Adam’s Progressive Top 10

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.

Research Project

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.

Here is a picture from my last day with Progressive. I had a fantastic experience!

Here is a picture from my last day with Progressive. I had a fantastic experience!

Insurance Concepts

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.

“Healthy U”

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.

“Cleveland [and Progressive] Rocks!”

I promised myself I would be proactive during my internship with Progressive Insurance. Thus far, I believe I have held true to this promise, by acting on the opportunities presented to me. For example, I volunteered to lead a business lunchtime discussion, in which I chose an emerging business topic (IFRS vs. GAAP), reached out to potential speakers,  and hosted the event.

Progressive continues to engage me in exciting ways. Last week, I participated in two Excel training classes. Excel is one of many programs I have worked with this summer, and Progressive offers a variety of courses to improve skill sets in these fields. Myself and the other interns also had a chance to hear from Progressive’s International Business Leader, who provided career advice and talked about Progressive’s expansion into Australia. We journeyed through Cleveland on Lolly the Trolley for an intern event, which showed us the impressive array of activities to do.

The B Spot is one of the many fine dining establishments which I have visited this summer.

Living in Cleveland this summer, I have had an excellent chance to seize the moment and embrace the city. I went to downtown Cleveland with a few interns to catch a couple of Indians games at Progressive Field, and also explored the greenery of the Cleveland Metroparks, which have gorgeous trails for running. There are also a bevy of restaurants to try (I have gone to The B Spot and Granite City Food & Brewery). In addition, I have met with fellow Buckeye friends who are in the nearby area.

As I gear up for the final weeks of my internship, I aim to hold to my promise in making the most of my time at Progressive. I’ll keep in touch.

~ Adam

Learning Progressive

Hello all,

As hard as it is to believe, I am already over one month into my internship at Progressive. I am happy to say that it has been a joyous learning experience thus far.

The first day made me a little nervous. After an orientation with the other interns, I met my mentor for lunch, and then was taken to my cubicle. I would be working in Treasury. The campus where I work is very large, so I was wondering how I would ever find my way around. I was afraid I would get lost if I left my cubicle.

I met my manager, who explained to me what my objectives would be, such as taking advantage of the outside activities planned for interns and companywide events. He provided me with resources to learn about statutory accounting, which was a new concept to me, as I am accustomed to GAAP standards. I also became familiar with the culture of Progressive, which lives by five core values: Integrity, Golden Rule, Objectives, Excellence, and Profit.

In fact, the culture has left an indelible mark on my short time at Progressive. From the moment I arrived for my first day, everyone has been friendly and accommodating to me, treating me as a regular employee. In fact, we were told on the first day that we should not feel like interns. This type of support from Progressive has given me confidence in my abilities, which has helped me whenever I encounter a challenge.

Here is a picture of some of my fellow inters at Progressive, accompanied by Flo!

Here is a picture of some of my fellow interns and I at Progressive on our first day, accompanied by Flo! (I’m in the blue shirt in front.)

As my first week went on, I started to get acclimated, and the nerves went away. I joined the fitness center, and even went for an outside run with my manager. I have worked on several projects through the duration of my internship. After learning terminology and the language of the insurance industry, I was given several excel assignments. One of these projects, for example, involved filtering and organizing data across the insurance industry, preparing it so that it could be analyzed in an effective fashion. I am also assisting my manager in a Financial Analysis course that will be taught at Progressive’s training facility in July. For this, I have familiarized myself with the content for the class, and have assisted in updating the course material, such as the power point slides.

Outside of the day-to-day grind, there have been unique learning opportunities. I took a course, “Dollars and Sense” at the training facility with the other accounting interns. Here, we received in-depth background on the different areas within the company, and were able to listen to and ask questions to the CFO and other key decision makers at Progressive. In addition, I met with a couple of Progressive people in the Real Estate department, where I learned about Progressive’s sustainability initiatives and building operations. Since the first day, I have been encouraged to seek out areas of interest outside my department, and my manager has been more than helpful in finding contacts for me to schedule meetings.

It has only been over a month, but I could go on forever regarding my adventurous time at Progressive. I have met many helpful and genuine people, and I anticipate meeting and befriending even more.

I’ll keep in touch. I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Final Countdown to Internship

Hello everyone, my name is Adam Zimmerman, and the clock is ticking, as I am now one day away from starting my summer internship with Progressive Insurance in Mayfield, OH. Yesterday, I moved into my apartment in Cleveland and made myself more familiar with the area as I await a wonderful experience.

To give a brief background on myself, I just completed my third year at Ohio State as an Accounting major. As a Fisher student, academics and involvement are always top priorities. Therefore, I have always been committed to making the most of class time, through being prepared and participating.

I will be fairly close to downtown Cleveland during my internship, which is great because I am a huge Cleveland sports fan. Go Tribe!

Via

Outside of Fisher, I spend time in several student organizations, such as Fisher Ink, which is the student-run magazine here at Fisher. I have enjoyed it so much that I have been an active member since my freshman year. Fisher Ink boasts a diverse collection of students, who are both creative and proactive. Next to that, I am also involved in an a cappella group, the Meshuga Notes, which allows me to sing, something I deeply enjoy.

As I await my internship, I look back on my time thus far at Ohio State with great joy, and realize how it helped me get to where I am at this very moment. At the 2013 Fisher Fall Career Fair, I was able to network with different companies, and this is how I learned about Progressive Insurance and the opportunities it has for Accounting majors.

I look forward to keeping you all up to date on this experience.