Well-th Blog

The Intern Diaries (Week 2): The Barbie Approach

By Katie Boucher / June 23, 2022

With temps in the high ’90s, Week Two was rebranded to “Week Two Hot to Handle.” The heat didn’t stop the interns from getting some super cool new learnings, though. They’re crafting their technical skills through their specific tracks in marketing, business operations, investment solutions and more, but also gaining tactical knowledge on how to grow and manage their careers with brown bag lunches and training sessions. As Millennials often say, it’s “Adulting 101,” but that doesn’t discourage playing mermaids in the pool later to balance it out. Better yet, get out that box of old Barbie dolls and remember what it was like to dream big!

Good News for the Mathematically Challenged: Careers Are Not Linear

Brown Bag lunches continued this week with two great guest stars: Chief Solutions Officer Cat Davies and Chief Financial Officer Dan Watanapongse. Both Cat and Dan gave great insights into the evolution of Hightower and its growth, as well as their career paths (ask Cat about her concert promoting days). Work-life balance was also a prominent theme, cleverly illustrated by Dan joining the meeting virtually. Leading by example, he was traveling for his daughter’s water polo tournament. Hope you (and your laptop?) stayed out of the splash zone, Dan.

cat davies hightower internship talk

The idea that career paths change and evolve over time particularly resonated with the interns. Investment Solutions Intern/CEO of Great Pull Quotes Sean Salamante said, “Once again the brown bag lunches did not disappoint! A common theme I’ve noticed so far among the executive team is that their career paths weren’t always on a linear trajectory, with Dan having experience in healthcare and Cat pursuing a master’s degree in sports administration. As a college student, it’s reassuring to hear their stories about trial and error and the exploration journey of their careers.” It must be true, because Barbie has had 200+ jobs including astronaut, chicken farmer, soccer coach, fashion designer and army medic… and she’s still getting hired for new jobs all the time!

The other major takeaway from the brown bag lunches has been the recognition that because careers can take many paths and forms, it’s OK to take it a step at a time. Plot Twist: Nobody has it 100% figured out (except for Barbie, of course). Solutions Strategy Intern Annie Chen astutely adds, “The brown bags are so engaging, and the free lunch that we get every time is such a bonus! I came in this summer trying to get closer to figuring out what I wanted to do. Being able to ask whatever questions I wanted to people who have walked a long, and sometimes unpredictable, career path has been so helpful. I learned that, a lot of times, it’s OK to just focus on the present and do the next thing that interests you without a need to plan everything out, which is super reassuring.” *Insert cheesy motivational poster here about listening to your heart.*

Walking the Runway of Successful Career Style

In true Barbie fashion, the interns also learned more about their personal work styles this week. I am, unfortunately, not talking about fashions to take you from the board room to the happy hour (but give this post a “thumbs up” if you think I should!). One major benefit of the Hightower internship program is getting access to training sessions focused on professional development — like this one on DISC profiles. For those who don’t know, DISC (stands for dominance, influence, conscientiousness, steadiness) is a personality assessment that can be used as a tool to understand how one works most efficiently. It’s totally the “What’s your zodiac sign?” of the working world.

interns doing disc assessments

Each intern took the DISC assessment, then discussed how to use their “style” effectively. Organizational Development Manager Joe Loyer led a great training session, leaving the interns eager to continue learning about how they work best in teams. For bonus points, ask the interns what their styles are!

Words of praise about the training are in abundance. Says Advisor Engagement Intern Shannon Pollard, “Earlier this week, we all took the DISC personality assessment and brought our profiles to our second learning series on Wednesday. I’ve taken probably a dozen personality tests throughout my life, but none has been quite as accurate as this. The in-depth profile report was so eye-opening, and it has already influenced me to change the way in which I approach conflict with different types of people.” Maybe it’s DISC, maybe Mercury is out of retrograde. Either way, we love conflict resolution!

Discovering one’s own working style is valuable, as is learning how to respect the working styles of coworkers. Diversity and Development Intern Paola Gonzalez adds, “From the DISC learning series, I learned the importance of being aware of not only my communication style, but also the various styles of those around me. Everyone communicates and interacts differently, and it’s important to embrace those differences and use them in a positive way.” Perhaps this attitude can also be applied to my work style of being at the beach 24/7?

Come for the Free Food, Stay for the Inspiration

At only two weeks in, the interns have already gotten lots of practical and applicable career guidance (in addition to all the meals and treats [that I stole, thank you]). Human Resources Intern Sarah Welch brings it full circle by noting, “I thought our learning series about the DISC assessment was so interesting, it was really eye opening to see how each of us are so different but are still able to work together efficiently. I also really enjoyed our brown bag lunch this week. Cat is so awesome and inspirational; it definitely got me excited about all things Hightower and all the extremely hard work that is going on behind the scenes!” We love hearing all the positive feedback from the sessions; *hopefully* the hits keep coming and they do not stop coming.

happy interns hightower

Week two’s checked off! Come back later to see what the interns are circling back to and following up on.

Hightower Advisors is registered with Hightower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC, and with Hightower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Securities are offered through Hightower Securities, LLC; advisory services are offered through Hightower Advisors, LLC.

This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and HighTower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.

Hightower Logo

200 W Madison, 25th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 962-3800

300 Madison Ave, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(917) 286-2717

405 Lexington Ave, 42nd Floor
New York, NY 10174
(917) 286-2706

Legal & Privacy
Web Accessibility Policy

Hightower Advisors, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Some investment professionals may also be registered with Hightower Securities, LLC and offer securities through Hightower Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. You can check the background of our firm and investment professionals on brokercheck.finra.org. Unless otherwise indicated relative to a specific award or ranking, Hightower Advisors, LLC does not pay a fee to be considered for any ranking or recognition, but may have paid to publicize rankings obtained and disseminated prior to 11.4.2022. All awards / rankings / ratings obtained and distributed on or after 11.4.2022 will be accompanied by specific disclosure as applicable.

© 2023 Hightower Advisors. All Rights Reserved.