For many college students here at USLI this is your first internship and a first look into the corporate world. Outside of growing up and attending Bring Your Child to Work day, many of us have not even stepped foot into a business environment. For some people, this can be a little overwhelming. It can also be challenging to immerse yourself into an office setting and know exactly what you should be taking away from this opportunity.
Outside of a nice paycheck and a free hot lunch there’s so much to gain from USLI. For some, this can be the foundation to gaining knowledge on how to launch a career after graduation. So what knowledge should we bring to the table and what exactly should we be learning?
For starters, become a sponge. Soak up information and ask questions. Unless you are majoring in Risk Management and Insurance there’s a high chance that you are unfamiliar with insurance (unless it’s getting a quote for insurance on our first car). For right now ask your leaders, co-workers, and experienced college helpers. They are there to help and many of us were either in your shoes or still are in your shoes. Remember to bring a pen and a note-pad wherever you go to keep track of the information. This also shows that you are prepared and ready to learn.
Take advantage of the performance feedbacks that you have with your leaders and coaches. Be receptive, and ask where you have room for improvement. (This is also where the notepad comes in handy). Then take initiative and follow up with your leader to see if they have seen improvement in areas you may have been lacking.
Next, be enthusiastic about what you are learning. Be willing to take on tasks and have the hunger to learn more. This will help you understand the role your team plays in the company and get a feel for what you could potentially be doing full-time. However, don’t be afraid to communicate with your leader if you are struggling in certain areas and need guidance. Remaining enthusiastic also corresponds with one of our community goals (keep it simple, give 100% effort, win, and have fun doing it) and you will embody being a true community member.
Lastly, and one of the most important tokens of wisdom is to immerse yourself into the office culture. Our culture is unique because we are a community here and it can be a second home for many people. But our culture also embodies the CARE2 values so it’s important to fulfill them as much as possible. Learn the business lingo such as: huddle = meeting, work station = cubicle, and college help = intern. Also, take advantage of the many different benefits that are offered. Become a member at Slainte, be active in the classes it offers, and take part in USLI University. This is a great way to gain a full understanding of the insurance industry and a way to put yourself out there and network.
Keeping in mind these key tactics will definitely help you become more aware of what to take away from this internship experience and allow you to feel more confident in a business environment.
Written by: Monét Bradford