Financial Representative, Northwestern Mutual-Houston, November 2009 - present
Financial Representative Intern, Northwestern Mutual-Houston, May - November 2009
Financial Representative Intern, The Boston Group, May 2008 - May 2009
I said I wanted to become a financial advisor before going to college but didn’t know how to do that – it was a blessing in disguise to fall upon the Northwestern Mutual internship. My football scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross got me out of my comfort zone in Houston and really opened my eyes up to the possibilities that I could achieve. When I got the internship in Boston, I tried to transfer my work ethic from football to the career at Northwestern Mutual.
Interning in a city where I knew no one was the hardest thing I’d ever done, especially because I am very results-oriented. I was working hard without seeing many fruits of my labors. Once I got smart and started reaching out to all the alumni in the city, I had some success and was intrigued about the rest of the career. After the summer, while I was away from the office playing football, I always called in and kept the relationship strong. When I graduated, The Boston Group put in a good word for me at Northwestern Mutual-Houston, where I finished out my intern contract. I quickly realized the comforts of doing this job where you know people and did pretty well.
This is a great long-term career opportunity that is essentially building a business. It also is something where you learn from so many intangibles, like being able to work with professionals on a day to day basis, hold a solid conversation with a client or sit across the table from a millionaire. This is delayed gratification – it is something you build with discipline over time.
Interning in Boston was my best Northwestern Mutual experience so far because I went through the hardest situation first and it was exponentially easier to succeed where I have a natural market. Holy Cross alumni were all friendly and always willing to meet and give me career advice, but I didn’t meet with anyone I knew in Boston. Regardless, I created opportunities everywhere -- the number of people you meet is impressive and I uncovered a lot of options as a result of contacts I made.
“Learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.” I was told it is key to this job and I found myself more confident in doing things like speaking an opinion in class and talking to teammates. This job trains you for so many different things in life.
My first year as a full-time financial representative ended about two weeks ago and I’ve accomplished every first-year accolade I wanted to accomplish. It was definitely all due to the experience I gained from the internship. I was able to come out with a full-head of steam and hit the key milestones. I’m now a college unit captain so I have the opportunity to give back to the internship program that helped me to accomplish everything I’ve accomplished in the career. I hope to be a direct influence on other students who were in my position.
I am a very results oriented person who needs to know what I am doing is manifesting itself in something today or for the future. Seeing results drives me and pushes me beyond my limits. The internship process taught me to get rid of perceived limitations – why can’t I do it and do it earlier? I know I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.
After growing up in an area where it wasn’t cool to do the right thing, I want to give back to the community to help kids see that being smart and educated and making good choices is cool. I did some work with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Boston and now am working with U.S. Dream Academy to become a mentor in Houston.
Visit Bryan Walwyn’s website to learn more about his career as a financial representative.