Nick Zanoni, TCNJ Class of 2016, interned and is now a full-time employee of Northwestern Mutual. Nick was an Economics major at TCNJ.
“As a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual, I strive to provide expert guidance and innovative solutions for individuals and businesses in the areas of retirement planning, insurance and investment services, estate planning, business planning, education funding and employee benefits. Ultimately, my mission is to build strong relationships with individuals and help build the bridges between each and every one of their personal, professional and financial goals.”
Northwestern Mutual is an American Financial Services company that focuses on comprehensive financial planning for its clients. Areas include Risk Management, Wealth Accumulation and Wealth Preservation and Distribution. NM helps individuals, families and businesses financial security and peace of mind.
What department or area did you work with most often?
This internship is very unique in the fact that you are, truly, not an intern. You work as a full-fledged Financial Representative, and do the exact job that anyone contracted full time carries out. It just depends on the amount of time you devote to developing your own practice. As such, I went out and pursued my own clients, developed financial plans for them, and helped them then implement solutions to better their own, and their families’ lives respectively.
What was the most positive experience you had at the internship?
Overall, it had to be the fact that I was fully test driving a career, and not just carrying out traditional “internship” tasks. Working with NM my entire senior year allowed me to not only work and be paid as a full time employee with the effort I expended, but it helped me to truly understand if the career was for me. As a full time Financial Advisor now, I am genuinely doing the exact same work that I did during my internship, just larger in scale.
The NM Princeton Office under Managing Partner Joe Savino is truly the most positive work environment that I could ever picture, where every single individual is behind you to help you reach all of your goals. Once completing a major milestone for the company, I received at least 50 emails from various individuals congratulating me and pushing me forward. That is valuable beyond anything else.
What was the greatest learning experience?
Being that I was balancing my senior year thesis in economics, a second job for a period of time, working as much as possible with NM and maintaining some semblance of a personal life, I really was able to develop my time management skills. This was a crucial thing to my time last year and something I truly value now even more.
Did you learn more about professionalism in the workplace? If so, what part of professionalism stands out?
I feel that this career is the epitome of professionalism. People are trusting you with their dreams, passions, goals and worries, along with all types of confidential and personal information. Just like a doctor, you must be able to do right by those you are serving. Having to carry myself in the most respectful of manners by being prompt, on time and well dressed (always a suit), definitely increased that professionalism aspect as well.
What is the biggest take away from your experience?
No matter what path you take, you have to give the absolute most effort that you possibly can. If you don’t provide that effort and give whatever path you are trying a real and true shot, how could you ever know if it was meant for you? I took this internship as a real job, and worked like a full time employee. Because of that I can say a year and 6 months with the company now, I won’t be going anywhere.
What skill(s) do you think you enhanced from this internship?
Communication – beyond anything else. From dialing and speaking with clients. Learning to listen and not over speak, and being able to handle yourself in any situation as a coach, teacher and planner. You come to be very comfortable in any situation. Especially with anything involving rejection. I know that I could enter any room and start talking with anyone at this point. I find that exceptionally valuable to be able to express ideas and have genuine, real conversation with people.
Nicholas V. Zanoni | Financial Advisor