Archive for the 'Finance' Category

Internship Spotlight: Kevin Hockerman, Northwestern Mutual

Company Overview:

I am currently interning at Northwestern Mutual in Menominee Falls. I work as a Financial Representative that consists of providing expert guidance and innovative solutions for the lifetime financial needs of individuals and businesses in the areas of retirement solutions and insurance services.

There are many things that I did not know that Northwestern Mutual did before I started working for the company. Northwestern Mutual conducts fact-finders with their clients to gain an insight on their personal, professional, and financial goals and dreams. This allows them to build a complete plan not only assessing the current things their clients have in place, but also helping build towards future needs. Northwestern Mutual assesses a client’s risk management, then moves to their wealth accumulation, and finally focuses on their wealth preservation and distribution as the client moves from the start of their career all the way through retirement.

Obtaining My Internship:

I obtained my internship by first gathering a list of companies that I wanted to speak with at the career fair. Northwestern Mutual was one of the main companies that I wanted to speak with because of their top 10-ranked internship program. I was initially nervous to talk them but I found them very easy to approach.

After meeting them at the career fair I sent them a thank-you email. They responded saying that they would like me to send them my resume and continued by following up and setting up a phone interview. Through the phone interview, they said they liked me as a candidate and discussed the hiring process with me. To follow-up, I had to take a personality test to see if I was a good fit with their company. Once I passed this test I had to go in for an interview. At the interview, after a few questions about myself, my potential supervisor presented me with a project. The project would give me an insight into the job opportunity. It was a questionnaire to ask my closest friends and family of what they would want out of a financial advisor. They also had me complete a project to see what kind of network I have established. The final interview included me presenting my findings from these projects. I had to show that I had a well-established network, and then present the surveys and questionnaires I had answered. From the surveys and questionnaires, I was able to understand the type of work I would be doing with Northwestern Mutual. This helped give me an insight into the internship and helped me understand that this company was a good fit for me.

What I Learned:

Through my internship at Northwestern Mutual, I have learned a lot. I have gained real world experiences that I could not have learned in class that I can apply towards any career path I choose. I have learned how to interact professionally with clients, building my overall interpersonal skills. I learned how to present myself in a professional manner, both in person and over the phone. The most important personal gain I have taken away from this internship is being able to understand how important motivation is. This internship taught me how to motivate myself and continue to be highly productive while being independent. This alone was very important to me because it helped me understand what I was capable of.

I also gained more skills through my internship. I learned a lot about the financial industry and now have a large understanding of life insurance, health insurance, and retirement planning. I also gained some insight on investments. Overall, I gained further skills in financing and understanding how to properly allocate my money.

This internship has been a very rewarding experience. I was able to work in a professional environment, and work full-time while taking on full-time responsibilities. This was a great experience to be able to have these types of responsibilities while only being an intern. All of the skills I gathered from this internship will be ones I can implement throughout my career. I highly recommend this internship as it is extremely beneficial and a very rewarding experience.

Internship Spotlight: Chad Koch, Northwestern Mutual– The Blevons Group

Chad Koch at Northwestern Mutual

From Student, to Power of 10 Intern

My name is Chad Koch, and I am a senior at UWO, and I am currently interning at Northwestern Mutual– The Blevons Group.  I obtained the internship by successfully networking during the career fair at UWO in the spring of 2011.  At first, I knew nothing about Northwestern Mutual or what they represented, but my views soon changed with one simple phone call.  During my conversation with one of the recruiters for Northwestern Mutual I gave them my résumé.  They found interest in my previous employment and gave me a call that would change the way I viewed my future from then on.

The Training Process

After going through several processes and interview sessions, I was offered the financial representative intern position which would allow me to run my own practice and connect with individuals on a more personal level.  I started my internship in May of 2011 upon going through a week long training process.  In this training process, several successful full-time representatives taught us the value of the products and services that Northwestern Mutual offer and ways to really believe in the type of work that we do.  We were also trained on how to talk about products and evaluate body language and tone of voice to determine how comfortable someone felt about our conversation.  Ultimately, we were taught how to be confident in ourselves and know that we have the ability to offer a family support in their darkest hours.

From Training to Professional

In my first couple of weeks I was nervous about starting to be in this business full-time as an intern.   My main fears were that people would not take me seriously or think that because I am a young individual I would not be as knowledgeable as someone who was older than me.   That feeling rapidly disappeared as I left my comfort zone and met with many individuals.  I would bring veteran representatives with me that taught me how to react to certain questions and also teach me how to make a person feel comfortable about where they are in life and where they want to be in the future.  It was by this practice that I was able to achieve the Power of 10, which is an intern achievement that recognizes interns that have written 10 policies in a year.

