Internship Program

The WSIA Internship Program annually awards paid summer internship to college students interested in an insurance career.  This nine-week opportunity offers students experience in both the underwriting and brokerage sides of the surplus lines marketplace by working with actual risks and learning alongside leaders in the industry. Interns will spend time in a variety of roles and departments including claims, data processing, accounting, operations, brokerage, human resources, marketing, and reinsurance and underwriting. 

Interns receive:

  • A salary of $18/hour from their host firms;
  • Fully-covered housing costs;
  • Paid travel to and from the host location in cities across the country;
  • Mentoring throughout the program by members of the WSIA Internship Committee:
  • A stipend to cover incidental expenses; 
  • Complimentary access to the WSIA Surplus Lines Fundamentals course; and
  • A two-day orientation in Kansas City covering a variety of topics to familiarize them with the industry.  

Interns also compete for the chance to attend the WSIA Annual Marketplace in September in Atlanta, and for additional scholarships to study the London market. A list of the 2017 WSIA interns is available here.

Sign up for the WSIA University Bulletin to be notified when applications are available. 

What Previous Interns Say About the Experience

  • “It was one of the best experiences of my life to date.”
  • “Overall, an awesome internship program that exceeded my expectations!”
  • “By far the most in-depth networking and learning experience I've had the opportunity to be a part of. I would highly recommend it to all students interested in Surplus Lines and even those who are unsure.”
  • “I learned so much throughout the course of the experience and felt that I was able to apply what I had learned in school to real world experiences.”
  • "This internship is truly one-of-a-kind and I think sets an example for the industry because of its focus on giving interns perspective.”
  • “The internship has opened up my eyes to what insurance, and specifically E&S has to offer and it is now my number one option when job searching during my senior year."

Who May Apply

In order to be eligible for the program, students must generally meet the following guiding principles:
  • Be a current college junior or senior
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Satisfy one of the following requirements:
    • be an Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) major/minor/concentration student;
    • have taken RMI courses; or 
    • have work experience in the RMI industry. 
The WSIA Internship Committee reviews all applications and selects candidates for a round of interviews (either in-person or via Skype) in November. The selected class of interns will be notified of offers by December 5.

Timeline

  • August 2017 - application available
  • October 15, 2017 - application deadline
  • November, 2017 - interviews (in person or via Skype)
  • December 5, 2017 - applicants notified of decisions
  • May 30 - June 1, 2018 - two-day orientation in Kansas City
  • June 2018 - underwriting internship
  • July 2018 - brokerage internship

Application Process

Applications for the WSIA Internship Program are accepted and reviewed on an annual basis and are due on October 15. The 2017 application is now closed, but 2018 applications will be available in August. Applicants should expect to complete an online application and prepare three additional documents:

  • Resume
  • A brief essay (no more than one page and 250 words per question, with a maximum of 500 words total for both questions) responding to the following two questions:
    • The most successful internship applicants will demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a career in the U.S. surplus lines industry after graduation. What are your career goals and how did you first become interested in a career in surplus lines?
    • What single personality trait best qualifies you for a career in the surplus lines industry?
  • Unofficial transcripts provided as either a Word document of PDF. (Note: JPG files cannot be accepted.) 
In addition, students will need a reference letter from an individual who can speak to the applicant's character and work ethic. The reference should be a non-family member and could be a supervisor, faculty member/teacher, coach or someone else who knows the applicant well. Letters should be sent directly from the reference to Christine Timmerman at chris@wsia.org.

Selection Process

The WSIA Internship Committee reviews all applications and selects candidates for a round of interviews (either in-person or via Skype) in November. The selected class of interns will be notified of offers by December 5.

Questions?

If you have any questions regarding the required elements or the due dates, please contact Christine Timmerman, WSIA Career Development Programs Manager at chris@wsia.org.

Employment Opportunities 

WSIA is committed to helping successful interns find employment in the surplus lines industry. Many interns receive job offers to join their host firms or other companies they interacted with soon after completing the program. While much of this success is a result of hard work by the individual interns, the structure of the internship also helps interns network for potential employment. The hands-on work emphasis and full access to all levels of the company mean interns have a wealth of opportunities to distinguish themselves.

Additionally, WSIA Interns and their hosts are listed each year in the WSIA NEWS, sent to all members. Recent interns and their hosts are also listed on the WSIA website. WSIA member firms interested in hiring a former intern may access former Intern Resumes for review and consideration. You will be asked to provide login and password.  Contact WSIA if you need assistance with this information.

WSIA Internship History

WSIA established the Internship Program in 1981 to interest students in the surplus lines industry, which handles unique, unusual, or hard to place risks. More than 310 students have participated in the program since its inception, and over half of the former interns are currently working in the insurance industry. Many are employed by WSIA member firms. 

Students work five weeks for a WSIA member insurance carrier and four weeks with a WSIA member wholesale brokerage firm. Interns gain experience in all areas, including: underwriting, claims, accounting, marketing, and regulatory compliance.  Much of the work is hands-on, actually dealing with risks that may receive coverage by the firms, and many interns are assigned special projects by their host firms dealing with particular lines of business or future ventures and programs. Additionally, interns are given access to many levels of leadership at the firm; many meet the Presidents or CEOs of their organization during their internship tenure.

Based on evaluations and recommendations from the host firms, selected interns are invited to attend the WSIA Annual Marketplace in the fall. The selected interns are hosted by members of the WSIA Career Awareness & Internship Committee and receive an all-access view of this important members-only Convention.  More than 3,800 industry professionals attend this convention to conduct business, and WSIA interns are often courted for positions during the event.

While attending the Convention, one intern is selected for the J.H. Blades Scholarship to visit London and study the Lloyd’s and one is selected for the Bermuda Scholarship, which provides a perspective on the Bermuda market.  WSIA provides travel, lodging, and stipend funds for these overseas scholarships. For more information about the WSIA Internship Program, contact Christine Timmerman at chris@wsia.org

A list of past WSIA Interns is available here