Beyond the Books at AU: Finance and Government & International Affairs Major Has Eyes Set on Business Development While Interning for Marsh McLennan Agency

By AU Strategic Communications & Marketing | June 21, 2022
Henry Sule

Augustana University student Henry Sule ‘24, of Jos, Nigeria, is double majoring in finance and government & international affairs with minors in business administration and computer information systems. Sule is interning this summer at Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA), located at Cherapa Place in downtown Sioux Falls. With MMA, Sule will get experience in business insurance, employee health and benefits, as well as private client services with the opportunity to focus on an area of his choice for the last half of the internship. 

Q: What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

A: I am currently involved in the Augustana Student Association (ASA) as the technical director for the 2022-23 academic year, and part of the African Student Union (ASU). I work for the Office of Student Affairs as a viking advisor, in the Writing Center, Office of Admission as a student ambassador, the eSports Club and the International Programs Office (IPO) as an ACE ambassador.

Q: What are your career goals/aspirations?

A: I don’t have a solid grasp on a specific career I’m working toward. One idea that appeals to me is working for an international company in the realm of strategy and/or business development. Long term, I would like to start an agribusiness company back home to better utilize my country’s resources while diversifying the sources of income. Whatever I do, I know that I want to do work that values people, is sustainable and has a higher mission than profits.

Q: Where or how did you hear about Augustana?

A: Augustana found me. I got an email from the university when I had pretty much applied to all the schools on my list. Augustana had a free application process so I felt it wouldn’t hurt if I applied to just one more school. 

Q: What is/are the reason(s) you chose to come to Augustana?

A: After many decisions and hours of talking back and forth with counselors at different schools, I ultimately decided to go with Augustana because I felt that I would have the most support and attain the most growth here. My admission counselor, Wade Gemar '08, was also frighteningly convincing.

Q: What will your job duties include?

A: So far, my job duties have included shadowing current employees, understanding and analyzing pre-insurance forms and policies, providing support for senior leadership, as well as engaging with insurance carriers to understand possible opportunities for clients. My duties will also include identifying a problem or area of improvement within the company and developing an executable plan of action to address it.

Q: How did you get the internship? Did anyone help you? What did that journey look like?

A: I found out about the internship walking out of my management class in the Madsen Center. MMA had a table set up to talk about their company and I used the opportunity to ask questions about the work they did. They mentioned that they would be having a college night — an opportunity for college students to come into the office and learn more about the company and the internship program — which I later attended. The college night inspired me to apply, and after meeting with my career & academic planning (CAP) specialist to revise my resume and cover letter, I applied for the internship and was accepted shortly after. 

Q: What do you like most about your internship?

A: I knew so little about insurance coming into the internship and I did not really see myself as someone who would work in insurance in the future, but my time at MMA has truly exposed me to the insurance world in a way that I had not previously seen. The internship has really been an opportunity for me to grow not only in my understanding of insurance, but as a professional. I have learned about the different lines of insurance offered for businesses and where the possible exposures of a pig farm may be, but I have also learned how to ask questions, market myself as a professional and work with a team to produce exceptional results. I really love that this internship was structured to develop exceptional young professionals, not just cogs in a machine.

Q: What do you hope to learn/gain from the internship?

A: So far, I have learned so much about insurance from an agency standpoint and how much consulting really comes into play in terms of an agency. I would love to continue to build relationships with my fellow interns and colleagues of MMA to build lasting relationships where I can learn from the wealth of knowledge that exists at the company. I would also love to learn more about the qualities of a successful business and how processes, decisions and people really drive the success of business. 

Q: Why is experiential learning so important to you in your future endeavors?

A: My internship, so far, has taught me skills that I would not have been able to learn as easily or effectively seated in a classroom. My internship has allowed me to put skills into practice that I had only previously learned and thought about. There really is no substitute for experiential learning. The opportunities I have had so far have helped me narrow my focus on what I want to do in the future, and also learn practical skills and gain knowledge that I can use in the future. 

Q: How important is building relationships/connections?

A: Building relationships is immensely important to learning more about yourself and different perspectives. As a business student, I have also learned just how important relationships are in terms of networking and being able to have a system of support and communication. Through my relationships, I have found out about opportunities that may have otherwise eluded me, and I have been able to learn about topics and issues that are normally outside my realm of interest. 

Learn about the 2,000+ jobs and internships posted annually by the Augustana University Student Success Center at Augie Opportunities.

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