Learning the Importance of Workplace Culture
“Friendly vibes” is a description you might hear in surfing circles or backstage at a concert. It is rare (and refreshing) to describe an interview for a corporate internship with those words.
Mike learned about his internship opportunity during a career fair at The College of New Jersey. He never considered a career in actuary science but decided to apply after his junior year. “I was definitely drawn in by the friendly vibes I received throughout the whole interview process,” he recalls. “The internship is what convinced me to set my sights on becoming an actuary.”
Mike did not just set his sights on becoming an actuary, he accomplished it! He was hired at NJM as an actuarial analyst following graduation. Mike’s team specializes in pricing personal auto, homeowners, and renters’ insurance policies. He applied for the position because he felt the “level of effort and camaraderie displayed by his teammates would have been difficult to find in other companies.”
“NJM has a very welcoming culture,” he said. “When you balance that with challenging expectations, opportunities for growth and a variability in the work that keeps it interesting, it creates an ideal work environment.”
Contributing to meaningful work is critical to professional growth and employee satisfaction. Mike experienced both as an NJM intern and it became a primary reason the mathematics major pursued a full-time position.
“The project assignments were meaningful, and I gained a wealth of information,” he said. “Working with the personal lines pricing team, I learned about the structure of an insurance rating algorithm, worked with large databases, and performed analyses using several different metrics. It was also my first time working in a corporate environment, so the NJM staff taught me how to balance friendliness with professionalism.”
The internship program also includes a multi-disciplinary project that interns work on together in small groups. They’re given a business problem to research and at the end of the internship, each team findings and recommendations to room of 50+ leaders.
“The group project allowed me to connect and share thoughts with other interns, as well as gain confidence in my presentation skills.”
Mentorship is also a major component and Mike was appreciative of the guidance he received from his supervisor. Having a mentor who was patient in explaining new concepts and answering questions was critical to his growth.
“If you work as an intern at NJM, take the time to think of and ask questions,” he said. “Build your foundation by understanding how your work fits into the bigger picture.”