Karnev '15 Interns at World’s Largest Asset Management Firm
Aug. 1, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— It was a 15-minute walk to London Bridge from Nikolay Karnev’s
office, but he didn’t have time to make the lunchtime trek. That’s because Karnev,
Class of 2015, happily worked 12-hour days this summer as a financial analyst intern
in the London office of BlackRock, Inc., the manager of more than $4.5 trillion in
Yes, that was trillions, with a “T.” All those zeros make BlackRock the world’s largest asset manager.
Karnev was introduced to BlackRock through his childhood friend and Illinois Wesleyan
mentor Stefan Stoev ’10. The young men grew up on the same street in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Stoev interned at BlackRock in 2011, and today works as an equity research associate
at Redburn, also in London.
“Stefan introduced me to the asset management industry and since then, it has been
my goal to enter this field,” said Karnev, who is double majoring in computer science and finance.
Karnev works in the Portfolio Analytics Group at BlackRock. His team supports the
majority of processes and automations that generate analytics for the Equity Portfolio
“The results of my work are already being used by the portfolio managers on a regular
basis,” he said.
Karnev said there is little differentiation between interns and employees. “The projects
I was given are the same that my team has worked on, with one exception, and I am
expected to deliver at a level that meets the BlackRock standards,” Karnev explained.
He said his position was a technical one, with about 50 percent of his time devoted
to computing tasks such as coding, with the rest of his tasks in financial analysis.
The hard work is rewarded, however, as BlackRock organizes after-work social outings
and trips for employees and interns. In addition, Karnev has taken advantage of numerous
classes on a variety of financial topics. The classes are open to all associates.
“The CEO of Blackrock says we should never stop learning, and that’s very descriptive
of my experience,” said Karnev. “Every time I completed a task or a project, I learn
something new. Along with that, I am reminded how much there is still to learn.”
As a high school student, Karnev knew he would seek opportunities to attend college
outside Bulgaria. “IWU offered a variety of majors and the ability to pursue two majors
at the same time, which was an important factor in my decision,” he said.
He’s also discovering his foresight in double majoring in computer science and finance.
“This combination is one of the best and most desirable in the financial industry
right now from what I have discussed with recruiters and managers,” Karnev said.
He is one of approximately 170 students interning this summer at locations throughout
the world, according to Laurie Diekhoff, internship coordinator and assistant director
of the Hart Career Center. Internships continue to grow in popularity among Illinois Wesleyan students, with
the most recent data indicating 69 percent of the Class of 2013 participating in at least one internship
during their years as students.