A finance and banking major, Steven Denton interned at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Charlotte in summer 2016.
Steven Denton’s internship at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Charlotte gave him a taste of living in a big city and working in a corporate setting. The finance and banking major from Sparta, North Carolina, who will graduate in December 2017, said he greatly valued the experience. His biggest take-away? Learning the importance of, and expectations for, office teamwork.
“All the group projects you do in college and the groups you work with are completely accurate,” Denton said. At Liberty Mutual, he worked on a team taking in claims and employee leave requests, assigning case managers and filing supporting documents. And, with his peers, he shared ideas on how to improve the process.
“The entire office works in sync and has to function all together. If we were behind, then the entire office is set back. Teamwork surrounds your job even if you do not think you directly impact others,” he said.
Denton found his internship with help from Appalachian’s Brantley Risk and Insurance Center and its semi-annual RMI Career Fair in the Walker College of Business (WCOB). “Career fairs are extremely helpful when you are looking for an internship or full time job. The representatives are in search of prime candidates for their companies,” he said. The WCOB also hosts an annual Business Connections event, serving hundreds of business students each year.
Denton highly recommends internships for other students because he said the experience “helped me better understand what I want after college.”
As a result, he’s now pursuing a slightly different career path: entrepreneurship. Denton and Austin Rife, a senior marketing major from New Oxford, Pennsylvania, who will graduate in May 2017, have started a business together called AppWrap that sells officially licensed Appalachian wrapping paper. The company uses recycled paper and is FSC certified to ensure its products are obtained through sustainably sourced methods of harvest, he said.
The pair hopes to scale up the business to feature paper for schools across the state. “We look forward to what the future holds,” Denton said.
Steven Denton’s advice to other students
- Use the online site careergear.appstate.edu to research potential sites
- Apply for internships early
- Network with professionals as much as you can. “The people you meet can be an outstanding bridge to your future,” he said.
Secure an internship
One of the best ways to start your career is through an internship. Appalachian has the connections to help you find one.