Name: Jessica Roth
Type of Project: internship
My project was an internship with Nationwide insurance. I was an underwriting intern and I looked at 250 policies and found a 70% error rate. I also created a program in python, java, and VBA to assist in automated underwriting. I was able to analyze 4000 policies in under 2 hours which is unheard of for that department. I was also able to visit 28 business units and gain a holistic view of commercial insurance and how all of the departments interact with each other. I also served on the NICE committee and set up events for 300 interns in Columbus. I participated in a hackathon where we wrote code for an Alexa enabled meeting device
I really realized where my skill sets lie. I am really good at crunching numbers, but I am actually really good at seeing problems and offer solutions to companies. I think that after my internship I have a better idea of what my strengths and weaknesses are, and that I would like to go into business consulting. I realized that there was a lot of corruption within the organization and that they were using very bad data and wasting millions of dollars. They do not use enough technology because everyone in older generations is not as comfortable with it. What I did in 1 week would have taken my department 2-3 years to implement. Everything is very slow moving, and they do not have people that understand insurance and also technology. This really saddened me because they really didn’t want me to do any of the programming work because “it wasn’t my job!” but I had the skill set that was needed and it would really be a good thing for the company.
My internship was a roller coaster, every hour of my day I had some meeting. We visited 28 business units, this is even more than the CEO of nationwide has ever seen. I learned so much about the business and how it works at a basic level and a complex level. I asked questions, which seems like most people don’t. I got the bug eye look and comments, ”who are you and why are you asking that question?” as well as “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” My supervisors were very impressed with all of my work, and at times I know I pushed a little too hard to implement more effective measures of business.
I also learned something very important about people. I was forced to work with another intern that was disrespectful and rude to me and other coworkers. He never did any work the entire summer and was sleeping during a time when the only thing we had to do was sit there and listen. I was appalled that someone like that would receive an internship at a fortune 100 company. Even after all of that and the managers knowing that he was lazy and did nothing he received a full time offer from the company. The lesson I learned here was that in corporate America as long as you know people and shake a lot of hands the quality and value of your work mean nothing. People, even in management roles, have slipped through on low quality work. It saddens me to think that hard work means a lot less to people in big businesses.
I now know that it isn’t just about me solving problems and doing really high quality work. If I want to get a job an advance, I need to network myself with people that can help me get there. Franklin, my supervisor, says, “your network is your net worth, and that’s why you visited 28 business units”. Life is a series of twists and turns and sometimes a lot of moving pieces have to happen for what you want to happen. For instance, to get a job that department has to be hiring, you have to be qualified, and you have to have someone that is willing to allocate on your behalf. Business is a rough world and you aren’t going to get along with everyone, some people are going to be lazy, but you can make something out of every situation, even if it is only a lesson.