My Future with the Company

My overall experience with this company has changed my life completely.  Recently, I was offered a full-time position after graduation that will allow me to continue helping individuals for the rest of my career.  It has been a relief knowing that the work that I have put into the internship will help me as a full-time financial representative.  Using the skills that I have acquired through my education at UW Oshkosh and the training received through Northwestern Mutual, I can feel at ease knowing that I have a strong foundation that will support my career and allow me to help individuals for years to come.

Internship Spotlight: Michelle Murray, Accounting and Finance Major

Michelle Murray, Accounting and Finance Major

How I Obtained My Internship

Each year the athletic department looks for athletes to work as interns. My supervisor asked the coaches for candidates and my coach referred me. As a student athlete, this internship has tied my extra-curricular with work experience. In my internship, I am exposed to the background work of the department which is much different from what I initially thought from a student athlete perspective. There are many interactions with people even with a job like social media where the results are only seen online. I’ve had the opportunity to do anything from shoot videos, facilitate halftime activities and other events throughout competitions, and monitor the online traffic to our sites and quantify it.

What I do In My Internship

As a social media intern, I am responsible for posting information related to the athletic department and UWO online. There are a number of resources such as Twitter, Facebook, and Hootsuite that I use to carry out my responsibilities. Being someone who is familiar with and uses these online mediums already, allows me to be more successful. The older generations in the department appreciate having an intern that is more connected to this new technology to be able to do this type of work.

What I Learned

The most important thing I learned at my internship is whether you are speaking to your boss or an audience of hundreds of people over the internet, it is critical that you can communicate clearly and effectively.

Internship Spotlight: Ashley Nealon, FreightConnections

Ashley Nealon Finance Major

How I obtained my position:

I am currently a Finance Intern at FreightConnections, Inc. in Menasha. I have also worked at Career Services for four semesters and obtained my job through our database, Titan Jobs. After submitting my resume and completing a job interview, I was offered to start the training process for my position.

Going into the internship:

An internship is not just a normal part-time job; it is the start to a professional career. I started this role in August, and was extremely nervous on my first day. I was afraid of being overwhelmed and lost when fulfilling my duties. But, my emotions were quickly calmed after meeting all of the welcoming people in the office and feeling comfortable right away.

Connecting with the other interns:

There are three other interns who work in the office from UWO. It is nice to be able to work and communicate with these other interns while we complete projects and tasks, keeping each other on the same page. Another Finance Intern and I are in a same class and choose to work together during our assigned group projects. Developing this relationship at work has positively affected my schoolwork as well.

My new feeling of Finance:

Starting my internship role, I always had a passion to go in to corporate finance. Projecting, budgeting, and analyzing data of a business have consistently been strengths of mine. By being exposed to FreightConnection’s five-year sales forecast, this has proven my projected career path of working in a corporate finance field.

What I wish I would have known:

My one piece of advice to College of Business students is to start looking for internships as early as possible. It is never too early to pursue any opportunity. Also, instead of focusing on getting an internship just to complete the college requirement, look for something that you will actually enjoy doing. It will only make the work and job as a whole more fulfilling. As I stated earlier, this position is essentially the start to a professional career.

Spotlight Internship: Erin Severson, Lakeview Credit Union

Erin Severson, Finance

My name is Erin Severson and I am a Finance Major graduating in December 2012. I am currently interning as a Business Services Specialist at Lakeview Credit Union in Neenah, Wisconsin. Lakeview was founded in 1934 by nine Kimberley Clark employees with the intention of establishing a credit union for the employees of the Lakeview Mill. Originally the organization was run by volunteers. Today the board of directors is still made up of member-volunteers however there are currently 41 paid employees. Lakeview has three branches, two in Neenah and one in Appleton.

How I Obtained the Position:

This June marked my seventh anniversary as an employee of Lakeview Credit Union. My career with Lakeview began as a high school student teller. Over the years, I have experienced working in member services and the accounting department.  When it came time to fulfill my internship requirement for my bachelor’s degree, the organization was very accommodating and offered me a position in the business services department. I began my internship this June and the plan is to stay in the department after graduation this winter.

My Roles and Responsibilities:

As a Business Services Specialist I work with our commercial loan accounts. I am responsible for reviewing each note to be certain that compliance requirements are met.  This includes verifying collateral, working with insurance companies to ensure adequate coverage, and making sure that each file has all of the necessary documentation to support the loan. I also work closely with our credit analyst to compile data for specific reports. I am very excited to continue learning the ins and outs of the department in the coming months.

My Advice:

If I were to re-do my college career, I would look for opportunities to intern in different positions much sooner. I have learned that the more you express your interests and needs the more your employer is willing to expose you to different areas.  Don’t be afraid to network and get to know the employees at all levels of the organization, you may find mentors where you least expect it. In my opinion experiencing different jobs before graduation helps to decide what areas of your major you would like to make a career.

