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More Than Just Insurance

More Than Just Insurance

In some ways, the responsibilities of an intern mirror those of people in charge of a company. The majority of tasks concern the general functions of the business, but a certain amount of time also needs to be spent on day-to-day upkeep of the business. To be successful, a company must not only excel in achieving its stated business objectives, but also maintain a functioning working environment and handle any special situations that may arise.

This week perfectly exemplified a work-upkeep balance. The majority of my time was spent working on projects, doing research, and editing spreadsheets that would assist our client interactions. Creating Excel agendas, researching TPAs, and comparing various insurance agencies were all tasks that helped both the company better in performing its tasks and me in being a more competent, knowledgeable employee. These are very work-related skills and information I will be able to use in the future, both throughout the rest of the summer and in future internships and jobs.

However, my week wasn’t singularly focused on insurance and benefits. Every day seems to bring some sort of new and sometimes unexpected experience that expands my knowledge of business practices and life in general. On Wednesday the 25th, Kuzneski Financial Group hosted the Chamber Check-In, an event for Indiana County Chamber of Commerce members to convene and casually discuss their businesses and concepts affecting current business in general. This sort of event doesn’t just happen; it takes a combined effort by all employees to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Fortunately at Kuzneski, we have the privilege of having Miss Laurie’s Gourmet Kitchen provide the food for such events, so we all knew the most important part was in good hands. The rest of us chipped in by setting up tables and coffee, keeping track of email reservations, and even delivering the chef’s car for a maintenance check when she was occupied with the food (one life skill I never thought I’d learn at an insurance internship).

During the event, I got to get hands-on experience with the all-important business skill that is networking. Since the business world is highly contingent on shared connections, being able to build relationships with people from a variety of locations and industries can lead to many different opportunities. After having almost two hours to talk and meet others, I discussed strategies for effective networking with Andy, who definitely has a lot of experience in such situations.

Throughout the week, I added to my repertoire of business and life skills in other ways as well. Kuzneski Financial Group recently moved buildings, so there remain many things that need to be taken care of with the move. This week, we constructed some basement shelving units, changed many mailing addresses, and worked on organizing the copy room, all skills that any business owner will likely need. We even had a minor crisis when the transformer blew right outside the building. It was good to learn what to do in an emergency power situation, checking that the surge protectors were working and making sure the battery didn’t die on the main computer system.

This week was undoubtedly a good mix of job-related, general business, and life learning. Every day proves to be different, showing that even in a fairly traditional job environment, business is never boring. I’m sure that by the end of the summer, I will have accumulated a very diverse skill set, as I’ve been exposed to a huge variety of situations just within two weeks!

Paul Birch

Paul was a KIG intern during the summer of '16 where he earned himself the nickname "Pauly-B." In 2019, he graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor's degree in Risk Management and Actuarial Science. He is now an actuarial analysis at Aetna, where they probably just call him "Paul."

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