Peer Review Prompt for Profile Essay
Title of the Paper:
(If there is no title, please note this as well. All papers need titles.)
Please answer each question in complete sentences and in detail. Short (less than 50 words) or
superficial responses will not be counted for credit.
1. Where did the author go and/or what activity did the author observe? Was the author a
participant or an observer? Was this approach effective? Why or why not?
Did the author use a topical or narrative plan? How was this strategy effective? Did the
approach help the piece to be more interesting?
2. What, in your mind, was the dominant impression conveyed by the author? How could
you tell? Was there a thesis statement? What, if anything, might the author do to make a
dominant impression more clear?
3. Comment on the author’s use of description. Did the author use naming, detailing, and
comparing? Could the paper be improved by adding more description?
What would you say are the paper’s three main strengths?
5. What are some things, in your opinion, the author should try to work on? You may want to
address grammar and format here, but do refer back to the original prompt to see if the author
is missing any key requirements.
Our government is a huge organization. What makes this organization is its
people. The Department of Homeland Security is one of them. You have seen them on
the television before chasing bad guys. It looks exciting, easy, and fun. In fact, we do
not know much about them. I had the pleasure of interviewing a Federal Agent from
Homeland Security. Homeland Security has different branches that contain subbranches. For example, it is the Department of Homeland Security with a branch under
the name of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE has two sub-branches:
Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The Federal Agent I interviewed is part of HSI and their title is Senior Special Agent,
cross designation United States Secret Service. Working for Homeland Security is an
honor and comes with many challenges from education to personal.
Some agencies require an education. For example, Pacoima Police Department
requires you to have an associate degree in order to become a detective. This is not
always the case for the Department of Homeland Security’s division; Immigration and
Customs Enforcement who deal with terrorism rather than street crime. Depending on
who is interviewing, they will require you to have minimum a master’s degree. This all
changes during the interview. If you are considered a potential candidate, your
education is overseen. The Federal Agent I interviewed told me they once hired a thirtytwo-year-old man versus a man with a double master’s degree. “What can you learn in
school that you cannot learn in the academy? I want someone with life experience.
Someone who has struggled and knows what they want. Someone who does not draw
attention to themselves. A college student that just graduated does not want squat. I
want the guy that nobody wants. I want the underdog.” You have to be a sharp person
to be able to join Homeland Security. With this job comes a great deal of
Working for the Department of Homeland Security requires a significant amount
of skill sets and time. On a daily basis these Federal or Special Agents, also knows as
law enforcement officers, work long hours each day. They are away from their families
for a long period of time. For example, if needed to go to a different state or country,
they must go and leave their families behind. I had observed the Special Agent’s phone
go off about five different times during the time I was interviewing them. This specific
agent deals with high profile criminals. The agent said, “You must treat criminals like
they are your mother. With the upmost respect so you can see them face prison.” Every
day the agent is having to interact with a criminal who committed a crime. You must
have exceptional interpersonal skills. Having to interact with criminals everyday has its
fair share of risks.
Having to encounter high profile criminals and or terrorists exposes you to
danger. If they see you, they can find out who you are and if you have a family. This
becomes a greater risk when dealing with terrorists from a different country. They do not
just threaten your life but threaten the life of your loved ones. Sometimes when the
agents are conducting a raid, they will wear masks to hide their identity. This is stressful
most of the times to agents. The Special Agent I interviewed stated that they work out in
order to alleviate some of the stress from the job. The agent also stated that they will
not have a family until they retire, in order to avoid having to worry about children and a
loved one. The agent said they will remain single until retirement. Every job has a
negative side. With every negative aspect of the job, comes a positive side.
A positive aspect of the job is the joy you feel inside when a mission is
completed. It is rewarding for the agent to serve our government, our country, and the
people of this country. “All law enforcement officers should be looked at as heroes. We
should be looked at as heroes because we are heroes. If only civilians knew the risks,
we take on each day. We do not get enough credit from the media or the people.” The
agent stated that it has been an honor to serve our country and the people of this
country. The agent has had the joy to protect multiple presidents of not just our country
but other countries. The agent has also protected the Pope. The pay is also great but
the agent said, “What is the purpose of making all this money if I have no one to share it
with. I am extremely happy doing what I do best and that is to protect the United States
of America and its people.” The special agent is passionate about what they do. It is not
about the money, it is about the pleasure they get from serving our country.
As you can see, being a Federal Agent has its struggles and fulfilling sides to
the job. It is a very high-risk job but when you are passionate about doing it, it becomes
an honor to do it. Anybody who wears that blue uniform should be honored to do so.
They should wear it proud and represent what it stands for. When you take an oath to
protect our country, you stand behind all it means. Never betray your country.
