Last summer, senior Zachary Taras interned at American International Group, a finance and insurance company headquartered in New York. Through this role, he grew professionally and personally, developing a range of skills that can be difficult to practice in an exclusively academic setting.
Zachary was able to flex his Microsoft Excel skills to manage new policies. He was also involved in assessing prospective clients and was able to use client history to reduce or account for the level of risk accepted with different policies.
“The insurance industry is much broader than one can imagine, with endless opportunities,” he said.
One of his broader projects included reconstructing the internal appetite guide for five different departments ranging from healthcare to architecture. Insurance companies use appetite guides to identify and assess risk.
Soft skills — like networking and communication — were a key part of Zachary’s success in his internship.
“This experience also allowed me to perfect my networking skills which are imperative when working in a corporate role,” Zachary said.
Communication plays a valuable role in all stages of academic and professional life. The hands-on practice internships provide can give a student long-lasting confidence in further networking situations.
Before his internship was over, Zachary and two other interns from separate office locations collaborated on a project. Their goal was to create an account for another business, which was ultimately presented to the executives of all American International Group’s offices through a digital platform. The project was a success with the originally written policy being close to the final pricing.
Zachary advises anyone who might be considering a similar experience, “do not be afraid to make mistakes, and ask as many questions as possible.”