Caroline Chen, M&T’26 is a second-year M&T student studying computer science and finance. Last summer, because of receiving an M&T Intern Fellowship Award, Caroline was able to work for a company called Horsesmouth.

Based in NYC, Horsesmouth was founded by William Nicklin, M&T’94, and helps financial professionals educate their clients and grow their businesses. Herewith Caroline explains more about her internship and the value it added to her M&T experience.

Q: What were your previous internships like?

CC: Two summers ago, I interned for a telecommunications company in Virginia, which is where I’m from. I participated in a program that connected high school students with cyber-related internship opportunities. I learned a lot about innovations in the telecommunications space, like 5G and Radio Access Networks, and I spent time talking to experts about how trends are growing and developing the industry.

Q: Why did you apply for the Intern Fellowship Award?

CC: I learned about the fellowship from the M&T newsletter and found the internship at Horsesmouth through the M&T alumni network. After I interviewed and received an offer, the CEO of Horsesmouth, Bill Nicklin, suggested I apply for the fellowship as he thought it would be a great opportunity and would further enhance my internship experience.

Q: Can you explain what Horsesmouth does and what your role was as a summer intern?

CC: Horsesmouth is a company that helps financial advisors build better businesses for themselves and their clients. It is based in NYC, but I was mostly remote, except for a time when I was able to go to NYC to attend in-person meetings. I worked on the technology side, so I worked closely with the IT team. My role was to conduct quality assurance testing with software on fintech-oriented platforms. I also took ownership of a research initiative to try to prototype an industry-specific AI chatbot around social security claims.

Q: What was your favorite part of the internship?

CC: My favorite part was working on prototyping the chatbot. I explored various tools and potential solutions while evaluating the feasibility of each. I was able to further my understanding of artificial intelligence while also integrating my knowledge of finance and computer science.

Q: What did you find valuable about working at a firm like Horsesmouth?

CC: I found it valuable to work with a smaller, tight-knit group. Because the IT team was smaller, I had the opportunity to work closely with the CTO as well as some of the other developers. The CTO was a great mentor to me, and I learned a lot about different technologies. I also was able to have frequent check-ins with Bill, the CEO, and that was made possible by the smaller size and nature of the company.

Q: What are your plans for this upcoming summer?

CC: This summer, I’m going back home to Virginia and will be working as a Software Engineering Intern at Capital One.

Q: Based on what you have learned thus far, what are you thinking you want to do career-wise?

CC: I have been able to explore a good amount of the technology side and what’s more oriented around my computer science curriculum. My work with Horsesmouth helped me supplement what I learned in the classroom and showed me how M&T works together because I was working on software for a financial company. Hence, I have grown my interest in technology and the FinTech space.

Q: Do you have advice for younger M&Ts?

CC: Be open to trying new things and seeing if an experience is a good fit for you. Keep an open mind to new experiences that you might not expect. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had last summer with Horsesmouth – it was a fulfilling summer, and I learned a lot.