Farewell To Our 2016 Summer Interns

Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc. aims to educate and strengthen ties with undergraduate students while they’re still in school to serve as a supplement to their education as well as help our company stay on the front lines of improving business methods. This summer, we had four interns working on a variety of different projects to hit key points in all of their differing majors. Through the nine-week program, the interns focused on a few main objectives: utilizing Salesforce and Oracle, social media, our personal lines department, and expanding our presence on lesser-known media outlets.

In regards to the Social Media, each intern ran a different social media for a period of time to find out what followers react to the best in order to get our content seen by the greatest number of people. Through their work in our personal lines department, they were able to discover areas of improvement that could not only help the people working in that department, but also more quickly address the needs of our growing client base. This project also allowed the interns to become more acclimated with the different insurance roles someone can get into it after college and gave them a more solidified idea of different insurance concepts. Lastly, the interns were a pivotal part in expanding our current client base through a variety of outlets. We explored the concept of Facebook advertising this summer and headed great results as well as making appointment setting phone calls to businesses in the greater Chicagoland area.

As an independent insurance agency, we take pride in the partnerships we forge with carriers and organizations. In addition to the work the interns did, we also had underwriters and marketing representatives from Travelers Insurance and The Hartford come in during the program to talk to the interns about the versatility of the insurance industry as well as give them a hands on experience of what it’s like to work in different sectors of the insurance industry.

Our interns also visited the Ronald McDonald House in downtown Chicago to meet with the interns of that organization and had a day of trading intern experiences. They toured the house and learned more about their incredible efforts in helping families in need.

We are so appreciative of the work the four of them have done for our company this summer and wish them the best on all of their future endeavors. To hear what they have to say about their time here, please read below: 

Noah Blickensdorfer

Nine weeks at Zeiler Insurance absolutely flew by. The experiences I gained as a part of the summer internship program will certainly last with me through the next steps in my career. To start, the people at Zeiler are exactly what you would want for co-workers. They made me feel comfortable from day one and that meant a lot to me. Lucas is a great leader and did a good job of getting the best out of me. Karli might be the nicest person on earth and was extremely easy to go to with questions and when I needed advice. The two of them made sure that we were gaining useful experience from the program and did anything required of them to facilitate growth for the interns. Melissa is also a huge asset to the program. Even though I often felt like I was pestering her with questions, she always was able to steer me in the right direction. Whenever we were hitting a slump in creativity, she always had a way to reinvigorate us to be as creative as possible. The sales staff such as Mitch also did a great job of preparing us to be able to interact with customers in a way that best benefits Zeiler Insurance. 

One of my expectations going in to the internship was to gain fundamental knowledge of the insurance industry. Zeiler Insurance was able to provide that mainly by showing the ins and outs of an independent agency. The lessons we received about insurance specific topics were especially helpful. Even though I was familiar with a lot of the concepts from prior classes, the depth of the topics we discussed will make a huge impact on how I understand the industry going forward. The variety of tasks required throughout the internship made me into a more versatile person. I needed verbal communication skills to speak with potential clients on the phone. I needed written communication skills to compose blog posts about insurance topics and well as promote the company’s social media pages. We worked on a project to improve operations in a segment of the company, and that really proved beneficial. It required critical thinking and analysis skills that I have never used on a real life situation before. It allowed me to expand my capabilities and have a new outlook when facing problems in the future. 

Now that it is all said and done, I am extremely blessed to have been able to be a part of this program. The fellow interns I worked with every day are bright people who have big futures ahead. They were helpful whenever I needed them and provided support that is greatly appreciated. We came in as strangers and leave as friends. It is a special feeling when you feel everyone in the office wants the best for you, just as you do for them. I am very appreciative for the opportunity to have been a part of this program, and I know it will help me in my career to come. Time may pass, but Zeiler Insurance will always be a part of me.

Jamie Piatek

My summer at Zeiler is one I won’t soon forget. I have learned so much that will help me moving forward in my career and just in life in general. My knowledge of insurance quickly went from zero to sharing insurance facts around the dinner table at home. Every other week Lucas sat down with us to discuss different insurance topics. These talks were so helpful in gaining a general understanding of the insurance industry. Through our discussions with Lucas, blogging, and the myth video series we made, I have even begun to consider an insurance minor when I get back to school in August. Also, having representatives from Travelers and The Hartford, as well as observing those who work in the office, has given me better insight as to how the insurance field works. 

