Q&A with Premier Employer Partner: Northwestern Mutual


Q&A with Premier Employer Partner: Northwestern Mutual


"At Northwestern Mutual, we’re driven by the desire to help clients achieve lifelong financial security, and we believe that a long-term approach is the best path to success. And we believe that by giving back, we can help our community move forward. Together with our clients, we’re working to enrich lives, strengthen businesses and build a brighter future". 

Northwestern Mutual is one of University of Washington Bothell's Premier Employers. Northwestern Mutual has a mission to do what's right, put people first, and provide financial strength. They also strive to provide the best long-term value for their clients. Northwestern Mutual strives to build brighter futures by helping clients achieve lifelong financial security and by giving back to the communities they serve.

Questions and Answers:


How would you describe the company culture at Northwestern Mutual, both at the national level, and in the Bellevue office?

The company culture at Northwestern Mutual is engaged, professional and fun. Clients come first, so you can feel the sense of urgency to work hard, but we also like to relax and spend time with each other. In our office, we do a social event at least once a month- like a Mariner’s game or a BBQ or a volleyball tournament. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed the mixture of support and challenge! My mentors really push me to work hard and achieve great things, but they also have my back and I love how collaborative my team is.

What type of opportunities does Northwestern typically hire current college students and recent college graduates for (and explain a bit about what each does)?

We usually hire college students and recent graduates for the Financial Representative Internship Program and Post-grad Program. Both are really client-facing. In fact, we get our interns and post-grads licensed to work directly with clients and learn how to build their own clientele. That may sound like a challenge, so we also bring a ton of training to the table! Between on-boarding, Fastracks Training, weekly training, peer-to-peer coaching, mentorship and activity coaching – there will always be someone to turn to and ask questions. Both programs give students and recent grads a hands-on experience in the financial planning and services industry.

What do you typically look for in candidates for jobs and internships? What makes someone stand out in a positive way during the application and interview process?

We look for, honestly, soft skills! Are you hard working? Are you ambitious? Can you be coached to do something and then have enough self-motivation to get it done? My favorite interns and post-grads to coach are the ones that ask questions and are really proactive. They love working with people and are motivated by impact. They’re also competitive and have big goals! In the Selection Process, we want to see that you’re professional and know how to present yourself well because if you’re hired, you’ll be presenting our firm (and yourself) to clients.

Any additional advice for students as they explore career paths and consider professional development opportunities?

As you explore career paths and development opportunities, pay attention to how you’re feeling. Many people take the job hunt in a really logical, practical direction. But it’s also important to take note of how you emotionally respond to an interviewer, potential employer or potential mentor. Ask a lot of good questions. And don’t be afraid to utilize your personal network! Buy someone coffee and pick their brain. People want to help you more than you realize. Tell everyone what you’re looking for so they can help you keep an eye out for your dream job. Lastly, give it 110%. It’s hard to validate a career choice if you’re not giving something your full effort. Don’t go through an entire internship program and then think to yourself, “I wonder what would have happened if I really tried.” Give it your all from the get go! Dive in and show everyone you’re ambitious. Even if that job/internship/development opportunity wasn’t the right fit for you, you’ll leave everyone with a good impression and that might lead to your next opportunity.


-Jessica Shellan, Internship Development Coordinator & Certified Coach jessica.shellan@nm.com

-Janna Umetin, Campus Recruiter janna.umetin@nm.com