I Quit My Northwestern Mutual Internship after 10 Days.
I quit my internship at Northwestern Mutual after only 10 days. The title pretty much sums it up, but Let me elaborate. Since I'm only a sophomore in college and neither of my parents has ever worked in finance (my mom is a teacher and my dad served in the military for 25+ years), my road to IB will look very different from that of many others. To add on, I do not go to a small school, but it is not exactly a target school. What I'm trying to say is that I accept whatever internship opportunities that present themselves. I currently have experience (Internships) in two different fields—accounting and financial advising—in an effort to gain as much experience as possible before entering the workforce (hopefully in IB). But these are not, these are local companies near my hometown of only 200-300 employees. Basically I will take what opportunities I can get, especially being young and trying to get work experience.
But fast forward to the middle of August, I get a Linkedin notification from a “Northwestern Mutual College Recruiter”, I have never been more curious as to see why a Northwestern Mutual (NM) Recruiter has reached out to me. I mean who wouldn’t be excited to be 19 years old and not only receive a notification from a fortune 500 company but a company that is actually ranked in the top 100. My interests piqued as after chatting with what seemed to be a bot somehow scored me an interview the next week later. I mean I was in the big leagues now, getting interviewed for a Top Company in the States? You bet your ass I was excited.
The Next week rolls around and I am more than excited for my interview (Zoom). Wearing my Hugo Boss suit with my Shinola Watch I felt like I could take on anything coming my way. I mean I had to be special right? A top fortune 500 company is looking in my direction! Turns out I was interviewing for the insurance side of NM... Interview went great, I was kinda puzzled why they asked me if I knew my left from right, or if I could count to 10... I am kidding, but the interview was very easy. Fast Forward a week I get an email saying “Congratulations… etc.” I was destined to start My internship at NM.
Early September rolls around and I am ready for my first day of the job (Reminder I am doing this while I am still pursuing my bachelors) Our instructor, or internship coordinator tells us we have to study and pass a comprehensive insurance exam to get our Insurance license. I put it all together in that time of only being on zoom for 15 minutes… we’re going to be selling life insurance. I finally understand why I am important. They don’t want me, They want my contact list and the names of people I know. I feel like I am not emphasizing this enough, our sole purpose is to sell life insurance. One of the prep assignments they had us do was a “Project 100”. A list of close relatives and friends that we are supposed to reach out to once we get our license to sell shitty life insurance.
I will put this out there. Anyone who sells life insurance or overall works in insurance. I promise you I respect what you do and will not judge how you earn your nickel. But NM hires these Young, Naive, Gullible College students who they call “College Financial Representatives” and make them feel so powerful and give them a chance to put a big company like Northwestern Mutual’ on their resume just to get a contact list to sell Life Insurance. Oh and by the way these positions earn no income. We’re not paid weekly or bi-weekly but by commission. So if I call up and guilt trip my family members and say “Hey, I know we haven’t talked in a while but how’s your financial situation?” or “Congratulations on the new baby… have you heard of Northwestern Mutual's whole life insurance?” Basically, As an intern after the first month, it is your sole responsibility to cold-call hundreds of numbers to sell life insurance. Where commission is a small percent... and anyone who knows how premiums work in insurance know that to be splitting that money after doing all the work is bullshit. It kinda felt like a.
Listen, I’m only 19 so what the hell do I know? But I will say I am very mad at myself that it took me all of 10 days to quit and not sooner. As someone who takes what he can get for internship opportunities and has worked 2 already in different fields, the most I have learned so far in my small amount of time is that NM was a terrible Internship. Again I will put out that the mentors we had were great people and very nice and understanding but what the internship stood for and the ideology that was placed is just morally wrong. Preying on college students for a contact list to sell your life insurance.
I apologize for the long read. I just wish I had done a little more research into what the internship entailed. I blame myself equally. To those wondering, NM made us pay for the test ($200) on our own, we were promised reimbursement after the internship but still… to sum it up, they prey on college students to sell their life insurance, we aren’t paid and it’s all a small percent of the premium. I hope everyone has a great Saturday! And let me know if I made the right choice or just didn’t see the internship through.