CalSTRS CIO Christopher J. Ailman knows how to lighten the mood at an investment committee meeting.
After running through a mix of horrors that could be nightmare material for board members and investment staff — trade wars, presidential tweets, anti made-in-America sentiment, North Korea, lone-wolf terrorists and a go-go period reminiscent of the 1960s that ended with stagflation of the 1970s — Mr. Ailman introduced this year's crop of summer interns.
Since 2004, officials at the $223.8 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System officials have mentored college and university students — post-graduate, undergraduate and community college — providing them with enough hours during the summer to qualify for the investment officer exam, Mr. Ailman told the committee at the July 20 meeting.
One by one the 10 students — eight through the CalSTRS' program, one from Pension Real Estate Association's new internship program and one from Girls Who Invest — stood next to Mr. Ailman to introduce themselves and share their aspirations.
One student said she wanted to work for a private equity firm, and a few mentioned an interest in careers at the West Sacramento-based pension plan. Jason Edwards, a University of California-Santa Barbara student and PREA intern, made it clear he also might be willing to help with Mr. Ailman's succession planning if he's not otherwise engaged.
He said, "My future plans are somewhere between being an astronaut and being the next CIO of CalSTRS."