The business world continues to fascinate me after this internship and I know I have chosen the right focus in school. Learning about business in my classes is one thing, but being able to take that knowledge and actually apply it is a whole other thing. Getting real life experience in the business world has been so valuable for me and I have improved upon many skills. I feel much more well-rounded as a young business professional after going through this internship program. 

One area in which I think I have improved is being able to work well in a team environment. While creating Facebooks ads and our myth videos, the other interns and I had to collaborate with each other to come up with the best final product possible. Sitting in the conference room brainstorming and bouncing ideas back and forth with them has really helped me appreciate working in a team. Taking one good idea and making it even better with the help of your peers is really is a great feeling. I have also built upon my communication skills. Taking some time each day to do telemarketing has made me a stronger communicator within the sales area of business. I am excited to take the skills that I have learned this summer and apply them to my future career. My resume will look even better now with Zeiler Insurance on it!

Alex Taraska

“Wow! Can’t believe the internship program is finally coming to an end. I remember coming into the first day of orientation like it was yesterday, and didn’t know what to expect. I was a bit nervous and anxious coming in. However, after the first week flew by I felt right at home. I realized that being at Zeiler was the right place for me and I fit right in. I experienced a work environment that encouraged collaboration and communication among co-workers. On the very first day Lucas discussed the company’s philosophy and values. He also talked about the mission of the internship program as a whole and I was eager to get the ball rolling and see what this whole program had in store for me. With the summer coming to a close and it almost being time to go back to school, I can easily say this was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to go back to school and tell all my friends about it after hearing about their boring work days. 

Over the course of 8 weeks everyone at Zeiler put all their thoughts and efforts into making this internship a worthwhile experience. I am taking so much information and knowledge with me walking out those doors at Zeiler for the last time as an intern. I learned so much about the insurance process and how there is so much more to it then you think. Day in and day out reading insurance-related articles while blogging and doing our insurance myth videos taught me little by little about the industry. Then the lessons with Lucas gave me the opportunity to open up and ask questions whether it was insurance related or about life, not a day went by that I didn’t pick up useful knowledge. Most importantly throughout this program I learned a whole lot about myself and the business world. After looking back to day one and where I am now I’ve noticed progress in myself and that makes me proud. 

Lastly, I am extremely happy I took the opportunity of interning here when I got the chance back in April. Coming in I really wasn’t sure what path I was going to take because of very minimal experience in the field. However, after this summer I have noticed I am passionate about the sales aspect in Insurance, and having that direct relationship with your client. All in all, the confidence Zeiler instilled in me is endless. I am grateful to Zeiler for this wonderful opportunity and growing experience. I can’t wait to see how this opportunity I was given will end up benefiting me in the long run.”

Will Toher

As Zeiler’s first IT intern, I’ve had the unique opportunity to define my role in the organization, and support both the company’s growth and my own professional development. I’ve taken analytics data from my fellow interns’ social media campaigns, processed it, and turned it into actionable visualizations, allowing for our efforts to be more focused and fruitful; I’ve contributed to building a documentation framework to help future employees get up to speed faster; and I’ve identified areas of inefficiency and growth potential in Zeiler’s use of technology, and proposed solutions to make Zeiler a faster, stronger firm. Along the way, I’ve helped troubleshoot hardware and software problems, offered what technical perspective I have in discussing the issues of the insurance industry, and brewed a mean few pots of coffee. 

In my own professional development, I’ve gained a fuller understanding of what can often be an overlooked sector of the market, and a respect for the people who work here. I’ve learned about the value of professional courtesy and a customer-first ethos, and I’ve improved my ability to communicate technical issues to an audience who have better things to do than spend ages understanding the quirks of SSL or SaaS. I also want to express my gratitude to all the employees here, who were welcoming and unfailingly patient with my ignorance of insurance concepts and my many questions about their working habits and processes. It has been a pleasure working with everyone here.

Lucas has talked enthusiastically (as he does about many subject) about this program’s future, and I’ll be interested to see where Zeiler takes it moving forward. I wish future interns the very best of luck, and hope you find it as productive and rewarding as I have.

If you have an interest in being a part of the 2017 internship program, please contact me. 

708.597.5900 x130

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