No sitting around making copies or working in a back-office environment. You’ll work with real clients doing real work. While on the job you'll understand first-hand what a career The Principal is like as you get a feel for what you would do if you worked full-time with our organization.
Many past interns have joined us as full-time employees following graduation. Meet two former interns who made the move to employee.
Interested in meeting our interns?
Accounting & Actuarial Science major
- Dimple - majoring in Actuarial Science
- Ashley - majoring in Accounting & Management Information Systems (MIS)
Business & Finance major
- Adam - majoring in Finance & Certificate of Entrepreneurship
- Mark - majoring in Finance & Accounting
- Pernell - majoring in Finance & Marketing
- Terra - majoring in Business Administration
Management Information Systems (MIS) major
- Alex - majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS)
- Greg - majoring in Computer Science & Management Information Systems (MIS)
- Laura - majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) & Spanish
- Nick - majoring in Public Relations
In the midst of graduate school, Dimple decided to obtain an internship at The Principal because of their good reputation and strong actuarial program. As part of the risk management team in her department, she had the opportunity to work with various life insurance modeling applications. These improvements will benefit the life actuaries at The Principal in the future. She also made sure the finances (assets, liabilities, reserves, etc.) were sufficient for future payouts.
“I got to work on actual life projects and get hands on experience,” said Dimple. “I got to see how actuaries in different business units operate.”
Dimple took advantage of all the networking opportunities provided to her during her internship. Apart from meeting with several members of senior management, Dimple kept a full social calendar.
“I literally had something on my calendar every single day – food, sports, going out. You name it, we did it,” said Dimple.
During the work day, Ashley runs through the daily processes of demand and resource management. She updates reports, helps run the reports and attends meetings. The Principal has allowed her to learn about several areas of the company and discover where her interests lie. According to Ashley, she feels much more confident about her future career now.
“I came with without a lot of experience in MIS, but I got to learn a lot about the programs and how to improve and learn for myself,” said Ashley.
Away from work, Ashley has kept herself occupied by attending networking events, catching baseball games and dining out with her intern friends, which she’s made at The Principal. She’s taken advantage of many socializing venues and has come to realize that “Des Moines surprises you” with all it has to offer.
In January 2008, Adam entered into an eight month co-op with The Principal. As a student at the University of Iowa, Des Moines offered a great taste of city life, all while being within close proximity of home. During his time working in the Commercial Real Estate division at The Principal, he modeled budget forecasts, analyzed market and property statistics and even compared potential deal structures to determine the best option for the company. To sum up his overall experience, Adam coined it “incredibly fulfilling.”
“The skills that I’ve learned here are transferable to any other financial company. The Principal has given me the experience to prepare me for my first step into the real world,” said Adam. “I’m no longer a deer in headlights – I know what to expect.”
As a graduate student, Mark has been able to tackle projects without significant assistance – his independent work ethic even surprised his supervisor. This summer he was able to expand his knowledge of fixed income securities and gain experience in corporate credit analysis.
“During my time at The Principal, I benefited not only from the expertise of Principal Global Investors, but also enjoyed visits from economists, analysts and traders from sell side firms such as Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse,” said Mark.” “Interning at PGI allows one to get a Wall Street experience in a more balanced Midwest environment.”
As a student in Indiana, Mark was looking for a work/life balance and found it in Des Moines.
“It’s a great commute and it’s much less stressful,” said Mark. “There’s less of a ‘rat race’ feel.”
Back for his second summer internship, Pernell has had the opportunity to work on the SWAT team, completing biographies on potential clients, researching competitors and evaluating the success of advisors visits.
“I gained a lot of knowledge during my first internship, but I didn’t gain so much that I didn’t need to come back,” said Pernell.
This year, as a way to bring Generation Y technology into the workplace, he was given the responsibility to implement a Web site forum for Retirement Investor Services to store competitor information. This serves as an up-to-date archive on all company competitors.
The Valued Intern at The Principal (VIP) program has allowed Pernell to develop several valuable skill sets that will better prepare him for the future.
“I’m really happy to see how much time and effort is put into the Scholars/VIP program,” said Pernell. “You can tell it’s very well structured by how smooth they run. They make sure you have the best experience possible, which is hard to find in such a large company.”
Although Terra was very involved during her time here, her main responsibility lay with Accounts Payable. While there, she worked on a training project that was specifically geared toward new employees. With this, she went through processes, created documentation and created a system for new employees in the accounts payable team. She also worked closely on an analysis project, which increased the efficiency of paying bills within accounts payable.
“The best part is the feeling that I really contribute something,” said Terra. “The Principal is investing in me and having faith that I can complete the work.”
The atmosphere, networking, positive environment, independence and easy access to senior management are among some of her favorite aspects of The Principal.
“Working in a corporate setting is a great benefit. It’s opened my eyes and has given me a broad perspective,” said Terra. “I’m motivated to come to work everyday and do my best.”
As an intern, Alex was able to learn more about the business side of IT and had the opportunity to test software before it went into production. In the beginning, he started off running test cases. However, after only a few months, he started doing automated testing and writing test cases. This work was done for many different departments and applications.
“Within my first week, I didn’t feel like ‘just an intern’ – I felt like part of the team,” said Alex.
At The Principal, Alex has been given many opportunities to network. Not only has he had the chance to meet with people in different departments, he’s met many members of senior management.
Plus, downtown Des Moines has offered him the perfect work/life balance.
“I really like working downtown,” said Alex. “There’s always something going on – there’s always something new.”
Working with the server operations, Greg was responsible for managing the file share drives during his summer at The Principal. With this, he managed file access, worked on programming, coordinated with remote offices and tested new products. As a return intern, Greg came back for a second summer with The Principal because he “learned more in the three months here, than during three years of schooling.” According to Greg, he was given assignments comparable to what a full-time employee would receive.
Greg was introduced to The Principal through his school’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) organization, in which The Principal is a sponsor. The decision to intern here was a relatively simple one for him.
“It’s not a 60-hour work week. You come here and get your job done,” said Greg. “There’s a great work/life balance.”
During her time at The Principal, Laura updated the health insurance portion on the old Principal.com Quality Assurance Analysis Web site. With this, she was responsible for regression testing, writing test scenarios, making sure the changes work properly and testing the site to make sure it functions the same.
“I’m working on a real project,” said Laura. “They’re going to be using what I do now in the future.”
Her decision to come to Des Moines was spurred by The Principal’s internship program and the good reputation it’s earned. Also, with its constant growth, Des Moines offered a lot of things to do during her time here.
“The best part about my experience was the people – and the work I do. It’s a really laid back environment,” said Laura.
Within the life and health segment, Nick assisted in the design of marketing tools and strategies to support his department’s business initiatives. By helping to successfully implement these marketing and promotional strategies, he gained a better understanding of the marketing within the life insurance industry.
“I have had the opportunity to enhance my marketing knowledge and skills by working in a professional environment with exceptional people,” said Nick.
His advice to future interns? Get plugged in immediately. Nick took advantage of countless networking opportunities at The Principal and each of them gave him the opportunity to grow as a well-rounded young professional.
“My work has been implemented nationwide, and I can honestly say I have helped make a difference during my time as an intern,” said Nick.