The Flatiron Intern: A Summer at The New York City Seminar & Conference Center
Tifani Ng, a rising junior at Brandeis University, had the opportunity to intern at the New York City Seminar and Conference Center (NYCSCC). Tifani and NYCSCC (the latter a a sponsor of Flatiron Hot! News) graciously provided us with an essay Tifani composed throughout her internship. It captures her experience at an established Flatiron District business while also providing an in-depth look at the internship experience in general.
First Week Reflections
This summer, I am a Finance intern at NYCSCC, located in the Flatiron District of New York City. My first week at NYCSCC was great. I met the other summer interns at the company and got the chance to know them better over lunches and group projects. All the interns were friendly and were willing to help each other out in any way possible. On the first day of the internship, all the interns were given a tour that was similar to what potential clients would see when they request a NYCSCC tour. NYCSCC rents out a couple of floors in the building. Throughout the tour, we learned about the building’s history and were heard interesting anecdotes about the rooms. After the tour ended, I had a better understanding of the different rooms that clients could book, depending on whether they were looking to host a social or a professional event.
In the following couple of days, my fellow interns and I worked on projects that involved looking into different aspects of the company and providing suggestions for improvement. In order to evaluate how NYCSCC is performing, I looked into data that other conference centers have put on their websites and compared them to NYCSCC’s data.
While working on the projects, I learned that small business hospitality companies, such as NYCSCC, recently began to gain business again after the 2007-2008 financial crisis. According to Trends in the Conference Center Industry 2013, the reason that NYCSCC follows the economic trend is that this company falls into the category of a luxury good. When the economy is not performing well, small business hospitality companies take a dip in profits as well. People are less willing to spend money to book a space at a conference center when they can perhaps save some money and hold it at their own company’s space.
For the rest of the summer, I expect to handle and complete more finance and accounting projects for the company. In addition, I expect to observe multiple NYCSCC events and see how event managers take charge from the beginning to the end of the event.
I am already at the midpoint of my internship at NYCSCC. My work at NYCSCC has definitely picked up its speed since my first week. I am exploring the finances of a company in a small business hospitality industry and have learned so much already.
I am proud of the Financial Analysis project that I am working on with a fellow intern. One of the project’s goals is to build a financial model that will explain how the company is doing financially based on certain factors. In order to complete this project, I am applying my financial and managerial accounting knowledge to analyze the cash flow statements of the company. This is an exhilarating experience for me because I can actually apply the accounting material I have learned at Brandeis to analyze a company’s finances.
Another subdivision of the project is to evaluate the pricing of NYCSCC rooms based on the conclusions I have drawn from my financial analysis. Although I have not reached this point in the project yet, I am keeping this in mind as I am looking at the data I have compiled.
The majority of the work that I am doing for the projects requires the use of Microsoft Excel. Becoming more familiar with Excel was one of my learning goals for this internship, and I am happy to say that I am building my Excel skills. Honing this skill will help me in future jobs since Excel is one of the most used business softwares among many companies.
Throughout this internship, I am building my analytical skills. When some of the data that I need for the project is missing, I have to figure out what the best method is to back into it given the data that we have. Since I am dealing with a lot of financial data, I have to sort through it and decide what is relevant and what is not relevant when building the financial model. After compiling and analyzing this data, I draw conclusions to see if there are any noticeable trends or unusual occurrences. This step-by-step analytical skill is preparing me for future business and economics classes at Brandeis, where I envision myself doing projects that involve analytical thinking.
Teamwork is required for the work that I do. When I hit roadblocks in the project, I am grateful to be able to talk about them with a fellow intern, my mentor, and a company owner. They offer advice about ways to solve these challenges, and it feels great to be able to bounce ideas back and forth with each other. The collaboration involved in my intern work is preparing me for the real world. In any future career path that I embark on, I will always have to work in teams on company projects and be able to communicate ideas with other team members.
I am enjoying my experience at NYCSCC and am excited to continue my progress on the projects!
A beautiful view of NYC from NYCSCC
Last Day Reflections
The last day of my New York City Seminar and Conference Center (NYCSCC) internship is always a bittersweet day for me. I am happy that I have learned so much at this internship but sad that I will not be working with my coworkers every day.
This summer, I have finished a Financial Analysis project. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was compiling data on an Excel spreadsheet. Since all of the data was in Excel, I have honed my Excel skills in the 10 weeks at this internship. I have encountered many roadblocks while working on the financial analysis project but the support of fellow interns and coworkers have led me to overcome these challenges. At the end of the internship, I presented the Financial Analysis project in a PowerPoint presentation to NYCSCC employees. Although I was nervous when presenting the project, another feeling overcame that: the feeling of accomplishment.
After this internship experience, I will take the analytical skills I honed and apply them to my Brandeis classes. During my junior and senior year at Brandeis, I will be taking business and economics classes and will employ these skills in the class projects and papers.
Following this internship, I want to complete more internships that allow me to focus on developing my skills. While completing the Financial Analysis project, I realized that I am a process-oriented person and enjoy completing tasks from start to finish.
For those of you looking to intern at NYCSCC, NYCSCC has internships in both marketing and finance. Having talked to a marketing intern throughout my internship, I know there is so much you can learn in both areas at this small business hospitality company. If you want to get an idea of what the benefits of interning at a small business are, you can check out my small company blog post.
For students interested in the small business hospitality field, make sure that you are a people person. In this field, employees are always dealing with clients and making sure that they are getting the best services possible. Therefore, you should be ready to do the same at this internship.
Interning at NYCSCC has been an enjoyable and memorable learning experience. I have built close connections with NYCSCC employees, and I will keep in touch with them even after the internship.