Karnev '15 Interns at World’s Largest Asset Management Firm

Nikolay Karnev '15 in the London office of BlackRock, Inc.

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 assets.

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 Managers.

“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.

Contact: Kim Hill, (309) 556-3960, khill1@iwu.edu