My name is Austin O’Neill, and I am a senior double-majoring in International Relations and Economics with a minor in Arabic. I completed an internship at Guardian Life Insurance Company of America this semester in addition to my previous full-time internship last summer. My position is in Disability Insurance individual markets under the Product Strategy team.
I originally chose to intern at Guardian Life because they have a large presence in my hometown of Pittsfield, MA, offering a great opportunity very close to home over the summer. I continued to intern with Guardian Life when the Product Strategy team asked me to stay on during the school year to assist with a variety of projects, which indicated that I am considered a valued member of the team.
The department focuses on many different areas of disability insurance products, including research and development, competitive research, product training, filing, and support. I had the chance to assist across every responsibility, providing me with a broad spectrum of learning opportunities. My main responsibilities were preparing files for state insurance agencies, altering documents and content with the rebranding team, and creating PowerPoints and spreadsheets for presentations by the executive team.
One interesting project I completed was designing the PowerPoint for a new product pitch presented by the executive team. The product was considered revolutionary for the market, and I was tasked to express the characteristics of the product. This project was exciting as it had real implications for the highest-ranking officers of Disability, and it allowed me to showcase skills I have learned at the internship and through classes at Seton Hall.
I found a great balance in building skills between my internship and course studies. I became very familiar with Excel, which is a skill I have utilized at school with assignments such as my senior thesis, as well as data collection for the Product Strategy team. While working on product filing assignments for Guardian Life, I received exposure to Adobe Pro, which is important for many different business operations, but was also applicable as a document editing tool for my studies. Additionally, it was interesting to work on the front-end and back-end of rebranding for a large company. I edited and updated documents, and I tested webpages and programming software for consumer friendliness. The skills I learned from these duties are numerous and will help me in my future career.
My internship at Guardian Life helped me develop in both my professional and academic life. I networked across all business areas and may seek full-time opportunities at Guardian Life after graduation. Even as a Fortune 250 company, Guardian Life still seeks to receive input from all its employees, from interns to executive teams. For these reasons, I would suggest others to seek internships at Guardian Life for learning and development in the private sector.
My name is Ahmet Yoruklu, and I am a senior studying Diplomacy and International Relations with a double major in Economics and a minor in Russian. I am currently interning at the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact, whose mission is to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want. Since I have been interested in multi-stakeholder collaboration between the private and non-business sector for development and sustainability across the world, I can’t think of a better fit for my personal development in this space.
As I work on the Client Engagement team here at the UN Global Compact, I get to interact with our business participants on various topics; from communication on annual progress reports to post-event follow-up campaigns. In addition, I conduct rigorous research on prospective participants and assist my supervisor in executing recruitment procedures efficiently.
What I enjoy the most about my internship is that I have the privilege of learning about the world’s largest companies and MNC’s as part of my work. It is an outstanding experience to witness how businesses align their operations and business strategies with global goals for a more sustainable world. Moreover, the opportunity to attend flagship events on different themes, such as the Commission on the Status of Women as well as the SDG Business Forum during my internship period at the UN Headquarters is certainly an invaluable experience.
When it comes to my studies at Seton Hall, what I do here on the Client Engagement team is very much related to Diplomacy and International Relations as well as Economics. Since we are a multi-stakeholder organization, we communicate with numerous entities from all over the world which requires a certain knowledge of diplomatic language and cultural awareness. In terms of diplomacy, I am certainly reaping the rewards of what I have learned studying diplomacy as I execute on my tasks, whether writing a report or utilizing critical and rational approaches during decision-making processes. Combining my knowledge of diplomacy with economics has created the best foundation for me to understand why for-profit entities take certain actions in the global economy and how I can come up with innovative ideas and solutions to achieve our agenda at the UN Global Compact. Both diplomacy and economics prepared me to be more resourceful when it comes to communicating with private sector companies and engaging them with our organization.
As I gain new experiences with this internship, it has helped me become more realistic about my career goals in terms of what path to follow in the near future. Through the experiences I add to my skillset, such as CRM management, strategic partnerships, and corporate communications, I am becoming more prepared than ever to pursue my goals in the sustainability space.
I would definitely recommend this internship opportunity to anyone who would like to gain hands-on experience in private and non-profit sector collaboration. The UN Global Compact provides an outstanding environment for those who are passionate about fulfilling global goals via local business in every part of the world – from the center of the world, New York City.