Capitalism’s biggest caveat is the massive income and wealth inequalities brought
about by shareholder capitalism. Shareholder capitalism is still the goose that laid the
golden egg, but recent history reveals that stock market performance doesn’t always
close the gap between the have and the have-nots. The real returns flow to the
shareholders, and the actions of these shareholders determine markets performance,
consumer social responsibility, and business mergers. Who are these shareholders? In
America, financial institutions own a large percentage of the shares circulating in the
multiple stock market exchanges. A simple move to rebalance the positions could save
capitalism eternally, and Charles Schwab provides the ultimate solution by providing
customers with a low-cost trading platform, conservative wealth management, and an
innovative training system for future employees.
Steve Thornton, vice president of the Upland branch, has provided access to
information regarding markets conditions and the Charles Schwab approach. If
shareholders become captains that save the boat of capitalism, Thornton should be
considered chief steward of the same vessel. The conservative approach and the
productive environment he provides his employees are pinnacles of an ethical wealth
management institutions. A post-secondary education major in college, Thornton briefly
accredited the vast difference in major and career choice with the experience he gained
working at a call center for Charles Schwab. This organic growth inspires the
employees around him and any future employees lucky enough to for him. Thornton
claims his goals are to provide his employees with the perfect environment, and that’s
the environment developed throughout a career with Charles Schwab. Within the last
third trimester of a bull market, Schwab holds steady to the pillars of conservative
wealth management by acquiescing to thrifty traders and private client services without
Thornton, and the conservative wealth management teams, are position and
ready for a reduction in the market due to economic common sense. While bull markets
don’t have expiration dates they can be spooked by massive governmental changes,
foreign conflicts, sudden change in interest rates. When asked about the state of the
markets, Thornton’s philosophy matched that of the institution he serves. Clearly,
Thornton shares the same sentiment as the other investment institutions because a lack
of market volatility may signal conservative positioning by the movers and shakers.
Unfortunately, trees don’t grow to the sky and the bull markets will give way to
consecutive corrections resulting in a bear market. However, Schwab and other
conservative investors are quite leveraged against such downfalls.
One of the biggest crazes of 2017 was the crypto-currency hype known as
Bitcoin. Along with Bitcoin, came a bunch of cryptocurrencies designed to be the
currency of global internet transactions. These currencies garnered the attention of
investors and investment firms globally, but those who got caught in the hype also got
burned by the returns. Bitcoin, currency for the black market, reached a high around
20,000 in 2017 but has dwindled down to 4,000, in early 2019. Still a great return for
those who invested early, but the late arrivers to the club are the ones left holding the
bag in a liquidity event. Thus, investors are constantly facing the battle between
investment and speculation. By definition, investing is a process by which one
distributes monetary wealth to companies, industries, and products in order to achieve
monetary return on investment. However, speculation is simply gambling with the hope
that someone is willing to pay more than you did for the same quantity. One invests in
stocks for the dividend return and possible capital appreciation, on invests in bonds for
the interests payout, but one invests in Bitcoin purely on speculation. At Charles
Schwab, they never took any official position on Bitcoin or any cryptocurrencies which
highlights the commitment to conservative wealth management.
The fact that Charles Schwab never entered the Bitcoin bonanza speaks
volumes about corporate social responsibility and the company’s ethical standards. In
the good old days of stock trading, many investment institutions made large revenues of
servicing wall street trades. Only twenty years ago, the stock market exchanges were
harder to access for the basic consumer and the volumes needed to trade was too vast
for singular investors. Today, everyone has access to the markets via smartphone and
therefore access to low cost trades provided by a plethora of cell phone applications. In
response Schwab has recently lowered their trade fees, and provides multiple free
trading programs. To well qualified investors Schwab even provides expensive
technologies and software designed increase returns. Like many other institutions,
many qualified investors can also take part in options trading courses and other
educational resources. All of these tools will help broaden the horizon and hopefully
lead to more independent investors that exercise the shareholder elections.
According to J.D. Power, Schwab has earned the highest honors in customer
satisfaction for three years in a row. All in all, this must be accreditied to the types of
individuals employed and enrolled in the Schwab company. Thornton revealed the
training methodologies and systems designed to create a system of employees that
constantly represent the highest ethical standards. These employees are dedicated and
trained to serve. When asked about the most effective way to become a Schwab
employees, was to grow within there system. Traders can start at a call center and
organically work through the securities licenses process, or enter Schwab’s specialized
academy. Schwabs academy is similar to those of other large financial institution, but
the goal is to properly train and place the talented individuals. Thornton revealed the
difference between Schwab and other companies who hire independent advisors.
Simply put, strong conservative strategies, low cost trades and rigorous
training regiments creates the proper investing environment. Thornton’s wisest words
were on investigating personal financial philosophy and institutional philosophy.
Thornton urges those future investors to align themselves with an institution that mirrors
the same personal financial philosophy. “ You could waste many years if your career
looking for the right philosophy in the wrong firms”, said Thornton.
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