UMD interns were ranked #1 nationally out of more than 3,000 interns for sales production by Northwestern Mutual.
One of the ways that Northwestern Mutual measures the success of its interns is on a production-per-school basis. From the 3,000-plus interns from nearly 400 college campuses nationally, UMD interns were ranked #1 for sales production at the end of last summer’s peak internship season. While that may sound impressive, add to that the fact that the national ranking also includes five years’ worth of stats from full-time representatives who were former interns.
In the past three years, 39 LSBE students have interned at Northwestern Mutual – Minneapolis, with offices located in Minneapolis, Edina, Minnetonka, Woodbury, Duluth and St. Cloud. Of the 39 students, 14 have become full-time representatives after their internship. A few students from UMD’s College of Liberal Arts and the Swenson College of Science and Engineering have also interned at Northwestern Mutual –
“LSBE students typically have broad exposure to marketing, sales, and finance as part of their business degree studies, and all of those areas are very relevant to what our college financial representatives do on a daily basis while here,” said Brady Lindemann, Northwestern Mutual managing director.
Lindemann, who is a 2010 LSBE alum with a marketing major, has worked at Northwestern Mutual since 2012.
“I took a number of business classes that really helped me learn and develop a skill set around working with people.” said Lindemann. “Selling classes with John Kratz and Steve Castleberry, ‘Consumer Behavior’ with Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Marketing with Ahmed Maamoun, and working on an SBI [School-to-Business Initiative] project with a local small business—Frost River—were all very impactful. The Financial Planning and Sales majors were not available when I was at UMD, but I am really glad to see they are offered now as they teach very impactful skill sets and knowledge for our industry.”
Andrea Decker, junior Finance major, completed an internship at Northwestern Mutual – Minneapolis this past summer. She enjoyed it so much she plans to go back to the firm this next summer and then hopes to work there full time after graduation.
“I loved how I got to do the job that a full-time representative would be doing, so I got real experience,” said Decker. “I enjoyed learning more about finance and how it applies to the real world, and I loved being in a fun team environment. It was one of the best experiences that I have had.”
Her first two years of education at LSBE readied her for her internship. “Going into the internship, I had learned from my LSBE classes the basics of what finance looks like. You don’t have to know everything about finance to do well in the internship position.”
Stacey Jamsa, a senior with a Marketing and Professional Sales double major, has excelled at Northwestern Mutual – Duluth so much that after her first internship was completed in summer 2020, she was invited back in the fall and again this semester. However, she chose not to rejoin the firm this spring.
“My classes at LSBE have taught me how to be confident in myself by always learning new things. As students, we are pushed to do things outside of our comfort zones! What helped me a lot was learning to tell stories through John Kratz’s ‘Fundamentals of Selling’ course.
“I really enjoy the culture of the Duluth office. I get along with everyone, and they always are willing to give advice and the tools to help you learn. Everyone wants the best for each other.”
Jamsa’s plans after graduation are not yet definitive, but she knows that her career will involve “doing something with sales.” Perhaps at Northwestern Mutual.