Financial Internship: A Mutually Rewarding Experience
By Sam Rubenzer
My experience with Northwestern Mutual over the course of my internship has been nothing short of amazing. I have had opportunities that most people my age could only wish for. It has been life changing and has given me a new perspective on what I want to do for a living. Coming into this internship I did not know what to expect. I was a reserved young man who was more of a listener than a talker. Throughout my experience I had no choice but to become more outgoing and vocal or else fail at this opportunity. I stepped up to the challenge, and with time gained a lot of confidence.
This semester, my duties consisted of mentoring and teaching the new interns that just got hired for the fall semester, running our weekly meeting about what we did during the previous weeks and answering the questions that came up. I also helped develop their skills in fact-finding, prospecting and phoning language. I ran my own practice which included meeting clients, updating plans that were already in place, and setting appointments with new clients. The biggest job I had this semester was getting mentored into the role of college unit director that I would start after my December graduation. I had weekly conference calls with coaches and mentors that have done a great job in helping me transition into the role.
Some of the things that I did not necessarily enjoy doing was phoning or calling on people. I wished that people would be more open to just sitting down and having a conversation. If the nominator did not do a good job and mention that I would be calling, it would make my job difficult. Another thing that was challenging for me was taking on so much responsibility all at once. I was an intern myself, and I was supposed to help the other eight interns. It was a struggle at first, but it is definitely something that has put me in the position I am in today. If you aren't challenged, that means you are not growing either personally and professionally.
Throughout the internship, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge along the way. Initially, I did not know much about financial services or what these types of jobs entailed. With what I have learned, I am now able to put together full financial plans for the people that I meet with, explain it to them in terms that they can understand, and get the right solutions in place to help them get closer to their personal futures. I am not saying it was easy along the way, but being persistent and turning to a more experienced representative for advice and guidance certainly paid off. Along the way I also took and passed state exams, which include accident and health insurance, life insurance, disability, long term care, and series 6 and 63 exams for securities. It's great to have all these out of the way before I am done with college.
I may have all these licenses and designations now, but I think I learned the most from the professional coaches I have worked with. These guys charge $2,000 an hour, and I was given the opportunity to spend time with them. As I said earlier, I was given opportunities that most college kids only dream of. They have taken me on trips to Milwaukee for their annual meeting, Chicago to their central meetings, skiing with the CEO of the company in Jackson, and to meetings with John Tiechert, a mentor and coach to some of the country's top CEO's/leaders. They have introduced me to the world of custom fitted suits and shirts and inspirational books.
This experience has been amazing. Granted there has been the occasional ups and downs just like you are going to have with anything, but for the most part it has been great. I have learned a ton, had many great experiences and made a lot of new friends along the way.