Four Palm Beach Atlantic University business students recently began a semester-long introduction to the world of finance through an internship program at Northwestern Mutual McKernan Financial Group located in downtown West Palm Beach.
Jenna Detandt and Amani Beliveau
Philip Higgins and Sam Dillon
All the students selected for the program are in PBA’s Rinker School of Business as part of a partnership between the University and Northwestern Mutual. The program involves paid internships for each student and scholarships for some through a competitive application process.
“This internship is an outstanding opportunity for our students to gain valuable work experience at an exceptional company while they continue their studies at PBA,” said Dr. Les Turner, dean of the Rinker School of Business. “We are very grateful to Northwestern Mutual for this investment in our students.”
Chosen for the program are Amani Beliveau, a senior from Niceville, Florida, who is majoring in finance with a concentration in corporate finance; Jenna Detandt, a senior from Wellington who is majoring in business management; Sam Dillon, a junior from Palm Beach Gardens who is majoring in finance; and Philip Higgins, a sophomore from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who is majoring in business management.
As part of their internship the students work toward obtaining their 2-15 Life, Health and Variable Annuities license, said Jason Hutton, a Northwestern Mutual financial representative who works closely with the students.
“They also learn how the sales cycle works and how certain products can help with the overall financial plan for families as well as business owners,” Hutton said.
“It is a real-life experience because they learn how to develop business relationships. In addition they attend weekly training sessions on certain products and how they can fit into overall financial planning. These sessions are taught by different advisors and specialists in our network,” he said.
Detandt said she is excited to be a part of the internship program. “It is completely different from anything that I've ever done, but I'm really looking forward to learning new skills and gaining knowledge about the insurance industry so that I can plan for the future,” she said.
“This isn't your typical desk job,” Beliveau said. “To be successful in this industry it requires establishing business connections and expanding your professional network, which will in turn help establish credibility as a young professional. It is an awesome program for students trying to get hands-on experience in business.”