The power of meaningful internships - Connor Meiering, 2019 Intern

Posted in Community, Industry Updates

The power of meaningful internships - Connor Meiering, 2019 Intern
Connor Meiering reflects on his experience as a high school intern in an insurance brokerage.
Was it what he expected, and will he be back?

Who am I?

My name is Connor Meiering, I am 18 years old and I am in the last couple of days of my 7-month internship at McConville Omni Insurance Brokers.

I am a graduated high school student who enjoys coaching and playing volleyball, and I love giving back to the community that gave me so much. I will be attending McMaster University in their Bachelors of Commerce (Business 1) program in the fall. When I was given the opportunity to work at McConville Omni, I was ecstatic! I have heard so much about the insurance industry and couldn’t wait to learn more about it.

What did I expect coming in?

When joining McConville Omni Insurance Brokers as an intern, I had expected the average internship duties seen on TV … getting coffee, scanning for hours on end and finding ways to make data entry entertaining (is that event possible?). I didn’t expect to be trusted with tasks that could actually impact the organization. However, while this made me nervous in the beginning, I ended up feeling fulfilled from the work I was doing. I could make an impact at the company.

How was my internship really?

While I started on our reception team, learning the business basics, I was also given the opportunity to join our Operations team - supporting brokers and communicating with insurance companies. This allowed me to bring instant value to the organization, helping improve workflows and relieving an understaffed section in the company. I was even trusted to train two other employees on policy changes in broker portals!

Working at McConville Omni has helped me to not only gain industry experience but also to learn valuable life lessons before going off to university.  I have learned a lot about what it is like to work in an office, how to stay individually productive while keeping a team-centered goal in focus and how to properly contribute in meetings and team huddles. Through volleyball, I was introduced to these ideas, but now I been able to experience this in a business environment. These are skills that I will use in my whole career to come.

These lessons will prove very valuable in the fall, both while working in teams and individually. I look forward to using my experience at McConville Omni to provide real world examples during my time at McMaster. In the next spring and summer months, I hope to bring more value to the organization by (hopefully) getting my broker’s license and being able to support the brokers in a more hands on role.

Why is co-op so important?

Cooperative education is the introduction and the first impression of an industry for many students. That is why having Co-op programs in the insurance industry is super critical. Work is a student’s life for the 4 months that they are out of school. We all know that school is cheap! I believe creating jobs where interns can accept responsibility for meaningful tasks creates an environment where we can provide the most value and fresh perspectives. This allows us to add value, and bring new ideas into an organization.

When recruiting for your next position, I encourage you to consider a Cooperative Education candidate. You may be surprised by the insight they can bring! The insurance industry might now be for me, and I wouldn’t have known that otherwise!

So, what now?

I have made so many fantastic connections here that I will appreciate for the rest of my career. I am so happy that I was able to contribute to the team, as I have always thrived in a team culture and hope to use the development I have received here to build strong relationships at McMaster. I have learned so much being a part of this brokerage and I am so grateful for that. McConville Omni took a chance on me and I am glad that it payed off!

I would like to thank McConville Omni Insurance Brokers for trusting me, supporting me and committing to my professional development. I’ll be back!

Are you interested in joining our team as an intern? Check out our postings, or reach out and connect with us!

Connect with our hiring manager! 

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