Internships aren’t all about fetching coffee and filing papers – so if you were planning on spending your semester taking pizza orders, think again. Good internships, really good internships, are essentially job interviews. A good internship should give you hands-on experience and opportunities to expand your professional network. Most importantly, if the internship doesn’t earn you a full-time job, you should (at the very least) feel like you developed valuable skills and the confidence to succeed elsewhere in the industry.
Northwestern Mutual, for example, offers one of the most highly recognized internships in the financial services industry. According to Vault, its financial representative internship has been named one of America’s top ten internships for the past 21 years. As a financial representative intern, you are trained and mentored by industry veterans who know what it takes to build a business. And you get to test drive a career where you can achieve your goals and have a positive impact on people’s lives.
Chantel Bonneau, a UCLA alumna and College Unit Director at Northwestern Mutual – Los Angeles, gives an overview of the interview process and what it takes to succeed in the financial representative (FR) career.
For the internship position, Northwestern Mutual offices recruit candidates from college campuses across the country. Applicants who qualify are offered an opportunity to visit the office, and participate in a group interview and informational session.
“Group interviews are held twice a week in our office,” says Chantel. “We give candidates a tour and an overview of our company culture, mission and values. We want them to know more about the FR career and what to expect if brought onboard.”
According to Chantel, a candidate typically attends three interviews for the internship, and at least four interviews for the full-time position.
“The first interview is always informational and more about the company. The second is to gauge the candidate’s experience and interest levels, and the third (and sometimes fourth) serves as time to get responses to in-depth questions and discuss benefits and compensation,” says Chantel.
What does success look like? Chantel lists eight things she expects from her recruits:
Find out more about the FR internship and career.