27 June 2023

Hindsight is a wonderful thing: A Reflection of my Internship with Carbon

With so much emphasis on the ‘before’ and ‘during’ phases of an internship, it is easy to forget about the importance of reflection; as William Blake once said, ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’, so in this blog I will take time to look back on my three weeks as an intern with Carbon.

As I finished my 3rd year as an Economics Undergraduate in the University of Edinburgh, I was seeking a summer internship in relation to investment to gain experience and insight to get an idea of what the industry was like before the chaos of 4th year sets in; for any student, becoming an intern is a part of the learning process. It was very important to me to find a firm that had a more personal approach in dealing with clients and a set of values that I believe in; from looking at Carbon’s website and meeting with Alison and Shireen for my interview, I knew that Carbon was the kind of firm I was looking for.

From the moment I started the internship I was met with respect and understanding. I had a wonderful training plan set up for me where I had the opportunity to meet with various members of each team and was able to sit in and observe team meetings- the investment meeting I found particularly insightful. As someone who has spent the last three years studying a theoretical degree, I was very green to the practical side of financial planning, so by the end of the first week I really felt as though I had learnt a lot about the industry and the day-to-day roles of the team members. After I had found my bearings, it was time to get stuck into an investment team project, which was my greatest achievement during my time with Carbon. I worked on creating a document for clients in relation to sustainable investment and the incoming ESG labelling changes. I really enjoyed working on this project and was very pleased with the support and feedback along the way.

What I found most striking during my time with Carbon, was their sound investment philosophy. With the effects of the Covid-19 recession still looming, I was very intrigued as to how such an economic shock may impact Carbon’s investment and clients, however, one thing I have learned from my time with Carbon is that a broadly diversified investment portfolio can weather a recession.

I really admired Carbon’s unique approach to investment and their focus on doing the best they can for their clients with one of their core values being “do the right thing”. A particular Carbon value which I admired was the idea that Carbon do not forecast and instead back up their investments with hard evidence- there is certainly no reliance on crystal balls or crossed fingers in Carbon. This robust investment philosophy in the long term is what works and what makes Carbon the award-winning firm that it is.

Finishing William Blake’s quote, ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing, but foresight is better’, I now can reflect on my time with Carbon and use that reflection to think about my steps moving forward after university. I undoubtedly enjoyed my time with Carbon and the team; moving forward I would like to apply for the Carbon Graduate Scheme after completing my studies and work towards achieving chartered financial planner status.

There was never a dull moment during my time with Carbon and I would highly recommend their internship program.

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