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Symetra Financial is a company that will help me fulfill my goals after graduation. I am primarily interested in the Investor Relations Analyst position, as it is most compatible with the skill sets I have developed during my undergraduate studies. In general, the Investor Relations Analyst is accountable for providing support to the investor relations team, collaborating with them in designing and carrying out a successful investor relations program.

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Specifically, there are several different areas of responsibility that I would have in this position. I would help develop the press releases that accompany each report of quarterly earnings, and I would also put together the earnings call slides and facilitate the logistics of the earnings conference calls. I would also have a close relationship with the website hosting vendor, ensuring that the web content that our investors and potential customer see is up to the minute – and accurate. I would analyze and research the necessary operational and financial information for Symetra, as well as our peers in the industry and target companies that we might want to acquire. I would review the models that other analysts have developed for Symetra and provide management with a quarterly summary of those projections. I would provide support in deeveloping marketing presentations as well as communication to investors. Also, I would collaborate in the development of quarterly reports on investor relations to the Board of Directors.

When it came to the investor contact database, I would be responsible for managing the information, including reporting on and tracking interactions with investors and analysts. I would collaborate with other departments within Symetra, including Corporate Communications, Strategic Planning, Financial Reporting, Marketing, Legal, and any others as required. I would also respond to shareholder requests for information – as well as similar requests from internal departments or other constituents within the financial community.  Finally, I will provide support in coordinating and scheduling activities involving investor relations, such as conference calls, investor conferences, marketing conferences and meetings for investors and analysts.

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I am particularly excited about the corporate culture in place at Symetra Financial. While the company has professional expectations for all of its workers, there is also a great deal of flexibility that I know I will appreciate. For example, the company expects professional dress four days a week, but relaxes to blue jeans and collared shirts on Fridays. The company also pays for running classes for interested members. Obviously, the company will save on insurance premiums if its employees are healthier, but it is also a wellness benefit that people can use to improve the quality of their lives. Companies like that have always been attractive to me.

The requirements for this position include a minimum of two years of experience in investor relations, strategic planning, finance or actuarial responsibilities, including a preference for previous experience in investor relations. The internships I have completed during my undergraduate  and graduate studies would fulfill those requirements. The position also requires outstanding skills in written and oral communication as well as financial analysis. A strong ability to pay attention to accuracy and detail is a must, as are efficiency and energy. As with many companies, Symetra requires superior skills in customer service, as well as in managing and organizing projects, often juggling multiple projects at the same time. Computer skills required include extensive proficiency with PowerPoint and Excel. A college degree is the basic requirement, but Symetra prefers candidates with an MBA for this position.

The tools that I have gained inside and outside the classroom have prepared me to be an outstanding candidate for this position. I have handled logistics for investor relations as well as financial analysis for the company where I interned, and the knowledge that I gained will serve me in a role in a position like the one that Symetra is offering. The company culture is known in the commmunity as one of accountability for goals, but also for fairness, as its executive management have developed a reputation for themselves as taskmasters, but also as willing to reward those who are successful, and to recognize diligence even when short-term results are not as positive as they should be.

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For a variety of reasons, I am excited about the possibility of working with Symetra. The corporate culture matches my own personal beliefs of work ethic and individual responsibility, and the skill sets that the position requires dovetail nicely with the abilities that I have developed in my own coursework and internships. I look forward to the possibility of discussing this position soon.

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