investing/retirement, student loans and more. Whether talking to students one-on-one or through presentations, Anderson loves the job.

“I have always loved working with others and making a difference in someone’s life — even if it was just making a simple budget,” he notes.

Sean Anderson standing with other students at the International Banquet where he is receiving an award.

UWL business student Sean Anderson, far right, along with several other peer mentors, accept an award on behalf of UWL’s financial literacy program, It Make$ Cents!, at UWL’s International Banquet spring semester. It Make$ Cents! received The Burt and Norma Altman Award, which recognizes outstanding university service in the advancement of international education.

Anderson is interested in investing and retirement, so program leaders allowed him to present on the topics specifically as part of his Investing 101 presentations to UWL students. Through his research and presentations, he is helping others, but he has also expanded his own knowledge base.

“I love getting up in front of people and educating them about finance because I believe you can always learn more about it,” he says. “The financial environment is continually changing and I love it.”

Anderson is intelligent, a strong presenter and has become the office’s go-to resource for investment-related questions, says Amanda Gasper, UWL’s financial literacy coordinator.

“His greatest strength is his passion to educate others,” says Gasper. “I feel so grateful to have him part of the team at IMC.”

Anderson says participating in internships and getting involved in It Make$ Cents have also given him more direction. He aims to obtain his Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) certification and then earn a master’s degree in finance. He eventually wants to work with the stock market and make a difference in people’s lives by promoting financial awareness.