International Students Complete Virtual Internships, Receive Job Offers
Imagine being thousands of miles from home in another country, working toward completing your college degree, and looking forward to a once-in-a-lifetime summer internship. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happens.
That’s exactly the position David Campbell ’20 and Shingirai Guchu ’21 found themselves in this past March.
With many businesses canceling internship programs, Campbell, from Honduras, and Guchu, from Zimbabwe, had to wait and see what summer would mean for them. Fortunately, the pair landed virtual internships with Willis-Towers Watson (WTW), who extended the offer to sponsor their visas.
At WTW, Campbell, an actuarial science major, worked with the retirement team updating pension plans and spreadsheets using last year’s results. He also completed presentations on accounting and funding valuation and annuities purchases. He thanks his software and development, and probability and financial mathematical courses for providing the core knowledge and skills needed to excel during his internship.
“Not everything learned in class will be useful for work, but all the skills you gather are important when you work,” said Campbell. “This is something LVC’s Math Department says all the time, and after this internship, I can say for myself that it is true.”
Guchu, also an actuarial science major, worked with the retirement team as a retirement actuarial intern. He partnered with consultants to provide technical actuarial and consulting support to clients on their defined benefit (DB) retirement plans. Additionally, Guchu worked on several routine and non-routine projects and even completed two presentations to the senior consultants in funding valuation results and de-risking options for DB plans.
Although Campbell and Guchu expressed that they missed the small social interactions of being in person, such as grabbing coffee with a manager or fellow intern, they agree that WTW did a phenomenal job moving the internship experience virtually.
“I had a very exciting experience because the virtual environment allowed the firm to expand intern collaboration and engagement with different offices across North America,” said Guchu. “This has been one of my best career moves yet. I gained insight into the professional realm of the actuarial industry, especially in the context of consulting. It helped me develop my professional persona, validated my career choice, and renewed my passion to pursue actuarial science.”
As Guchu prepares for his final year at LVC, he is excited to apply his experience in the field to his classes and coursework.
“As a general takeaway, I experienced first-hand the importance of having core skills not only in your major, but also having soft skills such as communication, teamwork, positive attitude, and flexibility,” said Guchu. “LVC does an excellent job preparing students to be well-skilled in both areas.”
Campbell will finish his final semester this fall and graduate from LVC in December, while Guchu will graduate in May. The pair accepted full-time job offers with WTW as actuarial analysts with the retirement team.
-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant