In the Summer of 2023, I had the privilege of being a Product Management and Development (PMDP) Intern at Traveler’s Insurance. In this program you are exposed to a wide variety of departments and get a snapshot of the insurance industry! I gained hard skills in excel and data analytics and soft skills such as interpersonal communication, time management, presenting skills, and collaboration.
I’m currently a Program Development and Marketing Intern with a social media concentration at the UConn Center for Career Development. Here I have been able to develop hard skills in adobe while also growing in soft skills such as time management, creativity, and organization. The foundation I have gained will stick with me into my future career. Come along with me through the process of getting the job at Travelers because of my work at the Center for Career Development!
How Did I Get Started?
Before getting the job, I was in my junior year and working at the Center for Career Development as a Career Consultant and Services Intern. I also had experience in customer service and childcare but had yet to gain experience in the corporate world. I had recently declared my major in Communications and had a Business minor. I wasn’t, and if I’m being honest still am not, quite sure on the exact career I wanted, but I did know I wanted to be in the business world. As I looked to the Summer and my last year in college my goal was to explore new interests and gain as much experience as possible. This was accomplished through my internship at travelers and the Center for Career development.
Getting the internship wasn’t always easy and straightforward. I had applied to multiple internships and had to wait to hear back from each. I found some on Handshake, some on LinkedIn, and others directly on company websites. Originally, I had applied to the Travelers HR Leadership Development program and while applying for that found PMDP on their website. It’s good to search around because you never know what opportunities you’ll find.
From there I was moved through to the interview process for PMDP!
What was the Application Process Like?
The interview process was intimidating at first; it was a multi-round interview process that I had never gone through before. I was given application and behavioral questions that if I had not practiced with before, I would not have been prepared to answer. The way I prepared was with the Center for Career Development! I met with career coaches throughout my internship search process, narrowing down what roles and companies I would be interested in. When I was ready to submit applications, I went to multiple resume critiques and had any cover letters I had to write looked over. (These are separate appointments! To get a cover letter or CV critiqued go to a career coaching appointment!) Once I had gotten through to the interview process, I went back again for a practice interview. I took notes on what I wanted my answers to sound like and made a list of experiences I could draw on during the interview. Thankfully the interviews were virtual, and I could have the notes with me during the process.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking and always take preparation, but once you’re sitting in that chair answering questions it can be hard to not let the pressure get to you. I like to remind myself that the interviewer has been in your shoes before and that they are a person just like you! They are someone you can relate to and be personable with, especially if you find out you have something in common. The “tell me about yourself” or tell me something that’s not on your resumé” questions can be a great opener for this. I remember in my first-round interview with Travelers, the interviewer and I talked about book clubs and a mutual author we liked for the last ten minutes! It’s good to humanize yourself and present yourself as someone people will want to work with! You are more than your resume and the career you go into! It’s also important to make sure they are people you are going to want to work with as well. Ask questions about the company culture and day to day to see if it’ll be a good fit for you!
Invest in Yourself
The internship was the best experience I could have asked for. It gave me exposure to the corporate and insurance world and allowed me to make connections with people. I carried a professional and a personal relationship outside of work with a lot of the other interns, even after the program finished. I know I will be able to continue to develop these relationships when I return in the Summer of 2024 for the Full-time program!
Internships can be intimidating but are well worth the effort. They open doors to full-time opportunities and allow you to develop hard and soft skills in a real-world setting. Whether it’s here at UConn or somewhere else, take the opportunity to invest in yourself and gain experience!