When One Path Leads to Another
An internship helps students become familiar with a potential career path provides. Take John, for example, who is a former NJM intern.
“When I was applying for internships two summers ago, I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to pursue,” he said. “I applied to many companies but always knew that the work I did needed to matter.”
John accepted an internship in NJM Insurance Group’s Actuarial Department in 2022, the summer before his junior year at Villanova University.
“I was attracted to NJM in part because of the community outreach and corporate giving the company is involved in,” John said. “The opportunity to help people both during — and outside — of working hours was probably the biggest factor in me wanting to work for NJM.”
After his internship, John made a crucial decision.
“I learned that I didn’t want to be an actuary!” he said. “It had nothing to do with the department. The people I worked with were amazing, immediately made me feel comfortable, and included me in the culture and the work. I just didn’t enjoy the nature of the work enough to consider it any longer as a career option.”
Still, it was John’s first office experience, and said he gained a better understanding of how to act and interact professionally with colleagues, supervisors, and executives. Plus, he learned a lot about the insurance industry and applied for another internship at NJM the following year.
“Internships are meant to help you decide what you want your career to be,” John said. “I wanted to return and was able to work in another department.”
This past summer he worked in the Business Insights group in the company’s Personal Lines Department. He performed analytical research and data conversion for use by the company’s State Managers. His work aided with strategy development and decision-making for personal auto and homeowners marketing in new territories within NJM’s expanded footprint.
“I learned a lot about how business decisions are made,” John said. “I gained even more exposure into how departments interact and need to be considered and consulted when implementing any improvement processes.”
He was a pitcher and quarterback at Manville (N.J.) High School and credits that experience to his personal and professional development.
“I believe a great deal of who I am and the success I’ve had is due to lessons from playing baseball and football,” John said. “It taught me how to deal with adversity. As a result, I developed a lot of self–confidence, which has helped me in college and at NJM. I found that conviction and confidence lead to success while apprehension opens the door for failure.”
He valued his time at NJM. It gave him a front-row view of how a successful regional property and casualty insurance company operates.
“Both internships provided me great opportunities to do ‘real work’ that supported company projects,” John said. “At no point did it feel like ‘busy work.’ My contributions were reflected when I attended meetings and was able to discuss my work with other departments.”
John has some advice if you’re considering an NJM internship.
“Take advantage of the culture at NJM to explore departments other than the one to which you’re assigned,” he said, “especially ones that might interest you. I never met anyone at NJM who wasn’t willing to answer questions or who treated me as just an intern. No matter what industry you choose, there are lessons that people will teach you at NJM that can easily be transferred to other fields.”
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