The 7 Qualities of a Valuable Internship
Joe S. felt he had experienced something special when he decided to extend his summer internship at NJM into the fall.
Alongside other NJM interns, Joe had completed a project in support of the company’s mission, vision, and values. His work helped NJM determine whether a specific tool would enhance the company’s ability to provide cost–effective insurance solutions in the Mid–Atlantic region.
“The work felt important,” Joe said. “I was able to see the full scope of how my efforts fit into the broader goals of the company.”
Internships are the first step toward full employment for many students. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the most influential factor when hiring a recent college grad is the applicant’s internship experience in the company or industry.
A valuable internship can give a young worker the skills and confidence they need to be successful in their early career. When reflecting on the best parts of his experience, Joe identified seven qualities that made him feel like he was part of the NJM family:
Joe explained that he decided to major in Actuarial Mathematics because of its defined career ladder. During his internship, he enjoyed coming in and, to this day, he appreciates the regular work in NJM’s Actuarial Department.
Joe’s coworkers were very welcoming, inviting him to lunch and department celebrations. “I love the people I work with, whether I see them every day, once a month in a meeting, or every so often,” Joe said. “Just getting to interact with all these people was a joy for me. That’s why I’m eager to recommend NJM’s internship to other students — I know it will be great for them, as well.”
Throughout his experience, Joe felt that the work he was doing was important and directly supported the company’s mission. He could see exactly how his efforts would impact the company and bring value to policyholders. This made him feel good about the effort he put in.
Chances to Learn and Grow
From Day One, Joe worked closely with a senior actuarial analyst, Gina, who helped him adapt to NJM’s culture and processes. Gina had been an intern, herself, in 2017, and she was able to teach Joe how to be successful, with the benefit of personal experience guiding her.
“The internship program is a great way for students to get hands-on work experience before they graduate,” Gina said. “They learn more about the day–to–day activities in their potential career area, as well as general office etiquette and communication skills.”
As a part–time intern during the school year, Joe has also gained valuable practice working on long-term projects, completing daily responsibilities, and supporting his colleagues.
NJM’s summer interns conclude their experience with a presentation of their insights and analyses to the executive leadership team. Managers from throughout the company attend these presentations, ask questions, and applaud a job well done.
Diversity of Opportunities
NJM has many good opportunities for interns to keep exploring and learning. Interns who return year after year may work on different projects or with different teams. Because they already have a solid knowledge base, they can take on more complex projects or a wider variety of assignments.
NJM afforded Joe time to study for his actuarial exams, in support of his application to the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). The company respected his schedule and allowed him to work remotely while he didn’t have access to a motor vehicle.
Joe’s coworkers in the Actuarial Department agree that the internship program brings value to the company. “Our interns get involved in meaningful projects from the very beginning,” said Gina, Joe’s mentor. “It is great to get a fresh set of eyes and new thoughts and insights from the interns on our existing projects.”
Returning to the same company for a second–year internship is a tough decision. Still, Joe feels like he made the right decision.
“Is it better to explore different companies, to branch out more, or to stick with what you know is good?” he said. “Other companies may not be as welcoming, and I felt like NJM had good opportunities to keep exploring and learning. I was happy to return as a part–time intern in the fall, and I’m excited to participate in the summer internship program again in 2023.”
Gray, K. (Jan. 7, 2022). Internship experience the most influential factor in tough hiring decisions. NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition®. naceweb.org.
NJM offers a variety of career opportunities in sales, marketing, finance, IT, actuary science, and more! The Company provides outstanding benefits, access to wellness programs, and encourages employees to pursue continuous learning options and to give back to the communities we are privileged to serve.
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