In April, I was offered the opportunity, along with two other students, to work with The Hartford Insurance Group on the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) Talent Competition. Members of The Hartford served as our coaches and helped guide us through the competition process. Leading up to the competition, The Hartford invested a lot of time and various other resources that would contribute to our success.
Our first experience as a team was to attend a casual dinner with our coaches, to foster the bond that would be needed for prolonged success. Since we started towards the end of the Spring 2019 semester, we had various meetings throughout the summer, to ensure our team was on track to present a well-rounded case in September. Flights and accommodations for the competition conference in Atlanta, Georgia were taken care of by The Hartford.
Once we arrived at the NAAIA Conference, The Hartford truly outdid themselves. There were various other companies in the industry at the conference, but they made sure our team had exposure, specifically to professionals within their company from all around the country. We were provided a private dinner, where we were able to network with a lot of the professionals and really learn more about the industry. Also, at the conference, our coaches made sure we got the most out of the event, regardless of the competition’s outcome.
Working with a corporate sponsor over a six-month span truly allowed me to gain a different perspective on Corporate America. It is not as scary as it seems from the outside. These companies want to see you succeed as much as you do. After this amazing experience, I would definitely recommend other students to seek out opportunities to work with companies directly, like this. This was something that could have never been achieved in a classroom.
By: Rita Tsafack-Tonleu