Rainier Scholars Martin Nguyen and Saedah Ham recently won the Liberty Mutual Insurance Video Challenge, an annual nationwide contest to create the most creative and compelling video outlining the benefits of interning at Safeco. Martin, a Cohort II college scholar and New York University rising sophomore, reflects on his internship and how it is helping him chose his path forward academically and professionally.
For the second consecutive summer, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a Liberty Mutual intern at the Seattle Safeco Insurance office. Working for Liberty was a great experience, providing me wonderful insight on the business world, and more specifically, the insurance market. At Liberty they truly strive to help you find your interests and determine how you can pursue them within the company. Although I worked in the Agency Distribution and Field Management department this summer, my manager often suggested that I get exposed to the work of other departments to give me a more well-rounded experience. And as cliché as it sounds, I believe the greatest aspect about being an intern is the opportunity to learn and the room for growth. As hard as I tried to do my best work at all times, my managers never expected me to be great at everything and of course I wasn’t. I made a bunch of mistakes, but that’s what I think makes a great internship experience, making mistakes, learning from them and challenging yourself with new experiences.
Entering my sophomore year in college leaves me at an interesting crossroad in my life. I’m at the point where I have to decide what specific field of work I want to hone in on, which is a bit stressful. More times than not, students including myself, assume productive internships have to fall into the category of work that they are studying or are looking to study. It seems counter-intuitive to waste time and effort doing something you don’t think you may have interest in. I’ve spent my past 4 summers working at a variety of internships, and I would be lying if I said I enjoyed every single one of them. But at least now I know specific areas and careers that aren’t a perfect fit for me. The value of an internship isn’t necessarily how perfectly the experience relates to your studies, it’s greater in the grand scheme of things. It’s life experience.