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Internship overview

RIA Careers

Thinking about a career with an independent Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm? Schwab's unique Advisor Services RIA Intern Program can reveal new opportunities for your future by helping you understand how RIA firms operate and serve their clients.

RIAs have a unique place in the financial services industry: Many RIA firms are owned and operated by individual investment advisors. These advisors believe their independence is instrumental to offering advice based on their clients' best interests.

The details

Is this internship a good fit for you?

Ideal candidates will have:

  • Completed two years of college-level education toward a related BA or BS degree
  • Finished courses focused on CFP® certification/financial planning, or business management, marketing, economics, communications, etc.
  • Desire to work in the RIA industry post-graduation 
  • An anticipated graduation date between December 2024 and May 2026
  • Have an interest and plans to join the RIA and/or financial services industry
  • Knowledge of financial products and services, combined with extracurricular activities geared toward a career in the RIA and/or financial service industry
  • Ability to work full-time and on-site at Schwab's Westlake, TX campus during the eight-week program.

Logistics and dates

Check back in August 2024 for our Summer 2025 program dates!

How your eight weeks will be spent

The RIA Intern Program is an eight-week internship designed to prepare undergraduate students for employment within RIA firms. You will learn about the independent RIA industry, the advisory profession, and how advisors and Schwab work together to accomplish the goals of risk management and client asset protection. You'll gain corporate work experience by supporting teams across Schwab Advisor Services and exposure to back- and front-office RIA firm operations, build practical skills that will enable you to effectively interact with clients, and gain an understanding of the importance of client service.

As an intern, you will learn how RIAs serve their clients. Through a series of program sessions, you will gain experience in areas including client service, trading support, portfolio construction, and financial planning. This internship will also focus on soft skills, such as presentation development, public speaking, and professional relationship building.

The following summary provides a sample of the various topics and training sessions from our most recent program.

Timeline Table

Timeline table
  • Topic
  • Content
  • Intern orientation & RIA overview
    • Schwab history, strategy, culture, and differentiators
    • Client onboarding and relationship management, client experience and client loyalty
    • Introduction to the RIA model, RIA Benchmarking, and economic model
    • Facilitation and presentation skills, advisor case study exercises, presentations, and discussions with RIAs (ongoing throughout the eight weeks)
  • Advisor Custody and Trading client experience
    • overview
    • Quality client experience support call training
    • Introduction to service teams, advisor enrollment
  • Schwab Advisor Services™ client support
    • Schwab Alliance, eAuthorization, and eSignature
    • Complex and managed accounts, alternative investments, Schwab Charitable, compliance, cybersecurity, and personal brand
  • Technical skills development
    • Overview of Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Operational Due Diligence and Schwab Asset Management Services
    • Schwab Managed Portfolio Team, operations, and research; Salesforce
    • Service with Emotional Intelligence, the power of micro-messages
  • RIA firm on-site experience rotation
    • Firm introductions and office tour, technology scorecard
    • Overview of firm's operations, business and service models, client experience, and marketing
  • Portfolio consulting & financial planning
    • Portfolio consulting overview and construction, financial planning overview, and case study
  • Trading
    • Equities, mutual funds, options, ETFs, trading platforms, and introductions to Alliance and International teams
    • Schwab Performance Technologies®/PortfolioCenter© overview
  • Professional development
    • Resume writing, mock interviews
    • Presentation preparation and practice, final presentations to Schwab Advisor Services senior management
    • Effective email communication, networking and consultative skills, and elevator pitch
  • Final presentation development
    • While the final presentation topic is to be determined, interns will be placed on teams to research and develop innovative ideas that will enable the success of future RIA firms
    • Collaborate with teammates and subject matter experts to prepare and deliver an engaging presentation to Schwab Advisor Services leadership

Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc., dba Schwab Asset Management® is a registered investment adviser and an affiliate of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab").

Schwab Advisor Services™ includes the custody, trading, and support services of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"), a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC. Schwab Performance Technologies® (SPT), like Schwab, is a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Schwab provides brokerage services, while SPT licenses software and provides related technology products and services. PortfolioCenter® is a product of SPT.

Schwab Charitable is the name used for the combined programs and services of Schwab Charitable Fund, an independent nonprofit organization. Schwab Charitable Fund has entered into service agreements with certain affiliates of The Charles Schwab Corporation.

This material is for institutional investor use only. This material may not be forwarded or made available, in part or in whole, to any party that is not an institutional investor.