HOLBROOK, N.Y. (Sept. 16, 2020) — American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP)—a privately-held, independent broker/dealer that services financial advisors across the country—recently wrapped up its 2020 AP-VEI Internship Fellows Program, which aids the development of the next generation’s workforce. AP hosted participants of Virtual Enterprises International (VEI), a renowned, educational non-profit offering in-school experiential learning programs in which high school students form entrepreneurial, start-up businesses within a live global simulated setting. Over the course of six weeks, six students hailing from four states successfully completed their summer internship, which was held remotely with AP’s home office staff who continue to work from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, AP was the only participating VEI sponsor able to provide an internship opportunity this summer. “Each year, AP looks forward to ushering in a new wave of promising, young entrepreneurs as it continues its support of VEI’s mission to promote business leadership. Therefore, we were absolutely determined to facilitate an internship this summer notwithstanding the obstacles,” states CEO Lon T. Dolber. “As always, these students never fail to amaze us with their professionalism, adaptability and aptitude; the work they accomplished this summer will serve us well into the future. We are so pleased that we were able to make this a successful program for everyone involved.”
Due to the pandemic, government-mandated closure of businesses nationwide brought VEI’s summer intern recruitment program to an unanticipated halt. Deemed an essential business by the Department of Homeland Security, AP stepped in with a unique proposition. “It really shows AP’s character as an organization,” states VEI Founder Iris Blanc. “They were able to develop this remote internship, which required an enormous amount of innovation and coordination. It’s a credit to Lon, [Vice President of Human Resources] Lisa DiBella, [Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications] Melissa Grappone and everyone at the firm that they found a way to give our students an opportunity to shine in this uncertain environment; for that, we are most appreciative. If we had multiples of AP, the world would be a better place.”
With AP’s swift transition to Microsoft Office 365, which enabled an efficient and productive remote working environment amid COVID-19, the firm was able to incorporate VEI interns seamlessly into the Microsoft Teams workspace. AP’s ability and willingness to host interns remotely gave students a sense of normalcy and purpose after a challenging finish to their school years, which were spent adjusting to distance learning and forgoing the traditional senior and junior year-end celebrations, as well as the opportunity to acquire valuable job skills.
The remote internship also gave AP the opportunity to enlist talent from outside of the New York area—expanding its reach nationwide. The six students who took part in the program served two areas within the firm: marketing and corporate communications (Daniella Francis, Pasadena, Calif.; Anna Bromfeld, Woodmere, N.Y.; Aarif Kahn, Terrace Sunrise, Fla.; and Jacob Veeder, Huntington Station, N.Y.) and network services (Justin Bautista, Hamburg, N.J.; and Mason Spring, Stanhope, N.J.).
Over the course of the internship, the interns worked with their respective supervisors on several projects tied to both broker/dealer operations and fostering awareness of methods advisors can use to promote their financial planning practices. The marketing and corporate communications interns worked on creating digital ad campaigns for various social media platforms and building out an instructional guide on public relations with a financial advisors’ objectives in mind. The network services interns assisted in AP’s e-mail migration project by reconfiguring each e-mail client and helping migrate old e-mails to the new mailboxes, while also setting up Webmail, two-factor authentication and mobile e-mail.
“My experience with AP was one of a kind, as I was the only intern located on the West Coast,” states Francis. “While working remotely was a bit of a struggle at first, there was a mutual understanding that everyone was in the same situation and we were all putting in just as much effort to get the work done to our best abilities. I especially enjoyed working with AP because of the community and camaraderie they created. Everyone at AP, especially my supervisors, always listened to any questions I had, offered help and advice, and were very encouraging and positive, which allowed me to find appreciation in the work I was able to complete.”
The firm looks forward to continuing its support of VEI by hosting the 2021 finals for VEI’s Long Island Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) Business Plan Competition, as well as facilitating internship and mentoring opportunities at its corporate offices and nationwide throughout its 408 branch offices comprised of financial services business owners.
About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, N.Y., American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) is a full-service, independent broker/dealer and member firm of FINRA and SIPC, offering a complete range of financial services, including personal financial and retirement planning, securities trading, mutual funds, access to investment research, long-term care planning, insurance products and tax-free investing. Fee-based asset management is offered through its sister subsidiary, American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Both entities, along with technology entity American Portfolios Advisory Solutions, LLC, collectively reside under the legal entity American Portfolios Holdings, Inc. (APH). Full-service securities brokerage is available through a clearing firm relationship with Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon firm, the securities of which are held on a fully disclosed basis. The company currently supports 832 independent investment professionals—inclusive of registered assistants—and more than 375 non-registered associates, located in 408 branch locations throughout the nation. It was named Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) by Investment Advisor magazine for six consecutive years (2015-2020); a 2019 and 2020 WealthManagement.com Industry Award Finalist in multiple categories, and the 2020 winner in the service category of B/Ds under 1,000 representatives for its Virtual Administrative Services (VAS) program**; one of the Best Companies to Work for in the state of New York for five consecutive years (2016-2020) by the New York State Society for Human Resources Management (NYS-SHRM) and the Best Companies Group (BCG); and one of the Top Long Island Workplaces for 2018 and 2019 by Newsday.
* Based on a poll of registered representatives conducted by Investment Advisor magazine. Broker/dealers rated highest by their representatives are awarded “Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year.”
** Wealthmanagement.com Industry Award finalists are selected by a panel of independent judges made up of subject matter experts in the industry. Award is based on support provided to AP’s affiliated people and does not reflect public customers nor their account performance.
About Virtual Enterprises
VEI is a non-profit organization that provides experiential learning programs to schools across Long Island and beyond. Through their live global business simulation, students are offered a competitive edge through project-based collaborative learning that allows them to create and operate every facet of a virtual business. This program helps students develop 21st-century skills in entrepreneurship, global business, problem solving, communications, personal finance and technology.