Internship Spotlight: Justin Mahlik, State Farm

Justin Mahlik, Finance

 

My name is Justin Mahlik. I am majoring in Finance with a minor in Insurance and Financial Planning and plan to graduate May of 2013. I currently work at State Farm Insurance and Financial Services as a Marketing Services Intern. I work at an agent’s office in Fond du Lac, WI. The agent is an independent contractor with State Farm and owns his own small business.

How I Obtained My Internship

I used my family to obtain my internship. We have been involved in the insurance industry and with State Farm for three generations now. Since I was young I had always wanted to work in my father’s office and when I finished freshman year of college he gave me the opportunity. Since then, with much training and hard work, I have grown into a productive member of the organization. When I told him I needed an internship for the College of Business he gave me the opportunity to assist him in running his small business.

My Role

A typical day as a Marketing Services Intern can consist of many different things. I usually begin the day by helping potential clients with insurance quotes. Once these are finished I proceed to work on one of the many ongoing business projects such as marketing cost tracking, office accounting, or learning about products offered by State Farm. After project work is completed for the day, I move on to setting up insurance and financial reviews for existing clients. All of this work is permeated with service calls from existing clients. I often find myself having three to four things going on at once so time management is critical.

Course work

I have applied many of the courses taken at UW Oshkosh. They include Quantitative Business Analysis (QBA), Human Resources, Accounting, English, and almost every Finance course. QBA has by far been the course that helps me add value to the organization. I am able to use Microsoft Excel to analyze revenues, expenses, and client data in order to better allocate our resources. Human Resources taught me that if you are not 100% sure about something involving HR you should consult someone who is. Keeping organized is critical in the Marketing Services Intern position and all of my classes have helped me perfect this skill.

Internship Spotlight: John Flanigan, Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC

John Flanigan, Finance

 

My name is John Flanigan I plan on graduating in December 2012 with a Marketing degree. I’m currently working at Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC as a Marketing/Scheduling Manager. Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC has been serving the Fox Valley since 2004, and is one of the top companies in its field

How I Obtained my Internship

I have been working at Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC since 2004 when the company first opened. I have always felt at home with the company so when I told my boss I needed to complete an internship for the College of Business, he created a position for me with more duties and responsibilities.

The decision was easy for me to make, Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC has always respected me as an employee and I didn’t want to pass the opportunity to “move up” in the company. When given the new position at Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC, I also thought I would be able to use the knowledge I have learned from my education to better the business.

My Duties and Responsibilities

When first discussing my new position with my boss, he asked me “What do you want to get out of this internship”? I told him I wanted to experience what it was like to run a small business, and I wanted some face-to-face interaction with customers.

A typical day for me starts at 6 A.M. when I arrive at our shop. I need to organize all of the crews with the proper equipment, and I also need to make a schedule for each crew to follow that day. After that is done, my boss and I will then meet with potential customers and give estimates and quotes. I end my day back at the shop going over what jobs crews completed during the day. I usually will leave the shop roughly around 4 P.M.

I also have some tasks that I do on a weekly and monthly basis that I need to find time in my schedule to do. Those things consist of balancing the company’s accounts and going over some of the companies goals with my boss. I’m also always on call throughout the work day to aid crews with any problems that present themselves such as equipment breaking, customer questions, or anything else that may present itself.

My Future

After I finish my schooling I’m going to look around for a job that best benefits my family and allows me to use my education to the fullest. I would love for Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC to offer me a job with roughly the same job description as I have now. If they don’t, I will continue to work with Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC until I find a job that benefits my family and I to the fullest.

Internship Spotlight: Kimberly Fenske, First State Bank

Kimberly Fenske, Finance

My name is Kimberly Fenske and I work at First State Bank as a Consumer Banking Assistant. First State Bank is an independent community bank which was first built in 1933. There are six branches located in Waupaca, Outagamie, and Shawano counties.  Our main branch location is in New London which is my primary working location. However, I also travel to the other branches in order to fill in while other Consumer Banking Assistants are on vacation.

How I Obtained the Position

I have worked at First State Bank for about four years now.  When I was in high school, I was a co-op student and began my banking career as a teller. After high school, I was able to maintain my teller position while I attended college.

When I was a junior in college, I became a Loan Servicing Assistant. After one year of working in the loans department, I informed Human Resources that I needed to complete an internship in order to satisfy the College of Business requirement. Human Resources immediately started making arrangements in order to fulfill that requirement. After accepting the internship offer as a Consumer Banking Assistant, my training started May 21st.

My Roles and Responsibilities

As a Consumer Banking Assistant, I work with customers to both open and close accounts, complete maintenance on account, start the loan renewal process, complete projects for Senior Management, etc. Each and every day is different when working with customers and their financials.  Whether a customer wants to dispute a transaction on their account or close their Certificate of Deposit, every transaction is different.

