From Intern to Full Time Employee
John is a senior at Pennsylvania State University, studying Enterprise Risk Management. After completing his second summer internship at NJM Insurance Group, he accepted an offer of full-time employment with NJM’s Commercial Lines Underwriting Department.
From the onset, John knew he wanted to work in the insurance industry. In 2022, he interviewed for NJM’s summer internship program and accepted a position in underwriting.
John’s First Internship Experience
The interview had given John a good idea of what kind of work he would be doing. Still, when John started working, he found that he had a lot to learn. It was his first experience working in a professional environment, and with people of different ages, levels of knowledge, and statuses. Thankfully, he had joined a friendly, welcoming team.
“Everyone was so willing to answer questions and help me grow as a person,” John said. “They took time out of their day to accommodate my needs, and they responded to my willingness to grow as a person and an employee.”
John found that his colleagues treated him like any other employee, but they scaled down their expectations to his level of knowledge and experience. This helped John adapt and ease in to the demands of the job.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” John recommended. “As you ask questions, you begin to understand what is going on and build relationships with your coworkers.”
Even in his first year as an intern, John was given projects that helped the whole Commercial Lines Department. Projects he worked on were distributed to other employees for their regular use. When he had down time, NJM provided intern-specific work to keep him busy and continue building on his skillsets.
“I found that every task I did had a purpose that contributed to the company’s operations,” John said. “Even data entry is a valuable task for reaching NJM’s goals.”
He collaborated with other interns that year on a project researching technology solutions for insurance companies. For example, he investigated the pros and cons of using dashcams and telematics for auto policies. At the end of the summer, he and his team presented their findings to departmental and executive leadership.
John’s Second Internship Experience
In 2023, John returned to NJM’s Commercial Lines Underwriting Department. By this point, he knew he wanted to pursue underwriting as his future career, so he asked his supervisor to give him more responsibilities and more relevant work.
“This year, I spent less time learning the environment and more time applying what I knew,” John said. “I was interacting with a lot of different employees throughout the company — the auditors and the loss prevention team, to name a few — and I already felt like I was being welcomed as a full-time employee.”
His internship project had closer ties to business insurance uses. He and a team of other interns researched ways to improve Commercial Lines marketing with agents. They had guided groups with a team leader, a regular employee who had experience with the company and could point them in the right direction.
“We were challenged to identify ways to compete with national insurers,” John said, “while maintaining NJM’s reputation for competitive pricing, customer satisfaction, and financial responsibility.”
By the end of the summer, John and his team had delivered a presentation covering competitor research, a summary of the Company’s existing marketing programs, and an analysis of how NJM compared to other insurance companies with an independent agent distribution model.
“I felt fortunate as an intern to be able to interact with executive leadership at our luncheon and presentation,” said John. “It made me feel important to the company, even so early in my career.”
John’s Goals for the Future
John has already accepted an offer of full–time employment with NJM’s Commercial Lines Underwriting department, with plans to start after his graduation in 2024. “It’s a relief to know that I already have a job lined up,” said John. “I can focus on finishing out my degree without worrying about job applications.”
When asked about his future ambitions, he said that his main goal for now is to succeed in his duties. He intends to seek continuing education eventually, including possibly pursuing a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
“It may sound cliché, but what you put in is what you get out,” he said. “That’s the most truthful thing I’ve heard in my life — if you work hard, ask questions, and get involved, people will notice and see results.”
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