Summer Internship Spotlight: Jacob Werden (B’21), The Floor
Each year, our students spend their summers in Washington, D.C., across the nation, and around the world working in corporate, nonprofit, and government organizations. Meet a few of our graduate and undergraduate students in this summer’s Internship Spotlight Series.
Jacob Werden (B’21)
Summer Fintech Consulting Analyst, The Floor
Tel Aviv, Israel
What were you doing this summer?
This summer I spent two months in Tel Aviv interning with The Floor, a financial technology innovation hub located above the trading floor at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The Floor has a client portfolio of six leading global banks including HSBC, Santander, Deutsche Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. The Floor provides these partners with a platform for collaboration in non-competitive banking areas to connect them with innovative firms existing within the Israeli fintech ecosystem. The firm also develops cybersecurity, encryption, and artificial intelligence technologies in-house by leveraging the expertise of several notable former IDF intelligence experts. As an intern, I had a number of responsibilities that allowed me to be a bridge builder between large and small companies as well as between individuals spanning the globe. I wrote a research report on banking automation, created a portfolio of investment opportunities for a large European energy company, connected the firm with potential partnerships in Europe and the US, and drafted a service expansion plan among other rewarding and challenging assignments. While I loved the internship, I also traveled around the country and visited Jerusalem, Haifa, the Dead Sea, and the Golan Heights, improving my cross-cultural communication skills and expanding my knowledge of the country.
How did your internship relate to your professional or personal interests?
As a Jewish American, I have always been mindful of the Israeli state and have sought every chance I could to learn more about this complex nation’s people, history, and culture. After participating on a Birthright trip, I looked for opportunities to return for my sophomore summer to learn more about this fascinating country that gracefully balances rich history with emerging technologies. I figured this would be the perfect environment to have my first true taste of international business by immersing myself at the crossroads of old and new, east and west, and technical expertise and financial capital. After completing my internship, I realized that I am incredibly satisfied with my study plan in the MSB and am looking forward to continuing to be a bridge builder in the financial services industry!
How did you find the internship?
Back in October, Georgetown hosted a “Start-Up Nation Tech Fair” where a third party organization arranged for Israeli startups to visit campus and showcase highlights of Israeli entrepreneurship and innovation. This fair featured flyers about having a summer internship in Tel Aviv. I figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to not only return to Israel but to immerse myself in one of the world’s premier start-up ecosystems. I submitted an application and had two rounds of interviews before being selected to participate in this unique program. Once selected for the program, I indicated my interest in financial technology and was matched with The Floor. After speaking with a representative from The Floor, I felt that it would be a great fit and accepted their offer! I am glad to report that my gut instinct proved to be true.
What’s the most interesting or impactful thing you did or worked on?
One of my earliest assignments in the internship involved preparing an investment portfolio for a large European energy company interested in acquiring groundbreaking clean energy companies. This assignment spring-boarded off a unique humanities course I took in the Spring called “Introduction to Environmental Humanities.” This course, instructed by Professor Nathan Hensley, underscores how society’s slow response to climate change action is attributable to the way we have been trained to frame time scales by arts and literature. For my final deliverable for the course, I conducted a rhetorical and visual analysis on Chevron’s 2008 annual report. Essentially, this report was written during a climate of oil scarcity, financial uncertainty, and bipartisan support for alternative energy. As a result, the report was highly green-washed and exaggerated Chevron’s 2008 efforts to diversify beyond traditional oil and gas sources. That being said, recently large energy companies have been making serious diversification efforts and I feel satisfied in knowing that I had a small part in allowing an energy giant to establish a genuine clean energy presence.
What else should we know?
While I was anxious at the idea of spending an entire summer interning abroad, I am very glad I did it! I strongly believe there is no better way I could have spent this past summer. I was able to grow an incredible amount as a student, an aspiring businessperson, and as a human being. As I return to Georgetown for my junior year, I am very excited to see what the future has in store knowing that my educational, extra-curricular, and pre-professional goals seem to have found their alignment!