Employee Insights

Employee Insights: Meet Sara Brandenburg, Allianz Life

by Sara Brandenburg - September 24th, 2015

I consider my most precious takeaways the connections with the wonderful people I work with and that I leave the office every day knowing the work I’ve done is valuable and appreciated by a company I am extremely proud to say I work for.

Allianz-Photo of Sara Brandenburg

From my very first day at Allianz, I have encountered endless opportunities, welcoming faces, and open doors. I’ve been extremely lucky to have smart, honest, hard-working managers and co-workers who have had full confidence in me and have advocated for me – even when I was back at school during the months between my two summer internships.

Throughout my time at Allianz, I have been encouraged to take on new projects, pursue ideas, and provide value. My opinions matter to the people I work for and with. Often, someone will pause a meeting and ask for my perspective or recommendation – not a typical opportunity for an intern.

I have yet to hear of another internship program with such an approachable, accessible C-level executive team. The chief legal officer greeted me by name when I saw her for the first time this summer – after meeting me once eight months previously. I have had the privilege of one-on-one meetings with the president and chief executive officer during both of my internships.

Numerous members of the executive team attend the ice cream social internship program kick-off event every summer, and each holds an hour-long coffee talk with our intern group. I believe it must be very rare for leadership at such a high level to take the time to meet with interns; that in itself speaks volumes about the kind of company Allianz is. In large corporations, the tone is set by the top leaders – here it is clearly one of caring and respect.

These values absolutely pour through the rest of the company. Allianz interns and employees alike are encouraged to do “step-ins” – meeting with someone in the company to learn what he or she does on a day-to-day basis.Allianz-Photo of Sara Brandenbourg with colleagues

I have been able to do step-ins in departments all over the company, allowing me to gain insight into different sides of the business and get to know people in a wide variety of roles. This has not only provided me with great networking connections, but has also broadened my resource pool both within and outside my department for people to reach out to while working on projects.

As I approach the midpoint of my second summer internship at Allianz, the happy, excited feeling I get every morning from the moment I walk into the building has yet to fade away. From what I hear, it never does. This place is special. People joke that there’s something in the water at Allianz. Employees truly look forward to coming to work and are proud of the company they work for – this shines in attitudes and general energy.

I have been exposed to countless types of situations, people, and projects in my summers at Allianz. Between the experiences I have been provided and the opportunities they have led to, I can’t imagine how this internship program could be topped.

Even beyond learning an incredible amount about the industry and observing myriad aspects of the business, I consider my most precious takeaways the connections with the wonderful people I work with and that I leave the office every day knowing the work I’ve done is valuable and appreciated by a company I am extremely proud to say I work for. I believe that an internship shapes the foundation of your career. I will be forever grateful that mine was built here at Allianz.

Written by Sara Brandenburg

Sara Brandenburg

Intern at Enterprise Operations

Sara is doing an internship in in Enterprise Operations and FMO Distribution at Allianz Life. She is graduating from Iowa State University, Accounting & Management. Sara enjoys kayaking, biking, boating, fishing, paddle-boarding, attending Minnesota Wild hockey games, as well as traveling to new places & visiting old favorites.

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