Updated on:
October 1, 2020

Interning at Samuel Associates: Reflections on Client Research

by
Christopher Ilic
Financial Research Intern
Data and research illustrationData and research illustration

A First Hand Learning Experience

As a financial research intern at Samuel Associates (SA), I had the pleasure of diving into the fast-paced and positively challenging world of Government Relations (GR).

During my time at SA, I learned first-hand why businesses use and work with GR firms and the vital role they play in Canada. I also came to understand how a GR firm can represent and provide a distinct advantage for clients who want to do business with the government. Most importantly, though, I learned about the highly involved and often convoluted process that a GR firm goes through to enable the client to communicate with the appropriate government department and senior officials.

As a university student studying Business and Finance at McMaster University, I found it particularly helpful to be able to learn from seasoned industry professionals who have accumulated an incredible amount of knowledge and experience.

Through my internship, I continued to develop skills such as organization and time management by having to abide by strict deadlines and high standards for communication products. I also continued developing my critical thinking skills by looking for answers that were not easy to find.

Above all, I was able to apply my skills and knowledge in a real-world setting giving me valuable experience and insight into ethical lobbying, gaining political acumen that I would otherwise not have obtained inside a traditional university classroom environment.

The Real World Benefits of Financial Research

By researching best practices, model structures, and shedding some light on methods used in other countries, we were able to provide the client a wealth of valuable information. This allows the client to improve their organization to cut costs, become more efficient, and most importantly prepare themselves for the goals they wish to accomplish.

Beyond its internal value, academic research can also help companies showcase their knowledge and competency in any pertinent field that is of interest to the government. Consequently, this helps advance the client’s cause and increases the chance of the client’s proposal being accepted. This is because in-depth research demonstrates knowledge, dependability, and inspires a higher level of trust. Well conducted research is especially useful in identifying opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses in the industry. The client may then be able to take advantage of, or improve upon the results of these findings, giving them again a distinct advantage within their industry.

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The Benefits for Businesses Beyond the Financial Industry

As mentioned above, a business can benefit from in-depth research as it helps identify and uncover opportunities. These opportunities allow companies to implement best practices, improve governance and internal controls, help cut costs, and increase efficiencies.

The positive effects of research span beyond individual businesses. By helping an organization make a beneficial change to the industry or legislation, other businesses in the industry indirectly benefit. All industry participants will benefit from the improved efficiencies and potentially lower costs that will arise from the acceptance of a client’s proposal. Research based successes demonstrate the how effective lobbying may influence the government to make wide-reaching, beneficial changes.

My Take Away

Information is valuable, that is undeniable. However, high volumes of information can be overwhelming for most people and businesses to read. The research we conducted consolidated large amounts of relevant information, and highlighted critical issues and opportunities in a way that is easy to understand. Consequently, it was our team's goal and hope that our research can inform other businesses about industry issues, improving individual firms and the Canadian financial industry as a whole.

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