Spring is usually a very busy time on campus and in the career services office. The graduating class is anxiously applying for jobs and internships, hoping that one opportunity will start them on the path to their dream job. It’s a very nerve racking time for most students, but Cameron Klemczewski is not your typical college student. Klemczewski will graduate in May with a management degree and has been working in the role he will continue in, for over a year now. He already has an office decorated with his personal belongings and a rapidly growing client base that love working with him.
Klemczewski knew during his freshman year that he wanted to be a financial planner, but he was not exactly sure how he was going to get there. During his junior year he took Dr. Chad Milewicz’s Personal Selling course and met Scott Settles, Chief Recruitment Officer for Northwestern Mutual. Klemczewski had no idea, at the time, that Settles’ class presentation would start the beginning of a great friendship and tremendous career opportunity.
|Cameron receiving 2015 Intern of the Year award in Northwestern Mutual's
Kentucky and Southern Indiana district.
Northwestern Mutual has partnered with Milewicz’s class for the past five years and has provided the professor’s students with access to leadership profiles, communication style assessments and much more. Klemczewski took advantage of the tools that Northwestern Mutual provided and discovered that his desires to be a financial planner were spot on with the company’s personality profile. The assessment showed that Klemczewski was a natural fit for a career with Northwestern Mutual, and he began exploring the internship program with Settles.
In a matter of months, Klemczewski was ranked near the top ten in the Southern region and is currently ranked 31 out of nearly 3,500 interns nationwide for the award year in progress. He was recognized at an awards ceremony in Louisville as Intern of the Year in the Kentucky and Southern Indiana district. With drive and determination, Klemczewski set his sights to finish 2015 in the top ten in his region. He did just that and was recognized during an award ceremony in Orlando, Florida, for ranking sixth.
Nationwide thousands of interns enroll annually with Northwestern Mutual, and there are about ten USI students working in the internship locally. Northwestern Mutual’s internship program has been named by Vault.com as the number one internship for students seeking careers in the financial services industry. It’s also the only internship to have ranked in the top ten rankings for 20 straight years alongside industry giants such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Ford Motor Company.
|Cameron receiving an award for Northwestern Mutual's 2015 Top Ten Intern,
where he ranked sixth in his region.
Settles noted that Northwestern Mutual’s internship program is challenging, but for someone who has the motivation and passion for helping people, it’s an opportunity to jumpstart your career after graduation.
While taking 12 credit hours his last semester at USI, Klemczewski is at his job at Northwestern Mutual as much as 30 or more hours a week, but he’s embraced the challenges and rewards that come with it. “I’m excited to get out of bed each day because I love it there,” he said. When Settles describes Klemczewski as “someone who is very likeable, has a lot of drive and a ton of grit,” it’s easy to see why he has accomplished so much.
Klemczewski describes the coaching and mentorship at Northwestern Mutual as second to none. He appreciates that his colleagues’ doors are always open to him, and they are willing to help him and take time to offer their support and insight. He has coaching sessions every Friday morning with mentor Ryan Schmitt, Financial Advisor, and says it’s one of the biggest reasons he’s done so well this year. Interns have the opportunity to strengthen their “courage muscle” by networking with professionals and meeting with clients to talk about various aspects of financial planning.
Klemczewski has a clear vision when it comes to helping his clients. Northwestern Mutual is a relationship-based organization, so they are committed to working with clients through all phases of their lives, not just selling them a product.
Klemczewski is licensed to provide life, disability and health insurances; and he has his Series 6 license. While studying for his licenses and getting day-to-day on the job experience, he decided to change his major to management. The financial representatives at Northwestern Mutual own their own practices, so he wanted to learn how to manage a business and be a business owner.
Klemczewski, a native of Evansville, chose USI based on its affordability. He explained, “As a finance guy, I wanted to graduate from college with as little debt as possible.” He said the Personal Selling class is probably what has prepared him the most for his career. “I was very shy in high school, and this class made me branch out and do things I was scared to do.” He learned important communication skills like how to educate people and how to ask clients tough questions. He said it’s also important to know how to sell yourself as someone who is an expert, who has integrity, is trustworthy, and who has the client’s best interest at heart.
USI has a storied history of alumni working as financial professionals in Evansville with Northwestern Mutual and Klemczewski is sure to be added to that list someday. His personal practice might just be getting started but he is well on his way to a very long and successful career. Klemczewski is a wonderful example for other USI students looking to find their way after graduation. You never know when a professor, class presentation or career fair might open the door to your most amazing future.
Published March 15, 2016