Unexpected Internship Leads to Exciting Career Path

Megan Byrne
Reflection by Megan Byrne, BUS ’17

I happened on my internship with Travelers somewhat by chance in spring 2016. During that semester, I was taking Margaret Roberts’ career development course and was required to attend four career events. On a Thursday during ‘Pacific Hour,’ a Travelers info session was offered. My options for attending these career events were constrained by a full work and class schedule. A career with an insurance company had never crossed my mind because of the stories I had heard about insurance sales…and I am not a salesperson.

Much to my surprise, I was intrigued about the opportunity of working on the underwriting side of insurance. The Regional Vice President (RVP) of Northern California’s Bond and Specialty business came to speak that day and introduced the internship opportunities within his group. I learned that Bond and Specialty writes unique insurance policies such as crime, kidnap ransom, cyber and employment liability for all types of companies. The RVP also pointed out that a career in insurance is recession proof. At this point, I was hooked. After the presentation, I introduced myself to our speaker and thanked him for coming. He encouraged me to sign up for an interview for the summer internship program and I did just that.

The interview process was intensive and competitive, putting me up against candidates from St. Mary’s College, University of San Francisco, and Sacramento State. Through two rounds of interviews with regional leadership and business unit managers, I learned more about the company and its opportunities. The determination and drive I’d developed through years in competitive volleyball helped me persevere through the process. I was thrilled when I learned I’d be offered the internship.

My internship started in early June and I enjoyed the full-time, 11-week program because it gave me a true sense of what working there would actually be like if I was offered a post-graduation position. While Travelers typically hires interns with the intention of converting them to full-time after graduation, I approached it as if I was guaranteed nothing.

Through an extremely hands-on experience, I learned about the six different business units within Bond and Specialty Insurance by working closely with the managing directors of each unit. I studied each of the different types of insurance products offered to business clients and shadowed account executives on agency visits in San Francisco and Concord. I learned the process of underwriting and account analysis, understanding what risks to look out for while writing new and existing business. I was also tasked with a project that paired me directly with the Regional Vice President and Private Non-Profit Managing Director and presented this project to the managing directors of each business unit in Bond.

A distinct highlight of my internship experience with Travelers was participating in both the Bond and Enterprise Internship symposiums at the home office in Hartford, Connecticut. At these symposiums, I networked with senior leadership and over 200 Travelers interns from all over the United States. We were introduced to all of the programs and opportunities Travelers offers its employees. We also witnessed, firsthand, the Travelers commitment to investing in its employees.

Overall, my internship with Travelers was extremely rewarding. I walked away with an appreciation for the breadth of the insurance industry. Spending the summer with Travelers enabled me to network with professionals and college students from across the country, further facilitating business etiquette and communication skills. Finally, this internship allowed me to advance my critical thinking, public speaking and reasoning abilities.

Shortly after the conclusion of my internship, I was formally offered an entry-level position in Travelers Underwriting Professional Development Program. This opportunity is one of Travelers’ hallmark college-hire programs that can put me on a fast track to accelerate my business career with the company. I am so thankful that I stumbled into that information session last spring and am excited to see what my future holds working with Travelers.

From the Eberhardt Career Management Center:
The success of Megan’s internship experience in 2016 allowed the Eberhardt School of Business to further our relationship with Travelers. Two additional interns have been offered positions for the 2017 summer and we hope to be named one of their core recruiting schools for the Bay Area underwriting internship programs going forward.

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