While interning at AXA Advisors, Nate Stevens of Kearney, Nebraska, changed the way he uses sales and even how he starts his day. A senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Stevens plans to graduate in May with a marketing major and a certificate from the Center of Sales Excellence in the College of Business Administration.
“My favorite part of working at AXA Advisors this summer was learning new sales techniques by observing and being a part of client meetings. There's only so much you can read or so much they can tell you. When you see people do it first-hand, that’s when you actually start to pick up great tips,” Stevens said.
He worked as a financial consultant intern at AXA’s Omaha, Nebraska, office. AXA Advisors is a financial advising company that assists individuals and companies with their long term financial needs and goals. Stevens was drawn to the company over other financial institutions because they allow their sales employees to sell not only AXA products, but also provide products from other companies based on the needs of the client.
“AXA is all about the customer. This summer I worked with clients and went on trips with the financial advisors. I saw meetings firsthand and did some of my own presenting to clients,” Stevens said. “I wanted to make sure that I used this internship opportunity to learn as much as possible.”
He also learned an important life lesson when one of his AXA mentors had him watch Admiral William H. McRaven’s Commencement speech from the University of Texas. “Admiral McRaven said making your bed every morning can lead to a more productive day. I started making my bed and I couldn’t believe it, but it changed everything for me. His quote was ‘If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,’” Stevens said.
Stevens, who is in the certificate program in sales excellence, competed at the 17th Annual National Collegiate Sales Competition held at Kennesaw State University last April. Students studying any major may earn a certificate from the College of Business Administration in professional selling by completing 13 credit hours of required coursework.
“In both the competition and my internship, I applied knowledge from my finance and sales classes. I'm grateful I could take skills I learned from Chad Mardesen’s (assistant professor of practice in marketing) class and apply it first hand in my internship,” Stevens said. “I'm excited to implement what I’ve learned into my sales career.”
Following his internship, Stevens was offered a full-time position at AXA starting in May. He is also studying to take the Securities Series 7 Licensing Exam in January.