“Hey, I’m your new manager. This is your desk. Here’s a bag of candy and some Allstate merchandise. Now let’s go meet 50 new people and talk life insurance.” When I think back to my first day, that’s how it goes in my mind. Prior to my internship at Allstate, my ability to remember names was embarrassingly weak, my knowledge base on life insurance was even more laughable, and I had rigid expectations on what a career in the insurance industry would look like. Remarkably, after several weeks as a marketing intern on Allstate’s Life and Retirement team, I now feel comfortable discussing insurance, I’ve managed to remember all of my coworkers’ names, and I have a whole new perspective on what working at an insurance company can truly mean.
While my initial few days were fast paced and highly informative, I was under the impression that my internship could not remain this exciting for long. To my surprise, weeks later I still wake up energized and eager to learn more each day. Most importantly, I have discovered that working with a team that supports you and at a company that values employees of any level makes spending my day chatting about insurance more exciting and rewarding than I ever could have expected.
When I’m asked about my internship, I don’t immediately think of the deck I helped prepare or the pending documents I’ve submitted for legal approval. Instead, I think of my team and all of the people who have made my time at Allstate so worthwhile. I think of my boss- one of the most lively, positive people I’ve ever met. He rushes from meeting to meeting with an unceasing grin on his face, and he encourages meetings outside on sunny days. I think of the interns I share a cubicle with who still have not gotten annoyed with me asking silly questions or for stealing their highlighters. I think of the two team members who started at Allstate only a few weeks before me but have taken me under their wings to make sure I become acclimated. I think of the people from other departments wave to me in the hall, and I even think of the Starbucks worker in my building who almost has my order memorized.
Due to this welcoming, encouraging environment, I have been pushed to accomplish so much more than just fetching coffee for my boss. Within a month, I’ve seen many of the social media posts I’ve created go live on agents’ Facebook and Twitter pages. I’ve participated in a companywide startup challenge that has allowed me to collaborate with employees from all sectors of Allstate to create and present a pitch. I’ve crafted a website to be utilized by agents during Life Insurance Awareness Month. I’ve had the opportunity to have breakfast with one of the senior vice presidents of the company. The list goes on and on. All of these things along with several other moments have brought me to the biggest surprise of my internship- it is not merely the subject matter that makes a career engaging and fulfilling, but instead it is the people you work with and the company’s culture that really can make coming to work every morning an adventure.