Tyler Cooligan ’22

Tompkins Financial Advisors, Pittsford, NY

This past summer, Tompkins Financial Advisors provided me with an incredible opportunity to gain knowledge in the financial services industry while being surrounded by awesome people. The firm currently manages approximately $4 billion in client assets, with their mission to deliver personalized financial solutions and create long term value for their clients and shareholders. Using the Williams alumni network, I was fortunate enough to connect with Jim Sperry ’87, who is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director at the firm. It was a privilege to have a fellow Eph take me in for the summer and provide me with a learning experience that will continue to shape my curiosity and future career path.

I joined their wealth management team at an incredibly interesting time given everything going on with the pandemic. Tyler Cooligan '22 on desktop computerThroughout the summer, I assisted the company in taking on a major initiative to complete around 100 financial plans for their Platinum Level clients (net worth over $1 million). Not only did this project add tremendous value to Tompkins, it even more so benefitted the clients as they knew they were being protected and taken care of in a time of heightened uncertainty and financial distress. My main role for this project was to act as a liaison between the clients and wealth advisors. This entailed tasks such as gathering client information, looking at different investments, and consolidating financial data into a financial planning software. The wealth advisors and financial planners could then take the reports I put together and meet with their clients. Whether it be planning for retirement, saving for college, or managing taxable accounts, it was very interesting to see how various investing strategies can be used to meet the needs of the clients in every aspect of their lives.

Reflecting on the internship now, it has already had a crucial impact on my personal growth. From initially not knowing where I wanted to take my career in the beginning of the summer, this internship gave me a much better understanding of the breadth of the financial services industry and has offered me clarity on where I am interested in taking my career. Having a hands-on experience in the industry not only allowed me to build a basis of technical skills, but it also gave me a different sense of how my critical thinking skills can be applied to the real world. I was able to expand upon my abilities of being resourceful, interpersonal skills, and juggling many different responsibilities that people were relying on me for. Tompkins provided an extremely fulfilling educational experience that has allowed me to better navigate my career interests.

Throughout this internship, I was able to further expand my network and connect with other alums that were more than happy to offer me advice. It is a tremendous feeling knowing that I had so much support around me that allowed me to pursue opportunities I otherwise would never have been able to do. This experience for me illuminates how special it is to be an Eph.