Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and background?
I started two businesses in high school, one a lacrosse camp and the other a tutoring business focusing on middle school students. Before graduating from Wilsonville High School in 2012. I attended Stanford to get a jump start on college the summer before senior year. I’m currently an international business major at the Daniels School of Business, which is part of the University of Denver. I’m still deciding on whether I’m going to graduate school for finance or going straight into the finance world. I’m currently working on a non-profit organization called Bia which is focused on awareness for sexual assault and its survivors.
What made you choose this career path?
After talking with a lot of people in the field, as well as professors and family friends. Researching and investing in businesses from small to large is of great interest to me, especially after starting a couple. I feel international business is going to be a growing field especially since the world is becoming more connected day by day. I also like looking at all aspects of the business, I think being able to run your own business is really cool.
How did you come across this internship?
I knew people who had the internship the previous summer and after talking with them, I learned they had gained a lot of useful real world experiences. Also they informed me that many job offers started to come in, since this was something on their resume. After hearing all of this input I went to an internship fair and spoke to their recruiters. It was also ranked the #5 internship in the country at the time and this really peaked my interest as a resume builder.
Can you tell us about your role?
I was what Northwestern Mutual calls their College Financial Representatives. We did exactly what their full time Financial Representatives do when they first get into the business. This includes building a client base, working on individualized long-term financial planning, and getting licensed to sell financial packages to clients.
What was the company culture like?
The company culture at Northwestern Mutual was great. Everyone was super friendly and really excited about the company. There is a lot of freedom and everyone makes their own schedule, which really allows people to push themselves. Northwestern Mutual is really about building individuals up to be the best they can be in order to make the organization as a whole better.
What was the highlight of your internship experience?
Every morning when the interns came into the office there was educational sessions for about an hour. These sessions were focused on the financial tools that we were using, and also building professional skills that are important for any career. This was my highlight because the company took time to invest back into its interns, and provide us with the right resources to be successful.
Is there anything you wish your internship program could have improved on?
Because of the lack of structure, it definitely took some time to get momentum built and feel comfortable performing day-to-day important activities that were vital to success. If structure were in place, I feel like things would have been a bit more organized.
How does this internship help you in your future?
As a highly ranked internship this will help me get my foot in the door at most companies. Also, the incredible amount of educational time that they invested in me will help me succeed in almost any field.
If you could give advice to a student seeking a similar prestigious internship, what would you tell them?
There is a reason that these internships are prestigious and highly ranked. They make you work hard. If you have the opportunity to do one, you should definitely go for it, but get ready to buckle down in order to be successful. Also, try to learn as much as possible from the company and people around you. You need to be persistent and have the drive and ambition to keep going after things in your career. It won’t come to you, go out and get it!