When Dimitri Eliopoulos (BUS ’01) began attending DePaul University to study finance, he knew he wanted to work with money and people. So, at the start of his senior year at the Driehaus College of Business, Eliopoulos began applying for internships in the wealth management industry through the DePaul Career Center. He soon scored a summer internship in Chicago working with a small team at a large financial services firm.
Now, more than a decade later, Eliopoulos is working with the same team of people who founded RMB Capital, an independent firm that specializes in wealth and investment planning for organizations and individuals. Previously a senior wealth manager, Eliopoulos was promoted to managing director of Central Midwest at RMB Capital, overseeing the firm’s wealth management business in the Central Midwest region.
Eliopoulos credits his success to getting his foot in the door through an internship. “My internship was very hands-on,” he says. “The individuals who led the team that I joined years ago are mentors to me and they’re my partners today. I was able to do everything from job shadowing to helping prepare investment and financial planning recommendations for clients or prospective clients. I had the ability to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.”
Fostering Career Success
According to a report released by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 63 percent of college graduates who completed a paid internship received a job offer, compared to 35 percent who never interned.
“Internships are a crucial component for business students, especially for those who are looking to start their career or make a transition,” says Enrique Guerrero, assistant director at the Kellstadt Career Management Center. “At face value, internships provide beneficial, real-world experience. With that experience comes the chance to get a feel for an industry that may be new for you. It isn’t uncommon for students to complete an internship knowing that it wasn’t something they see themselves doing long-term, and that is okay.”
To prepare graduate students for post-graduation employment, the Career Management Center hosts career strategy sessions and recruiting and networking events, and connects students to Kellstadt’s extensive employer and alumni network. The DePaul Career Center helps undergraduate students by providing similar career coaching services.
For Courtney Hubbard (MBA ’17), taking advantage of Kellstadt’s resources played a large role in determining her career goals. Hubbard enrolled in Kellstadt’s full-time MBA program after working in public affairs in Washington, D.C., for more than six years. The Career Management Center connected Hubbard to an alumnus working in transfer pricing at a large accounting firm through DePaul’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) alumni mentor program. The connections eventually confirmed Hubbard’s interest in transfer pricing and led to a summer internship in transfer pricing with EY, one of the Big Four accounting firms. Following her internship, Hubbard landed a full-time position with EY.
“The good thing about transfer pricing is that people come from a lot of different backgrounds,” says Hubbard. “It was a great place for me to use my experience in an area that was open to someone with a unique set of skills.
“Utilizing the Kellstadt Career Management Center and using the DePaul ASK network were crucial for me,” she continues. “I would not have gotten this job if the Career Management Center had not had my back (when) I came in and asked for help.”
Persistence, Communication and Networking
Eliopoulos, who is the first in his family to graduate from college, says, “One of the skills that I think is critical and necessary, in addition to learning a trade and getting a degree in a specific field, is to learn how to be a great communicator. You could be the smartest person and have the greatest idea, but if you can’t communicate or articulate it, you’re not going to be as successful.”
Being intentional about expanding your network and utilizing professional development events and workshops are keys to securing an internship and full-time employment. Hubbard advises students to use Handshake, DePaul’s job portal, research connections on LinkedIn and be persistent.
“It’s a commitment to get an internship. You have to be hungry, do what it takes and do the work yourself,” she says. “No one is going to come to you offering you an internship. You have to go look for them.”
Looking to hire DePaul student interns?
DePaul Career Center
Kellstadt Career Management Center
Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) volunteer mentor network:
By Jaclyn Lansbery