My internship with Progressive Insurance has come to an end. Through this two-part blogging finale, I will highlight my summer experience through a showcase of the most meaningful moments of my internship.
Beginning the highlights is a work assignment that I came across through my own actions. On the first day of my internship, my manager asked me if there were any departments I was interested in outside of mine (Treasury). I mentioned sustainability and was provided with a contact – the business leader in Real Estate. After meeting with him, I was referred to a manager in Engineering, who taught me about how Progressive is conserving its energy use. He inquired to me about assisting him in a research project. This project involved me studying the repair shop industry. At the end of my internship, I created a complete outline of the industry in an organized fashion, and met with the manager to discuss my findings. By expressing my interest in outside areas of my department and pursuing unique opportunities, I differentiated my workflow, and learned something new throughout my research.
Understanding the Stakeholders
In working for a public company, I learned about the important stakeholders, ranging from investors to policyholders to employees to community to environment, in Progressive Corporation. Investors receive transparency from Progressive, which releases its results monthly, as opposed to just quarterly. Understanding the operations of Progressive’s service centers displayed to me the high regard in which it holds its policyholders. I participated in events held by Progressive’s employee resource groups, which are organizations that celebrate each of Progressive’s people. As mentioned earlier, I interacted with the Real Estate department to learn about Progressive’s sustainability initiatives, in which Progressive operates in a way that reduces its impact on the environment and contributes to the community. For a company of such vast size, there are a wide variety of stakeholders, and I learned how Progressive effectively meets the needs of each of these stakeholders.
In addition to GAAP Accounting, insurance companies use Statutory Accounting Principles (SAP), a concept that I have not studied in the classroom. Learning nuances, such as this, from the insurance industry contributed invaluable knowledge to my accounting acumen. Also, I learned key terms such as premium, combined ratio, loss adjustment expense, claim, and more words that are particular to insurance. It was a welcome challenge to apply my knowledge from the classroom to a new territory.
Hosting FMN Session
Every month, Progressive has a Financial Management Network Session, a roundtable discussion that covers a particular business topic. The event involves a video that provides background on the subject matter, and is followed with a guest speaker who has experience regarding the topic of interest. After attending the May session, I volunteered to host the June session. After looking over potential topics, I decided on one that looked at the differences between GAAP vs. IFRS. I was tasked with finding a guest speaker, preparing the agenda for the event, and facilitating the discussion. The event was successful, and I gained confidence in my public speaking and preparation skills. I took a leadership opportunity and worked hard to see it through.
Work-life balance is positively emphasized at Progressive, and I was able to experience it firsthand. For example, its “Healthy U” program promotes nutrition and activity. In joining the Progressive Fitness Center, I joined in on the movement. From going on occasional runs with my manager to playing basketball with fellow Progressive people, I realized the value of being a “healthy me”. These activities allowed me to build meaningful relationships with co-workers, and when completed, I was refreshed to get back to work.
Stay tuned for the rest of Adam’s Progressive Top 10.