August 2018

Our Special Millennial Summer Intern Setting the Tone for Jefferies for the Month of August

Last month, we asked each of our 205 analyst and associate summer interns around the world to set the tone for all of Jefferies by writing their own August 1st JEF Today letter.  We write our own note monthly as you all know and it is a privilege to address our entire firm on whatever we believe is relevant and important.   The senior leaders of Jefferies (along with the two of us) read every individual entry.  The submissions were original, honest, inspiring, creative, thoughtful and fun. We are proud of each of our interns, as they brought a unique perspective to our firm and hopefully many of them will become future full-time culture carriers at Jefferies Financial Group.  In past years, we had a very hard time picking only one winner from all the amazing letters, so we decided on multiple winners.  This year, the letters were equally exceptional, but one stood out head and shoulders above all the rest for reasons that will soon be obvious to all at Jefferies.   April St. Pierre, your note was heartfelt, important, inspiring and honest.   It was also simple and straightforward, the complete opposite of the path that brought you to our firm.  Thank you for sharing your personal story with all of us.  You should be as proud of yourself as all of us are just to know you.  You have been working in our Boston office, so we are flying you down to NYC.  Brian is travelling on business, but Rich cannot wait to have lunch with you today, August 1st, at 11:45 am at Sushi Ann.

Enjoy your August and thank you to all our interns for an amazing summer,

Rich and Brian

P.S. All letters without the authors’ names will be posted on our intranet and each intern will be given a hard copy of all letters for their end of summer reading enjoyment.  Thank you to all interns for participating.

P.P.S. On behalf of all of us at Jefferies, we would like to thank every intern who joined us this summer.  You brought positive energy, new perspective, lots of intelligence and a tremendous work ethic to our company.  Enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to having many of you influence and lead Jefferies into the future.


CEO, Jefferies Financial Group

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@handlerrich Twitter | Instagram
President, Jefferies Financial Group

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The winning letter is below:

One of these things is not like the others…

For the past eight weeks I have had the opportunity to learn from some amazing professionals, all extremely generous with their time to teach me, even when things are crazy and they have mountains of tasks piled on their desks. They stop, explain, re-explain (thanks Sam), remember and point things out they know interest me. They ask me about myself, and I truthfully haven’t been honest because I don’t want this part of my story to define me. But here it goes, there is something I have been keeping from you. I am not exactly like the rest of my intern class. I am a couple years older, I don’t live on campus, never have actually. I have been rolling solo since I was sixteen, took in my kid brother, and life was about small success day-to-day. When I graduated from high school, I knew Greek life and kegs stands weren’t in my cards, but I was committed to getting my diploma. So, when life gives you lemons, you wake up, work three jobs, go to school at night, apply for hundreds of internships and make that lemonade. On May 4th at 12:13pm Jefferies called to tell me I was accepted into their internship program. “That is how change happens. One gesture, one person, one moment at a time.”

My whole life has been about energy and hustle, and I found a place I can funnel that energy into a productive outlet. Jefferies is a giant ball of energy and to keep up with that I have realized the action I need to take is a lot like how I have taken on my own life. The moment you stop hustling and working hard that energy can consume you. It has the potential to suck you in. I don’t know what it was that made you take a risk on me, but that decision opened a door to the next chapter of my life. The story I do want to define me, my career. This internship isn’t just about the experience I can put on my resume, but the edge I have gained. I have found my passion and a career path that will continue to encourage massive personal growth, where I can put my hustle to good use. I can be myself and be great at something. I will not change, instead pour everything I have towards real success. Not just everyday success, of getting through, surviving, but the success you dream about as a child. I got a glimpse of it here and I won’t let it go. I travel from Maine to get here, in traffic, on a bus. I have never loved traffic so much because that line of cars is me inching closer to the place I belong. The day I took that call I knew I was being given a gift, an opportunity I never thought I would have. What I didn’t know was how much I would love it, and when you love what you do it doesn’t feel like work. Thank you, Jefferies, and to the person who said, let’s take a chance on this one. That risk, that moment, that person changed the course of the rest of my life, in helping me find my passion and renewing my hustle.

April St. Pierre