Through this blog, we will spotlight Otterbein students who are engaging in internships and professional experiences in a variety of industries and geographic locations. We will also share tips and advice on searching for internships and making the most of internship experiences.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Adam Piccin '16 - Columbus State Community College

Name: Adam Piccin
Class Year: 2016
Major: Public Relations
Hometown: Lewis Center, Ohio
Internship: Student Marketing Assistant
Internship Site: Columbus State Community College

Internship Responsibilities:
As a Student Marketing Assistant at Columbus State Community College for the summer, I completed a variety of exciting tasks that have helped me grow as a student and professional. I devised, launched, and then updated an Instagram account for the university of more than 30,000 students. Additionally, I planned events, advertising, and promotional items for CSCC's 50th anniversary, wrote copy for website blurbs and scholarship emails, took photos for Facebook and Instagram accounts, contacted students by phone and email for office needs, assisted with RSVPs for events, completed research on transient students, college contact forms, and promoting events, attended multiple CSCC video shoots as an "extra," and more. I truly enjoyed my experience working for the university in the Marketing and Communications Department.

What I Learned:
From interning at Columbus State, I learned a lot about marketing and public relations in the real world. I gained experience in writing, editing, creating and developing social media presence, communicating strategically to target audiences, planning for events and ceremonies, and executing conceptual plans from start to finish. This internship built a solid infrastructure for me to continue to grow and build upon, and I am very thankful to have had this opportunity.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Jonathan Cross - Northwestern Mutual

I sat down and talked to Jon Cross recently, and he told me all about his role at Northwestern Mutual. He said that his role is a hybrid role. About 70% of his time is spent as a financial adviser. In that capacity, he said he meets with clients, helps them set their long range, personal, professional, and financial goals, and then helps them work on ways to achieve those goals. The other time is spent as a managing director at Polaris. He is responsible for recruiting their financial advisers and developing new financial advisers.

When asked why he likes to hire interns, he said, “Simply put, it is our single most important recruiting strategy.” What he has found is that most industries put their interns behind the scenes. What Northwestern Mutual does is they put their interns in front of the client, help them develop their communication and interpersonal skills, and this helps the interns because then we know how they work, and they are more confident in their job. Over 50% of the field directors, managing partners, etc. were all interns, so their internships tend to lead to leadership development.

Primarily, interns will take the role of a financial adviser. They call on prospective clients, and ask them to sit down and meet with them so they can learn about their financial status. They then work with a veteran adviser and they figure out a plan for that client, and then talk to the client about that plan. It’s basically walking the client through the financial planning cycle from basic goal setting to implementation.

We take students from Otterbein, Ohio Wesleyan, and OSU. However, Mr. Cross likes to work with Otterbein students because he says that he can relate to the liberal arts background, and appreciates Otterbein's commitment to developing well-rounded students. Mr. Cross believes that the general engagement level, socially and otherwise, is very high at Otterbein. He looks for students who are involved in many different activities, and it’s easier to find someone like that at Otterbein than at a larger campus.

Mr. Cross’s advice to students during the application process and interview is to not be over polished. Most of his hiring decisions are based on a combination of the notes he takes in the interview, and the gut feeling that he walks away with. Mr. Cross said, “If you were able to carry the conversation and be engaging, in my world, that goes a long way. I instantly connect with someone who is open and vulnerable, because I know they are being real with me.”

Once you obtain the internship, Mr. Cross advises finding a mentor in the company. Also, you should try to set meaningful goals and hit them. If you’re an intern, there’s usually a supervisor who will help you set those goals. And make sure to hit them, because then you know you’re getting something out of it.

If you are interested in applying for an internship with Northwestern Mutual, contact Jon Cross at (614) 222-6017.