Southeast Students Place Among Top 10 in National Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Internship Program

Photo of The Qualy Group

Southeast’s Harrison College of Business students placed twice within the top 10 in this year’s Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Internship Program. Southeast’s team placed eighth overall, and The Qualy Group, pictured here, which is based in St. Louis and jointly works with The Hahs Group in Cape Girardeau, placed first in network offices. 

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

July 1, 2008 – Southeast Missouri State University Harrison College of Business students placed twice within the top 10 in this year’s Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Internship Program. Southeast’s team placed eighth overall, and The Qualy Group, which is based in St. Louis and jointly works with The Hahs Group in Cape Girardeau, placed first in network offices. 

In addition, The Hahs Group placed fifth among the top 10 district network offices in the nation. Out of 2,500 interns, Southeast’s students placed within the top 10 percent.

Southeast’s team ranking has steadily risen the past two years. In 2006, it was 30th, and in 2007, it was 18th. Casey Hertenstein, director of recruiting for The Hahs Group, said she expected Southeast’s ranking to progress.

“I told Dr. McDougall last year that this year we would be in the top 10,” said Hertenstein. “We are very proud of our college team. The quality of students we get at Southeast is amazing. The Hahs Group is extremely selective on who is invited to join our internship program. Nationally, 20,000 college students apply, and only 2,000 to 2,300 are accepted.”

Each intern is initially challenged to meet a common goal, referred to as the “Power of 10.” To meet the “Power of 10” goal, interns must write 10 new life insurance policies within a year.

“Our home office in Milwaukee studied overall intern production and realized that our most successful interns had written 10 or more lives [insurance policies] in one year, and therefore, it became an expectation,” said Hertenstein.

This past fall, however, a new goal was introduced nationally, referred to as the “Target 20.” This goal is an even larger challenge and encourages the writing of 20 new life insurance policies in one year.

Two students qualified for what is known as the “Winter Camp Contest” in the fall of 2007. The Winter Camp recognizes the top 100 interns based on the number of life insurance policies written and submitted for the production months of September through December. The interns who qualified were invited to the Home Office in Milwaukee for a seminar this past February which further trained, motivated and inspired them as they begin to make career decisions. Winter Camp qualifiers are among the top three percent of interns nationally. 

Dr. Gerald McDougall, dean of the Donald L. Harrison College of Business, says the Harrison College of Business is establishing the best undergraduate business program in Missouri.

“One contributing factor is having an outstanding internship program with outstanding Harrison business students,” he said. “The Northwestern Mutual Financial Network internship program is consistently ranked among the top 10 internship programs in the nation, according to ‘Vault Guide to Internships, 2008.’ The success of our students in this highly regarded internship program speaks to the high quality of Harrison business students and the impact of our personal, professional and practical environment on student learning and the development of an ethical foundation and the behaviors and attitudes that lead to professional success.”

Those among the top 10 percent are as follows: • Jesse Barge of Murphysboro, Ill., placed 48th, attained the “Target 20” and “Power of 10” goals and graduated from Southeast with a bachelor of science in business administration degree in finance. • Tyler Stevens of Perryville, Mo., placed 102nd, attained the “Power of 10” goal and is working on his bachelor of science in business administration degree. • Adam Wells of West Frankfort, Ill., placed 121st, attained the “Power of 10” goal, qualified to attend Winter Camp and graduated from Southeast with a bachelor of science in business administration degree in finance.• Dan Koch of St. Charles, Mo., placed 140th, attained the “Power of 10” goal and graduated from Southeast with a bachelor of science in business administration degree in finance.• Chelsa Altena of Craig, Mo., placed 161st, attained the “Power of 10” goal, qualified to attend Winter Camp and is working on her bachelor of science in business administration degree in finance. 

Other students who are part of The Hahs Group who excelled in their internship but did not place in the top 10 percent are Jennifer Reed of Piedmont, Mo., who has graduated from Southeast; Keith Smith of Marthasville, Mo., who is working on his bachelor of science degree, double majoring in hospitality management and Spanish; Chad Mercado of Maumelle, Ark., who graduated from Southeast with a bachelor of science in business administration degree in human resource management and organizational leadership; Derrick Stewart of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., who graduated from Southeast with a bachelor of science in business administration degree in marketing; and Tyler Burk of Jackson, Mo., who graduated from Southeast with a bachelor of science in business administration degree in finance.

An internship with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network is a very selective position. Students applying for internships go through the same rigorous and lengthy selection process as a person applying for a full-time representative position at Northwestern Mutual.

“Typically, there are three to four interviews before an offer is even made,” said Hertenstein. “It’s less about selling product than developing people. We value quality above quantity and aim to develop our students personally and professionally. That means that interns build real business experience including scheduling their own appointments and helping their clients build a secure financial future.”

Full-time financial representatives and college interns at The Hahs Group in Cape Girardeau are directed under the leadership of Managing Director David Hahs, CLU, ChFC.

Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, the marketing name for the sales and distribution arm of Northwestern Mutual, provides expert guidance on insurance, investment products and services, retirement and estate planning, education funding and employee benefits. Based in Milwaukee, Wis., Northwestern Mutual, its subsidiaries and affiliates provide annuities, mutual funds, long-term care insurance and disability income insurance.

 

Adam Wells

 

Chelsa Altena

 

 

Dan Koch

 

 

Jesse Barge

Tyler Stevens