Externship Profile: Christopher Karmilowicz explores the world of finance

Photo courtesy of Ursinus Communications

Sienna Coleman


“Interesting, welcoming and motivating,” is how Christopher Karmilowicz ’20 describes his externship at SEI Investments Company. Karmilowicz spent a week of his winter break at SEI, learning about careers and opportunities in his chosen field, finance.

The Career and Post-Graduate Development Office organizes the externship program and facilitated Karmilowicz’s visit to SEI. The winter externship program runs each winter break. Due to the success of the program, there will also now be externship opportunities during spring break. The deadline to submit all application materials for the Spring 2019 Extern Program is 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 14. Karmilowicz recommends the experience. “The staff at the CPD were great throughout this whole process. I cannot thank them enough for arranging the externship,” said Karmilowicz.

For those of you wondering what finance is, Karmilowicz explained, “Finance is the art and science of managing money. It
is making decisions about asset allocation based on factors such as risk, expected rate of return, and time.” Many people have an image of those with careers in finance as traders on Wall Street, but according to Karmilowicz, “the industry as a whole is much more diverse and interesting. The finance industry is massive and there are countless roles within the industry.”

At SEI, Karmilowicz spent most of his time with the Ursinus alumni who work there. Between observing the daily routines of the employees and learning about careers in finance, he got to hear about how much Ursinus has changed over the years. Karmilowicz added, “I had a lot of fun sharing stories about professors, since I took courses from many of the same professors as the alumni.”

The most interesting thing that Karmilowicz got to experience during the externship was actually an internal course on time management. This course is normally only offered to SEI employees. Karmilowicz was surprised to find out that “many professionals deal with the same kind of distractions as college students. It is important to delegate.”

This externship was the clear choice for Karmilowicz because he really wanted the opportunity to experience work at SEI. He said, “We are so lucky, as Ursinus Students, to live in close proximity to SEI.” Karmilowicz is thankful that the externship provided him with useful insight into finance and the lives of those who work in the field. He ex- plains, “I definitely learned a lot about what the typical day looks like for someone in the finance industry. I really enjoyed talking to people about how they stayed up to date on financial news and the extremely specialized publications some subscribed to for the most cutting-edge information.”

Karmilowicz is glad that he was able to have this valuable experience and that the alumni opened up their workplace to him: “I would like to thank everyone who hosted or talked with me during my externship.
I cannot thank them enough for guiding me through their professional life and for offering me so much advice.” Karmilowicz enjoyed the externship so much that he added, “hopefully, I will have the opportunity to continue my career there.”

His experience at SEI shaped Karmilowicz’s ideas about his future career. It broadened his sense of what the finance industry is: “I had this idea in my head before that I had to choose my classes in college extremely carefully because I would only have that information to take with me in a career. However, I talked to many people during my extern- ship who said they received intensive education after graduating, such as professional certification programs or an M.B.A, to expand their base of knowledge. I am now planning on attending graduate school courses in actuarial science and coding to further develop myself.”