During this summer, Anna Riese was a Summer Intern at Denominator. We very much appreciated Anna’s great work and although the internship was brief, she quickly developed a good understanding of Denominator and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion which resulted in her successfully delivering on all of her tasks and being well-liked by her colleagues.
Anna grew up in Germany but due to her interests, she decided to do her bachelor’s degree abroad and moved to Copenhagen to study International Business and Politics at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). Next to her studies, she engaged in different student organizations like the Model United Nation society and a student magazine. We asked Anna a few questions about her internship which we hope might inspire others to pursue similar opportunities.
Why did you want to be a Summer Intern at Denominator?
Since I mainly worked with fellow students, I was looking for a position that could give me a realistic insight into the “work world”. Thereby, it was important to me that the company’s values and ideas would match my own. Therefore, I was happy to be introduced to Kristian (who works with Business Strategy & Partnerships at Denominator) during a Model United Nations conference in New York. I liked the idea of Denominator and thought that it would be great to become part of the company.
What did you do during the internship?
My internship had two sides. On the one hand, I got to join internal as well as external meetings that allowed me to understand the organization and current opportunities as well as challenges. On the other hand, I was able to contribute with my knowledge to different projects. Those projects varied in their nature and the departments they belonged to. In the beginning, I was mainly helping the Business & Strategy department by conducting different research projects around new regulations, platforms, and competitors in the field of DEI. Then I worked more closely with the content department where I got the chance to write an article and gained insights into media management. Lastly, I helped the Data Analyst team with crunching and analyzing data for a big collaboration with a Danish newspaper. Overall, the different tasks extended my knowledge of DEI and enhanced my personal skills. Moreover, the meetings gave me insights into the structure and challenges of a start-up.
How was it to work remotely?
After 2 years of studying during the pandemic, I had kind of an idea of what working remotely would be like, but I also realized that studying and working are two different things. As an intern, I had many questions. Especially in the beginning, I had to overcome the barrier of reaching out online to people that I didn’t know. But luckily, there were many meetings where I was able to get to know my co-workers, and I had the advantage of at least knowing Kristian and Anders from my trip to New York. Moreover, we started using a virtual office platform which made it a lot easier to ask quick questions and chat a bit. While the social aspect was a bit challenging in the beginning, I very much enjoyed the flexibility of a remote job because it enabled me to visit my family and structure my day.
Did this internship give you new perspectives on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion?
Before this internship, I didn’t know much about DEI since most of my knowledge was more on the environment (E) aspect of ESG. Therefore, the internship opened my eyes to the importance of the social (S) aspect for a sustainable future. Thereby, my work in the different departments also gave me different insights. The work on the different research projects provided me with the needed context to understand the role of DEI today. Being part of the external calls and helping in the content department showed me the increasing interest in DEI data of investors and the media. This together allowed me to analyze data myself and truly understand what DEI means.
What was your greatest takeaway?
Reaching the point of understanding what the DEI data collected by Denominator means was probably the greatest takeaway for me. Now, I understand the importance of DEI as part of ESG. But it was also insightful to realize that there is such an interest in this data from the investors as well as the media. Because this means that changes can and will happen and it also shows that you can run a business with a greater purpose.
The next steps for Anna
Right now, I am excited to be an exchange student in Lisbon, where I am taking more data science courses and enjoy living in a beautiful city. But this internship has shown me that is possible to find a job combining my two study fields of business and politics as well as my personal values. I have learned a lot not only about DEI but also about my skills and interest and as of now I am considering either a master’s degree with a deeper focus on sustainable finance or philosophy. But first I will focus on finishing my bachelor’s degree and I am also looking forward to keeping working with Denominator.
A huge thanks to Anna for her time as Denominator’s Summer Intern and for answering these questions. We hope it will inspire others to pursue work opportunities when they meet interesting companies.
At Denominator, we enjoy meeting students who are eager to learn more and want to engage in DEI. If you are interested in an internship or other work opportunities, you are welcome to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.