Jake Freedle is a junior business and math double-major at Walla Walla University. His summer has been an interesting dive into the world of finance — one he didn’t originally think he would be exploring in college. Freedle began college as an engineering major, sure he would use his analytical mind to solve complex technical problems. However, during his sophomore year, he decided he was more intrigued by the investment industry and switched to studying business and applied math. Now with a new career path before him, Freedle decided the sooner he jumped into the field, the better.
Freedle looked to intern at Buckley Investment Group LLC, an investment consulting and financial planning firm in Walla Walla. He had enjoyed working with the firm as a client and thought they would provide a great learning space. He said, “I scheduled a client meeting with them but didn’t tell them I wanted to work there. I dressed up and brought my resume.”
His initiative paid off, and Freedle spent several weeks this summer working as a wealth management intern. He said, “I worked very closely with my manager on client meetings, asset allocation, rebalancing and portfolios. I was right there and got to participate in a lot of it.” Freedle was also given access to Bloomberg Terminal, a vital software used across the financial industry. “Being able to play around with that software was a huge asset. It's almost as useful as Excel,” said Freedle.
In the parts of the job that he couldn’t directly undertake, due to not holding certain licenses, he was still able to learn a lot through observation and participation. “I got to have conversations with my manager and give input that was actually listened to,” he explained.
While Freedle had never really considered wealth management as his first choice of career, working at the firm allowed him to learn more about investing and the language around it. Freedle says that being directly involved in discussions with both money managers and clients honed his interpersonal skills, ones he sees as a big asset for the road ahead.
“I'm looking for a career that requires me to have the analytical knowledge from the math background, but I want to have those client or people interactions at the very least.” For now, Freedle is hoping that career might be on Wall Street and eventually in venture capital. But with a strong mix of analytical and communication skills, the future is wide open.