From Intern to Employee: 10 Questions with Dylan Smith


We interviewed our former intern, Dylan Smith, for Intern Appreciation Day! Dylan is a Finance and Marketing graduate from New Mexico State University. He was honored as the Most Outstanding Graduate of the Finance Department in 2023 and served as the President of the Financial Management Association. Dylan joined the National Alliance in 2022 as a Finance and R&D Intern and was hired in June 2023 as a Junior Business Analysis. 

Check out his interview!

What initially attracted you to apply for an internship with The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research?

I was primarily looking for a place where I could make an impact and learn. Once meeting with National Alliance, I found that I could do that here. Reading about the culture and prestige of the National Alliance was what piqued my interest.

Can you share some highlights of your experiences and projects during your internship?

Some of the highlights were being able to go to our team value days, building a competitor analysis, and learning from everyone on the team. It was a great experience!

Were there any challenges or obstacles you faced during your internship, and how did you overcome them?

Being in a new area and starting a new role was challenging at times. I had just moved from New Mexico to Austin and started the internship the next day. The onboarding process and the team were great for me to get over any challenges or answer all my questions.

How did the internship contribute to your decision to pursue a full-time position with our company? 

I loved my time at my internship and was able to extend it while going to school for my final year of college. I wanted to join full-time because I knew I could find a role for myself and be able to make an impact. I enjoyed working with everyone in Digital Experience, Finance, and Marketing Ops and knew I would be valued here. My internship was key in finding all of this out!

What steps did you take to stand out as an intern and make a lasting impression on the team? 

I tried to stand out by being dedicated and learning all I could, as well as using my unique perspective to help wherever I could. I just wanted to help as much as I could and be a person that others like to work with.

How did the company’s culture and work environment influence your decision to join as a full-time employee?

Culture is a large part of why I joined full-time. Our teams are full of talented, professional, and genuine people. Everyone that I have met since day one of joining has been very kind and helpful. As a team, we work well with each other and have a great relationship

How did you approach the interview process for the full-time position, and were there any specific skills or experiences you emphasized during the interviews?

Some of the skills I brought up were my leadership experience in college: being a President of the Financial Management Association, being a member of several councils, and leading many projects for competitions relating to FinTech. I also talked about what I did during my internship and the new skills or ideas I could bring to a full-time role.

Were there any specific mentors or colleagues who played a significant role in guiding you during your internship and helping you make a successful transition to a permanent role?

Absolutely, Kiko Doblado, Alex Lekhraj, and Michelle Haynes have all had a huge part in my success, and learning from them has been amazing.

In hindsight, is there anything you wish you had done differently during your internship that could have further enhanced your journey to becoming an employee?

No, I don’t think I would do anything differently because everything has worked out well and I am happy with my position. I think I took advantage of the opportunity and hope to keep learning and growing in my new position.

What advice would you give to current interns who aspire to secure a full-time position with the company?

My advice would be to work hard, use the skills you have, and be yourself. Do your best to learn and ask as many questions as you need! Also, do your best to find a mentor or someone in the role you’d like to be in one day.

Give your interns an Online Learning Subscription and provide them with valuable professional development opportunities that invest in your mutual success. Online Learning Subscriptions provide access to a comprehensive library of risk management and insurance courses, customizable learning paths, and opportunities to earn CE credits at every career level.

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