Blog

Steph van Wieringen

Project Manager

Northwestern Mutual’s internship program gives future leaders early opportunities to learn and shine

Two dozen students recently got a taste of data science and analytics at Northwestern Mutual as part of this 2021 Summer Internship Program. Over the course of 10 weeks, the interns contributed directly to projects that advanced the company’s data science and analytic capabilities.

It is all part of Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to giving students real-world opportunities and a great early career experience that ultimately strengthens the data science talent pipeline in the Milwaukee region. Northwestern Mutual’s internship program was recently recognized as a Top 100 internship program by WayUp, the leading platform for employers to recruit diverse and qualified talent.

Through the Northwestern Mutual University Relations team and the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute’s (NMDSI) partnership with UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University, two high school students and 22 collegiate students were selected for the summer. They were part of the company’s 114 tech interns which comprised of 72 percent female and/or people of color – a key measure of our success in diversification.

From June to August, interns from the Milwaukee region learned hard and soft skills within the company’s Core Data and Analytics (CDA) department. They learned how to tell stories with data using Power BI, the power of AWS, how to program using Python, use classic tools such SQL or modern ones like Databricks, and much more.

“This intern experience has allowed me to take the concepts I’ve learned in my courses – particularly a management class I had taken – and see how they apply to a real project in a professional space. I had the chance to utilize the teamwork skills I had been developing every year in school. I felt I found a great intersection of where my math and economics/business knowledge could be useful - both on my team, and in a company like NM. I found that my education and personality are very well suited to a career in project management,” said Program Management Office intern Lauren Demasek.

For any current or aspiring data science and analytics students interested in pursuing an internship at Northwestern Mutual, the summer interns have some advice they would like to share.

“Go for it! Nothing you do at Northwestern Mutual will be a waste of your time. You will learn more than you can imagine, and you will be supported in your growth. Ask questions and do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it,” said Project Management Intern Mirian Vargas.

“Be curious. Be open and willing to try new things, even if they don’t align exactly to your major. Go for it, ask questions,” said Data Engineering Intern Alexis Craft.

Of the 24 interns that participated, 17 are continuing their internship at Northwestern Mutual in the Fall semester. Year over year, approximately 71 percent of those eligible at graduation receive full-time job offers from Northwestern Mutual.  To learn more about how to get an internship in data science at Northwestern Mutual, please visit our career site.

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As the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute celebrates its two-year anniversary, see how we’re leveraging the best of both worlds – industry and academia – to make Milwaukee a premier destination for data science talent.