A spring break vacation spent with Northwestern Mutual

Andrew Zasowski

Recently, Fortune magazine published its annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The usual suspects appeared on the list such as Edward Jones, its second straight year at the top, along with Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and Ernst and Young. Aside from these corporate powerhouses, the companies that caught my eye were those with a commitment to Philadelphia and its surrounding areas. These local companies include two representing Delaware, MBNA and W.L. Gore, ranked 22nd and 27th, respectively. Merck was the lone company based in the Garden State.

Pennsylvania was well-represented by three financial firms, SEI Investments, The Vanguard Group and Northwestern Mutual.

So, while many of you were living it up in Fort Lauderdale, or gracing the Girls Gone Wild video camera in Cancun, I was stuck here in the cold. The one saving grace for my spring break was the interview I had with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. During my research of the company and interview I was able to learn a lot about its first-class internship opportunities. In 2002, the Princeton Review ranked the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network internship fifth-best in the country right behind MTV.

What sets the Northwestern internship apart from others are a flexible work schedule, state licensing opportunities, excellent networking and business opportunities and, finally, the chance to learn from the best. For the past 20 years, Northwestern Mutual has been selected Fortune magazine’s “Most Admired Company” in the insurance industry, beating out competitors such as New York Life and Prudential.

According to the company’s literature, about one-third of all former Northwestern interns contract full-time with the company upon graduation and contracted based on their performance as interns. The company also claims to look for a demonstrated devotion to sales, to teamwork and to a personal drive to expand.

And while income may important while serving as an intern, the post-internship figures are quite impressive. Ten years after interning, full-time employees have earned salaries up to $385,000.

For those who are interested in internship opportunities with Northwestern, the simplest way to find out more information is to log onto the Career Services website and use the Experience search option, or to go to the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network homepage at www.nmfn.com.