Stephen Miller always had a passion for numbers. After working operations roles in the hospitality and transportation industries, he got a chance to pivot his career during the global pandemic. He enrolled in an MBA program and passed all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst exam – a move he recommends to all aspiring finance professionals. The move, ultimately, led to our Financial Leadership Development Program (FLDP).
“I was president of the MBA Finance Club and the college careers services team reached out to me about the FLDP Summer internship,” Stephen said. “After doing some research, I decided to pursue the role. It turned out to be one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made.”
An internship with impact
The FLDP is a program for graduate students shaping tomorrow’s finance leaders. Lasting 10 to 12 weeks, the summer internship prepares participants for a role in the full-time FLDP after graduating. Participants rotate through several teams including Investor Relations, Tax, and Financial Analysis and planning — among other departments. As Stephen described it, “The internships help to see if the person is the right fit for the role.”
Initially, Stephen worried about expectations.
“I was a little starstruck at the prospect of being a part of AT&T,” he said. Those fears quickly subsided on day one. “From the moment you start, you know you have a strong group of advocates that are genuinely interested in empowering your career journey with AT&T, even as an intern,” he said. “You hit the ground running with your respective team and get to work with impactful projects on a scale that I had never seen before.”
Stephen described an environment that actively encouraged questions and creative thinking. The day-to-day included supporting his team and looking for ways to improve processes. “I was encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and identify ways I could build positive changes for my team,” he recalled. “I built a variance analysis mode that turned a task that once took hours into a matter of minutes.”
One day, an AVP from another business team invited Stephen to lunch. That’s when he knew AT&T was the place to be. “A leader with a tight schedule like that still made time to connect with interns told me all I needed to know about the incredible culture here,” he said. “I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of going forward.”
That opportunity came when he was offered to join the full-time program.
Going Full Time
“While I had opportunities to work on some big projects, the temporary nature of an internship keeps you from being assigned some tasks that will cause significant disruption when the internship is over,” he said. “In the full-time role, I’ve found more structure while still having freedom to explore and add value outside of my defined responsibilities.”
In his very first rotation in the full-time program, he had an opportunity to work on a highly impactful project with the Investor Relations team. “Within the first week, I was working on building materials directly used by the CEO and CFO during earnings. The magnitude of this opportunity so early on in my career is more than I could ever imagine. Since then, my responsibilities have grown to include more extensive projects used in decision-making by senior leadership.”
He still enjoys the same perks of his internship, too: a great team, work-life balance, and comprehensive benefits. “The benefits offered by a company the size of AT&T are hard to match, which is just another bonus on top of the many positives of being part of this team.”
There are also the great possibilities for development. Stephen interacts with members of different business units, many of whom have a storied history with the business and worked in several different fields. His takeaway: “It’s encouraged and easy to seek out new challenges to continue to progress your career.”
Programs like FLDP are what sets AT&T apart as a company and are based on our culture of innovation. “For AT&T’s success to continue, it demands high-caliber individuals working towards a shared goal,” he said. “I’m constantly inspired by the talent that surrounds me and it’s genuinely enjoyable working together to achieve our goals.”Learn more about FLDP opportunities