Elise Briody: Internship with the Securities and Exchange Commission

This summer, I had the privilege of interning for the Office of the Secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. This experience was supported by the Dean’s Grant awarded by CELT; I used the grant money to help fund my housing.

The Office of the Secretary is divided into the Web Operations and Legal and Operational branches. I spent half my internship in each branch. This particular Office gave me the chance to understand how the organization functions on a macro level, as well as some of the business processes that the SEC implements. Furthermore, I had the chance to attend both Open and Closed Commission meetings, take webinars teaching financial concepts, and experience seminars relating to SEC business outside my Office’s function.

In the Web Operations branch, I learned how to code HTML and use Drupal Web Content Manger, Serena Version Manager, and Microsoft Access. I helped maintain and update the CIK-Ticker symbol database using information from the Bloomberg terminal. I even had the chance to come up with a quality control query. I also was able to work on regular processing for Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) notices and orders. I would prepare entries to be posted on the website. I also processed data from the Federal Register website and updated our entries to show the correct “Comment Letter” due dates. Comment letters are written by the public and explicate their thoughts on rulemakings. I streamlined this process by creating an Advanced Filter in Excel, so we could organize our data by seven criteria instead of two. I was able to automate this process using an Excel macro. On the SEC Website, I consolidated the previous three webcast pages into one cohesively styled page. I also updated the “best bet” search results, which appear first, in accordance with Google Analytics data I analyzed. I used analytics from a different company, Foresee, and suggested usability improvements.

In the Legal and Operational branch, I learned a lot about the steps in an Administrative Proceeding case as I prepared files for storage. I was able to read through some of the cases and learned about how court orders and motions filed in different types of cases generally look. I also updated the Office of the Secretary’s Release Log to show the correct Federal Register citation data. I created an Excel macro that formats the data pulled from the Federal Register website. My favorite experience in the Legal and Operational branch was when I was able to practice taking minutes at the Closed Commission meeting.

Overall, my internship was extremely educational and reinforced my interest in compliance, as well as augmenting my interest in finance, market regulation, and coding! I’ve always loved data analysis, but databases and queries are really interesting to me as well. I’ve had the chance to learn many new educational concepts (e.g., different types of financial instruments and how they function when traded), as well as build skills I will use in future jobs.

Written by Elise Briody, recipient of a Dean’s Grant sponsored by CELT, 2018