Northwestern Mutual

Alex Malcolm Swainsbury

Find out why the internship made Alex appreciate being compensated for results rather than being paid a salary. 

Alex Swainsbury

In His Own Words

I’m a big believer in prospecting to build personal relationships. If I can help bring value to clients and their lives or businesses, I know I can make a lasting impact. I have confidence that I will, based on the high-quality products that Northwestern Mutual can provide in this country.

Genuinely knowing that you can bring value to someone, and the directness and confidence that brings, is the key to success in this business. Whether you are with someone who is very successful or just starting out, knowing you can have an impact for that person makes a big difference. Any time you can truly express you are there only to help them understand their options and understand their own goals and dreams, people feed off of that. It doesn’t mean you have all of the knowledge in the world, but people want more of it.

Advice to Internship Candidates

If you seek to have independence and a professional atmosphere and you want to have personal relationships with people you work with, I don’t think anything else would work as well as the Northwestern Mutual internship. If you seek management and leadership roles, there are tremendous avenues to move into leadership positions based on your abilities as a producer.

The Internship Experience

When I first started, I did all joint work; and depending on the capacity and résumé of my client, I would try to work with either an advisor or wealth management advisor. Now I have two people in my office whom I partner with on more complicated cases.

The generosity and culture of the Northwestern Mutual team really stands out in my experience so far. It doesn’t matter where you are – I’ve been to offices in several states – the culture is strongly about giving back and helping clients with the world-class insurance services and internationally recognized investment products we offer. The people are very encouraging and supportive – it’s not the easiest career to get involved with, but that constant support and attitude really help.

Advice to Internship Candidates

If you seek to have independence and a professional atmosphere and you want to have personal relationships with people you work with, I don’t think anything else would work as well as the Northwestern Mutual internship. If you seek management and leadership roles, there are tremendous avenues to move into leadership positions based on your abilities as a producer.

Best Experience Since Joining Northwestern Mutual

Definitely the Annual Meeting. It’s an amazing experience to be where 10,000 people congregate to celebrate what Northwestern Mutual does for its clients and to advance that and to share stories and motivation. It gives you a phenomenal perspective of the industry and the company you’re associated with.

Best Advice Received

We’re always motivated to do something, and we have to choose what we want to be motivated about. We have the final decision in every situation. This career has difficulties, but it is hard only when we choose to make it hard. We have the final decision over how we want to move our practice.

Changes Through Internship

As a result of the internship, I have a deeper understanding of business and a deeper appreciation for independent business owners and what is required to be the owner of a company rather than just a paid employee. It has made me realize that I absolutely never want to ever just get paid a salary. I want to be able to be compensated for results, and when that is done in the right way, it is productive.

Surprising Fact

I made it to the finals of the British Open golf tournament in 2007 at age 19. My original scholarship to Oklahoma City University was for golf, but since then I’ve also had scholarships for track and rowing.

Learn More About Alex Swainsbury

To learn more about Alex Swainsbury, visit his website.