Jacob Dean ’20 State Farm Insurance – On behalf of myself and my fellow WLAIP participants, I would like to begin by thanking the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for funding the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program. Throughout the summer going into my freshman year of college, I knew this summer of 2017 was going to be one to remember as I was one of thirty others to be granted the opportunity of interning at a place of my choosing. Early on, I chose to intern at a local State Farm Insurance Agency in my hometown of Brazil, Indiana.
Going into the summer of my sophomore year I couldn’t wait to begin my internship at State Farm and learn all the ins and outs of the insurance and risk management world. Almost immediately I was able to experience a licensed agent make an abundance of sales from simple auto policies to life policies. Within the first week I was also able to experience a financial endeavor as Jenni Marietta, the owner of the office I intern at, helped a client save and invest money as she is also licensed in financial planning with a series 6 and 63 license.
Within the office, I handle most of the retention needs. Normally I will make several calls throughout the day and make sure everyone’s policies are in order and see if there are any changes that need to be made or simply answer any questions they may have. Along with this, I am in charge of setting up the appointments to renew clients’ policies. I will pull up the agent’s schedules and place appointments throughout the day for clients to come in and renew their policies when they are getting close to expiring.
Overall, I have had so much fun communicating with an array of individuals day in and day out. Learning how the office functions has really opened my eyes. Never would I ever have imagined that so many components go into making a business operate smoothly. One thing that really caught me off guard was how complex and difficult some of the systems they use were. The first time I looked at a screen while an employee was getting a quote for a policy, I was mind blown by all the jumbled numbers on the screen. I had no idea what I was looking at! Over the course of the month I have learned simple things such as speaking to clients in a professional manner as well as learning terminology regarding insurance. More importantly, I have learned how to get my foot in the door of a business to open opportunities for myself later in my career as a hopeful business man, and none of this would have been possible without the help of the Mellon Foundation and the WLAIP.