Austin Karrat, ’24
Studying Economics and International Relations
What did you do as an intern at this organization?
During my internship at the Tufts University Investment Office, I collaborated closely with analysts and senior team members. Together, we worked towards effectively managing the university’s endowment with the goal of providing financial means for the university to meet its mission goals. I was able to have opportunities such as participating in investment meetings, conducting quantitative research to support well-informed investment decisions, sitting in on manager meetings, and doing research to redevelop and expand a part of the portfolio. All of this allowed me to gain a more fundamental understanding of finance generally as well as how an institutional investor functions.
How did you find this internship?
I met some members of the investment office through a virtual career fair run by Tufts. I later was able to follow up with them on handshake to apply for the internship after gaining that initial interest from the zoom call.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
If I was limited to only picking one thing that I enjoyed most about the internship, it would be the people. TUIO really cares about office culture, and it shows in how open, kind, helpful each person I met was. Everyone was extremely encouraging and would make time in their busy schedule just to meet me or help me understand something no matter how little it was. The culture of curiosity and communication made for a vibrant work environment that allowed me to open up and feel a true sense of belonging in the office.
What did you find challenging?
I struggled a lot in the beginning with understanding what makes a good investment for the university. Over time, I was able to see how each member of the office thought about how an investment would benefit the portfolio and align with university values which then allowed me to gain a better understanding of what to focus on when talking to a manager or examining an investment opportunity.
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
I would say to go all in. Immerse yourself in the culture of the office, in the world of finance, and generally just remain curious. If you’re interested in something you heard during your internship, find someone that can give you more information and satisfy that curiosity. Make sure to remain open to any opportunities that might come up and don’t let them become regrets. After immersing yourself, you can then ask yourself if this is something you want to continue to learn more about and act accordingly from there.