Ode to the Interns
This past June, 13 interns walked through The Council’s doors for an in-person summer work experience.
This year’s group ranged from rising college sophomores to second-year master’s students. It was the first experience several of them had living away from home and the first time for most coming to our nation’s capital. It was also the first time since 2019 that we had an opportunity to physically be in the office with them. That in and of itself was a welcome change of pace.
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I’m always impressed by the young talent our interns possess and am proud that the internship program we’ve built challenges them with meaningful work and truly helps them grow as professionals. In July, I met a young man who was several weeks into an internship at a large company in an industry unrelated to ours. When I quite innocently asked how it was going, he shrugged his shoulders and said that he was emptying the office trash cans.
I couldn’t help thinking about the rigor of our program and the responsibility our staff takes on each summer to ensure each student is assigned real work and has an opportunity to contribute. Our interns are encouraged to attend meetings, take initiative on projects and ask for feedback in a fast-paced, forward-focused environment. They conducted research, sent member updates out on Council work, even brainstormed, storyboarded, and pitched a 60-second trailer for our All About Risk educational tool. Their final project centered on an in-depth dive into ESG, which they had to present to the entire staff. Sure, they had downtime for a scavenger hunt at the National History Museum, took in a Washington Nationals game, and got a tour of the Capitol—that’s all uniquely part of being in D.C. But I tip my cap to our own staff for their investment in and commitment to our interns, who are importantly, treated like colleagues.
In a post-program survey, one intern commented, “I loved getting the chance to research and professionally prepare for a subject I hadn’t yet learned much about. The entire staff sitting in a room to listen to what you’ve prepared isn’t something that could happen at many places. But at The Council, I felt like everyone wanted to watch our success and was willing to do whatever it took for us to do well.”
Admittedly, association work is different from working directly in the business, but our hope, much like those of you who also run internship programs, is to introduce the next generation of talent to the world of insurance and all it has to offer.
Our way of saying thanks to our interns is our annual summer crab feast, and it’s one of my favorite days of the year. In many ways, we want them to stay forever; at the same time, we’re excited for them to get their wings and set off to do great things. If what I saw this summer is any indication, the future of our business will be bright.