Challenges

Since all banks have countless regulations to follow, I am extremely cautious about following compliance policies. Also, working at a bank requires a high degree of professionalism with little margin for error.  Accuracy is key to being successful and gaining the customer’s trust.

When I first started my new position, I was so nervous about making a mistake and it was affecting my efficiency. A coworker confronted me and said, “There is no mistake that can’t be corrected.” This statement helped me gain confidence and I am now more proficient in completing my job responsibilities. Instead of worrying about what mistakes could be made, I focus on completing the job tasks the way I was trained and gaining new knowledge along the way.

Internship Spotlight: Kenny Dornburg, FreightConnections

 

Kenny Dornburg, Finance

 

 

Internship Search

My name is Kenny Dornburg and I am an intern at FreightConnections in Menasha, WI.  My official title, at the internship, is a Finance/Strategy/Operations intern.  I found this internship through the emails I am sent by TitanJobs, through the University of Wisconsin.

When I first started searching for an internship I looked closer to home, Port Washington, WI.  I wanted be a part of a small company that was looking for a determined college intern.  When I came across FreightConnections I found out that it was exactly what I was looking for.

Internship Beginning

When the President of the company emailed me to set up an internship, I was nervous.  The fact that someone with that high of a status was going to be interviewing me put even more pressure on me.  Once I walked into the office and met him, all of the pressure seemed to disappear.  He introduced me to the employees and I knew this would be a perfect fit for me.

The first week I was there was all training.  I learned how to use Apple products as well as about the entire freight industry.  There is a lot more activity, than I previously thought, that goes on during every delivery.

Present

Even though it is summer, I am still a part-time intern because I am taking a summer class that takes up my morning hours.  I still have plenty of time to finish my work at the office.

On a typical day, I get there at 1 P.M. and get to work right away.  Since FreightConnections is a new online company, I have been doing a lot of quality assurance on the site.  This is a crucial part to the business because our site is the device our customers will be using the most.

They have given me projects to do as well.  I have made spreadsheets for the marketing department which included market research data.  Another project was a spreadsheet on the potential customers.  I recorded information for over 100 customers for the sales department to use.

My favorite part about my projects is that I learned how to use Google Apps.  I never knew about this applications and it is one of the most amazing technologies I have used.  There are some features that I would like them to change, but other than those I enjoy it.

Future

I believe that my future at FreightConnections is certain.  They have already told me that if I continue to do a good job they will not hesitate to hire me once I graduate.  I am hoping to intern here again during the school year, which will keep me up to date with the company.

I would love to stay with this company because I enjoy the tasks and projects they assign me as well as everyone I work with.  The work environment is perfect for me.

Internship Spotlight: Chad Durkee, Oshkosh Corporation

 

Chad Durkee, Accounting and Finance

 

Oshkosh Corporation: Overview and Background

Oshkosh Corporation is a top performing company in manufacturing, designing, and marketing a wide array of specialty vehicles, access equipment, and truck bodies. Oshkosh Corporation has been around since 1917, and what started as an early pioneer of four-wheel drive technology, has grown into something much more than that.  Worldwide, Oshkosh Corporation currently employs roughly 13,100 people.  Oshkosh Corporation is mostly known for its defense segment, which is where most of the income comes from.  The defense segment accounts for 57% of the company’s operations and Oshkosh Corporation has been doing business with the Department of Defense for over 80 years.

 

My Role

As a treasury intern, I am part of a small treasury department located in Corporate Finance.  Daily, I have many tasks which have strict time deadlines throughout the day.  I am mainly responsible for reconciling bank accounts, which includes verifying incoming and outgoing wire and ACH payments.  I also post foreign exchange rates company-wide for everyone’s use, and compile a spreadsheet throughout the day.  I am responsible for funding the cash necessary to pay our employees daily and wire funds to foreign employees.  At the conclusion of the day, I leave a daily debt message for senior management, which includes both the CFO and CEO of the company.

At month end, I also assist in creating financial reports and doing fee analyses of our bank accounts.  Lately, I also have been given special projects to complete when I have extra time.  Currently, I am working with people in other departments to change payment methods for disbursements we presently make, which will reduce our monthly fee charges.

 

My Advice

The earlier you think about your future, the better off you will be. Career services and titan jobs are two great resources which are available for you.  Post your resume to titan jobs as early as possible, and update it as frequently as possible.  When I gained this internship with Oshkosh Corporation I was a sophomore here at UW-Oshkosh, not actively pursuing an internship.  I became aware of the position solely because I had my resume on titan jobs and was notified that I qualified for the position.  Also, attend the career fairs on campus.  You may be uncomfortable with the thought of talking directly to strangers, but networking is a great way to get your foot in the door at one of the prestigious companies at the fair.

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