Intern rakes high in national competition

by Olivia Litsey

There are few accomplishments San Diego State economics senior Bill Dabbert hasn’t already achieved during his time in college.

After only starting an internship late last August, Dabbert finished No. 35 in the Northwestern Mutual’s four-month-long nationwide competition for its Top 100 College Interns last semester. There are roughly 2,500 Northwestern Mutual interns all around the country. As a result of this achievement, Dabbert was given the opportunity to attend the company’s winter camp held last month for the winning interns. He was trained by some of the best representatives, all of whom were former interns, in the country during a weekend in Milwaukee.

“It was the first business trip of my life, so it was cool,” Dabbert said.

Dabbert spent his first three years at SDSU as an electrical engineering major, and then switched to economics after discovering his aversion to computer programming. He was enjoying his position as a facility supervisor at the Aztec Recreation Center when an opportunity came along via his roommate at the time. Northwestern Mutual, a mutual company based in Milwaukee, Wis. that helps clients obtain financial security, reached out to Dabbert and eventually offered him an internship at their downtown San Diego location.

After getting through three interviews and completing a 52-hour course that resulted in a California State Life Accident and Health certification, Dabbert is a new financial representative that works with clients on a regular basis. He essentially builds plans that help clients get from their current financial situation to a better one. He said his favorite clients are families.

“When you introduce yourself to them and show them the type of work that you do, you can really provide some long-term solutions and build a full-scale financial plan for them with the risk-management side, which is insurance and wealth accumulation—which is helping them with their investments and showing them the different vehicles that you can put your money in, either long-term or short-term,” Dabbert said.

Dabbert’s college unit director at Northwestern Mutual, Financial Advisor Robert Caraveo, is proud of Dabbert for receiving the recognition, but not surprised.

 

[quote]

“I’ve only known him since August, but Bill is surprising me less and less just because I’m starting to realize that if he sets his mind to something, he can make it happen,” Caraveo said. [/quote]

Dabbert’s former rhetoric instructor, Professor Paul Minifee, has similar sentiments in regards to Dabbert’s accomplishment.

“He’s a people person, so he’s approachable, he’s warm and hardworking. I’m not surprised,” Minifee said.

Dabbert feels grateful for the internship opportunity at Northwestern Mutual because he feels it’s prepared him well for a future job as a financial analyst.

[quote]“It’s really allowed me to learn about the financial industry and be able to communicate with other people very well, which I think are two huge factors in a financial position,” Dabbert said.[/quote]

Dabbert is a young man with his whole life ahead of him. His fast-approaching post-graduate includes plans for traveling away from his hometown of San Diego and taking his outdoor hobbies such as rock-climbing and backpacking to the next level during a trip to Yosemite. He’ll subsequently go to South America on his own for an entire year to improve his Spanish-speaking skills and hopefully experience life as a teacher in a third-world area.

“Because school is a long haul … so it’ll be nice to be done and travel,” Dabbert said. “And I haven’t been able to study abroad yet.”

Though his time at SDSU is coming to an end soon, he looks back on his time at school with nothing but fond memories and he looks toward his future with visible excitement.

“I’m looking forward to finishing up, doing some traveling, getting back, getting a job, and then go from there,” Dabbert said.

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