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Combined Insurance Hosts 4th Annual Millennial Panel Development Session for Summer Interns

Every May marks the beginning of a new intern season at Combined Insurance. An internship allows college students to gain experience in their perspective careers before applying for full-time positions in the workforce. With that said, each cohort brings in a set of fresh faces and diverse backgrounds, who are ready to tackle the new projects handed to them for the summer.

This year, Jennifer Muszczynski, Talent Management Specialist, facilitated our Millennial Panel which featured former interns who have transitioned into full-time employees, as well as current emerging talents. From this development session, our millennial employees held an engaging discussion about their opportunities, challenges, and taking charge of their own careers.

This panel included:

  • Matt McFarland, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Marcos Mendoza, Trainer, Sales
  • Samantha Wozniak, Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Ivy Qian, Actuarial Analyst
  • Ellen Traquair, Manager, Data Analytics

On being an intern

Our panelists all agreed that finding an internship has already helped the interns take some burden off their shoulders. They are already a step ahead with understanding what to expect as a full-time employee. Echoed by the rest of the panel, Matt McFarland, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, emphasized the importance of soft skills. He stated, “the soft skills you gained from your internship (i.e. collaboration, communication, time management) is priceless and will facilitate your career advancement as it distinguishes you from other applicants”.

Be adaptable, flexible, and open minded

Millennials should be flexible in their career trajectory. The panelists stressed that nothing is set in stone for your career path. Having an open mindset and flexibility in your next steps will open you up to more opportunities when you apply for jobs as your interests, technology, and the workforce changes. Be open, but diligent to any opportunity that comes your way.


Advice to your younger self

One question that the interns asked of the panelists was what advice they would give to their younger selves. A consensus from the employees was to take advantage of every opportunity and own your career. It is up to you to decide what you want to do. Take initiative for your own interests and volunteer for more responsibilities as you build credibility and trust among your coworkers. Having a good boss does not mean he or she should build your career for you. At the end of the day, whether you succeed or not is up to you.

Personal advice to the summer interns

  • Push yourself and get out of your comfort zone in college - This will help you with self-improvement and gain knowledge for the future; once you start your professional career, it’ll be tough to take on these extra opportunities to learn.
  • Anxiety over student loans - College debt is an ongoing worry for many interns. One positive perspective of this is to view your education as an investment. You are betting on yourself for the long run; the further you educate yourself, the higher your ceiling is for job offers.
  • Interning at Combined – As an intern, you get to explore your passions, so try new things! Discuss with your peers and managers what you would like to accomplish in the three months you are here. Your manager can assign you tasks, but you are responsible for managing your future job. Working at Combined introduces you to a variety of business applications and operations. The management style here sets you up for success if you’re willing to show up for the work and take responsibility for it.


For more tips on having a successful internship, check out: How to Make a Splash in Your Summer Internship