During the summer after my sophomore year, I interned at Thermo Fisher Scientific as a Corporate Finance intern in the Center Valley office. On a day to day basis, I often worked on generating internal revenue reports & external spending reports for our clients, using SalesForce to create dashboards for performance analysis, performing data analysis to consolidate data and improve efficiency, and creating financial models for projections. I also worked on many ad hoc tasks like creating presentations and generating additional reports.
I chose to do this internship since I have become much more interested in finance over the past year, and I thought that I would be able to gain insight into how the financial department of a successful company is run. I am also interested in the healthcare sector as well, so having the chance to work with a company that specializes in biotechnology products was especially exciting.
In my internship, I came up with many innovative deliverables for the team. My final project was especially important for me as I’ve been working on it for most of the summer. Currently, when Thermo Fisher provides a price quote to a customer, the quote excludes VAT Payments and Administrative Fees, as they vary by region and are client specific. As a result, many customers complain of overrunning their budgets since they are unsure of these fees. I worked to improve this price quotation system by using financial models to project these hidden payments to create a monthly payment schedule, based on each client/region combination. I incorporated these input models and output schedules into a simple form that customers can fill out to automatically determine their payment schedule. This form will actually be tested with clients over the next couple months and may become integrated in the price quotation process. As customers will now be able to see their true payments at the time of quotation, they can create a proper budget and better manage their expenses.
I’ve also run into many roadblocks as well. One example occurred as I generated the monthly reports for July. Normally, I go through a list of reports for customers that show their spending on a month by month basis. Since July was the beginning of Q3, I had to create all of my usual reports as well as additional reports for the end of Q2. The normal spending reports went well, but as I was sending out the Q2 reports, I received emails that the numbers looked different from past reports. I went through all of the reports that I created, and sure enough, the data from our Latin American providers appeared to be incorrect and different from past quarters. I immediately emailed all of our clients so that they were aware of the errors and spoke with the rest of my team for next steps. Although we were able to ultimately discuss with our providers, pull in the accurate data, and send out the reports, we were a week behind schedule, and many of our customers were upset since the material was time sensitive. Overall, this experience illustrated to me the importance of double checking and ensuring accuracy. If I had simply compared the numbers to past reports, I would have found the errors much more quickly and prevented the issues from reaching the client. Throughout the rest of the internship, I was more cautious to ensure that these simple mistakes do not occur again.
My takeaways included building time management skills by balancing several projects, improving my Excel/SalesForce skills by creating forecasting models and dashboards, and understanding how a company functions financially by generating summary reports of the business. Rather than simply looking at financial data, I analyzed the meaning behind the data to see how various business lines changed over time to impact the bottom line. This gave me a thorough understanding of the company’s performance.
Here’s an artifact that shows how my final project looks like:
The customer will begin by filling out the input form with information about each of their importations. The model/projected schedule pages will be hidden from the customer but will calculate a schedule of payments. The customer will be able to see a summary page showing the cost of VAT Payments/Administrative Fees across each importation for any given month or year. This should be able to help them create a proper budget during the time of price quotation and may soon become integrated into Thermo Fisher’s price quotation process.