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Since 2018, Risk Strategies has embraced experiential learning by sponsoring a hands-on business internship program. Our internship provides purposeful experiences, skill development, networking opportunities, and meaningful career training in the insurance industry. Each year, Risk Strategies enhances the company's goal to be a destination workplace for future business leaders by hosting a ten-week internship program. This summer’s program includes an in-person summit enabling cross-functional peer opportunities, networking with leaders, and professional development coaching.
As we welcome our Summer 2023 interns, we take a moment to reflect on what makes our highly successful internship program thrive. We’ve shaped our approach yearly by identifying and prioritizing internship gold standards based on feedback from previous programs that benefit both our organization and the interns we’re privileged to host.
Each fall, Talent Acquisition launches a company-wide effort allowing business leaders an opportunity to learn more about the internship program and hosting expectations. To qualify as a host, leaders must demonstrate the expected impact the intern will have, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful business-focused experiences. The business selection process involves meeting strict criteria. This includes identifying the two lead internal resources responsible for the success of each respective intern's experience throughout the summer engagement.
Selecting candidates can be a formidable task given the substantial influx of resumes, often reaching up to 5,000 applicants. Although our national reach enables us to attract interns from all over the US, we undertake a meticulous screening process to identify the most suitable candidates. The focus this summer is to identify a diverse slate of candidates commutable to their hosting office in order to provide a critical on-site workplace experience.
Our formal summer program has invested in our own company’s future, providing firsthand experience to college students considering an exciting and rewarding career in insurance. The program offers paid compensation to drive talent to a fulfilling career path. Interns are afforded the opportunity to be immersed across the company with alignments ranging from P&C, Benefits, Claims, and Management Liability departments to corporate functions such as IT and Marketing. This exposure enables interns to gain insightful experience and understanding into the world of insurance brokerage.
Leadership development sessions are a critical component of the program promoting over 40 scheduled gatherings to engage with specialty leaders in dynamic settings. These sessions are meant to be transformative experiences, inspiring interns to inquire about industry culture, impact, and its future.
Additionally, interns have empowering opportunities to build confidence by interacting with our Chairman and CEO at various intervals during the summer.
Throughout the internship program, Risk Strategies prioritizes performance management for an enhanced learning experience. We realize how valuable feedback can be at any stage of a career, especially early on. At the conclusion of the ten-week period, the CEO and CHRO personally meet with interns to evaluate their overall experience and discuss any areas for future program considerations and enhancements. The interns are also encouraged to share their feedback through a variety of surveys during their time with us.
The pinnacle of this year's program will be an in-person Internship Summit. The event will bring together interns from across the US, allowing them to interact with one another while providing a platform to communicate with C-suite leaders throughout the stacked agenda. The Summit will also include valuable sessions where former interns, now employees, share their career journeys. The goal of the Summit is to foster a sense of community and provide interns with a broader perspective of the organization and industry.
At the program’s culmination, the interns showcase how they spent their summer with all leaders in attendance at a signature event. This offers all interns a unique opportunity to demonstrate their personal reflections and valuable perspectives derived from their own experiences.
We are committed to our internship program as we believe in cultivating the next generation of industry professionals. With the right intentions and organizational support, any company can establish a thriving internship program. To create a valuable experience for both interns and the organization, a successful internship program requires the following six key elements:
Our internship program holds immense significance as it plays a pivotal role in developing and preparing the emerging generation of workers. Such opportunities provide invaluable experiences that bridge the gap between academic learning and practical application. This commitment encourages interns to expand skillsets, cultivate industry expertise, and advance their personal development.
Internships empower students to make informed career choices, build robust professional networks, and enhance their employability. For employers, we welcome the fresh perspective on our business processes and benefit from their knowledge and experiences.
A great internship program identifies and develops top talent, cultivating a skilled and capable workforce for your company’s future. By investing in the growth of emerging professionals, we lay the foundation for our future industry leaders.
Want to learn more?
Find Lorraine on LinkedIn, here.
About the author
With over 20 years of insurance industry experience, Lorraine Finello has built the internship program at Risk Strategies. She started with five interns back in 2018 and revamped the in-office program to an all-virtual format in 2020. Her strong belief in home-growing future employees through internship best practices is the foundation for her company’s commitment to the program.