National Life has a robust internship program. There are at least 40 students from colleges and universities around the country who spend the summer on our Vermont and Dallas campuses.
They get an opportunity to learn all aspects of the business in jobs with real responsibilities. They also work together in teams on projects identified by different departments.
By John M. Turner, University of Vermont
It’s common knowledge that having an internship is a strong first step on the career ladder, which is why we work hard to ensure every student has an opportunity to intern.
Last summer 80% of our business school students interned, and for Dan Fahey, his internship with nationally renowned financial services company National Life Group, ended up with an company award and employment offer.
Growing up in Massachusetts, Dan knew he wanted to get into business, “both my parents are in business and I always wanted to follow in their footsteps.” He quickly found his academic path at UVM with a double concentration in accounting and finance, and a minor in environmental studies.
In the summer of his sophomore year Dan first interned in Boston, and as he found he enjoyed communicating face-to-face with clients, this year applied to National Life Group based in Montpelier, to work in a position with one of their subsidiaries, Equity Services Inc., who provide broker/dealer services.
Dan was accepted into the ten-week program and joined a cohort of 40 interns, 6 of whom were from UVM, working every day directly with clients and National Life representatives servicing retirement accounts. In addition, the interns were assigned a second project, which in Dan’s case was leading an intern team to transform the essential operational documentation used to manage processes across the business unit.
“We took all of the information, some of which was out-of-date or no longer needed, updated all of it and standardized the formatting, then used Sharepoint to create a searchable knowledge base.” Instead of the information residing on employee desktops, the site developed by Dan, is accessed over the internet and is now used by a large number of employees.
Towards the end of the summer, all of the intern groups presented the results of their projects to senior management, and Dan’s team won the group award; and Dan won the Intern of the Year award.
Matt Riley, Director of Talent Acquisition for National Life said “National Life Group chose Daniel Fahey as our Intern of the Year for his outstanding contributions over the course of the summer program. Daniel was always a consummate professional with a smile on his face, engaged and always eager to learn.”
He continued “almost immediately, he jumped into the workflow, learned policies and procedures and created documentation that, in the end, improved our processes overall. Not only did he do an outstanding job as an individual contributor, he was a leader and key member of the winning Intern Project team. Daniel is working for us on a part time basis through the Fall and we’re thrilled to have him! In fact, we’ve made him an offer for full time employment upon graduation.”
While Dan is thrilled how his internship turned out, he feels the lessons he learned are invaluable. “The award highlighted the fact that I led the group and not so much told people what to do, but listened to what they wanted to do and that’s what really worked. I really liked the role, and I can see myself doing that in the future, managing people.”
Dan also realized the value of an internship, “I can’t stress how important it is for students to intern. Getting out there and having that experience, being able to see what the real working world is like before graduating is enormously beneficial.”
Congratulations Dan on your achievements, we’re looking forward to hearing about your next successful career chapter.