For many University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students, internships, on-campus career fairs and faculty connections are the precipice to early career success. For seniors Taylor Schneider and Brandon VanBogaert, internships with Society Insurance will allow them to start their careers as soon as they get their diplomas.
VanBogaert, a finance major from South Elgin, Illinois, and Schneider, a marketing and human resources management major from Fond du Lac, had never pictured themselves working for an insurance company prior to applying for their internships. Now it’s hard for them to imagine working anywhere else.
When Schneider accepted the offer to be a human resources intern with Society Insurance, she wasn’t actively seeking an internship.
The position was brought to her attention after she was required to perform an informational interview with an HR professional for her Professional Skills in Business class. She chose to interview someone from Society Insurance, and a few weeks after the interview, she received a call asking if she would be interested in applying.
After applying and getting hired on as an HR intern, Schneider was promoted to her current role as an HR coordinator. She will assume a full-time position as HR generalist after graduation.
“I will admit, I never pictured myself working at an insurance company, especially when HR is needed in all industries. Now that I’ve been in the industry for two years, I would love to continue working with insurance. It’s a lot more interesting than everyone thinks!” she said.
Schneider said the biggest reason for continuing her career with Society Insurance is the work culture and how much she loves working for the company.
“When I first started my HR Intern position, I was never treated as your stereotypical intern that was hired to do busy work. The company invested time and money into my career development. Society invests in their people to make sure they grow and are happy when they come to work every day.” she said.
Tracy Wusterbarth, senior HR generalist and Schneider’s supervisor, said that Schneider’s drive to be successful is what made her stand out as a great fit for the company.
“I don’t think Taylor ever looked at the opportunity as just an internship. She asks great questions and it shows she truly wants to learn and excel in the HR field,” said Wusterbarth. “We are very happy she chose to stay with Society Insurance.”
VanBogaert was originally hired on as an audit intern with Society Insurance and has since worked his way up within the company, landing himself a full-time position.
Currently an audit trainee, VanBogaert will assume the role of an auditor upon graduation. For him, the best part of his position at Society Insurance is doing something he finds interesting.
“I am able to see insurance records, deep dive into how the business is doing, and do math all day, which I enjoy,” he said.
VanBogaert said the only reason he applied for the internship was to fulfill his program’s requirement of participating in one to graduate. However, he has continued with the company because of how much he enjoys the people, culture and work.
“What makes Society Insurance a great company to work for is the little things they do for their employees. They provide all the tools, resources and knowledge an employee needs to carry out their job successfully,” he said. “I have never once been tempted to leave the company or even change industries.”
VanBogaert’s supervisor, Tricia Wood, said she had suspected that he would be a great candidate for a full-time position when he was hired for his internship. After his first summer working for them, she was sure that he would be a great fit.
“Brandon has always been dependable, he’s upbeat and engaged in everything we do. He learned quickly, asked good questions and retained information well. He also has great verbal communication skills,” Wood said.
VanBogaert has already used his skills and experience to help his peers by speaking with students in the Intro to Risk Management and Insurance class taught by Kate Manthey, director of UW Oshkosh’s Insurance and Risk Management Program. Manthey said she expects him to come back and speak to future classes as well.