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Summer Internships: Travis Russell

Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Many students are participating in internships this summer. Meet:

Travis RussellTravis Russell

He is: a Ferris graduate from Grand Rapids, having earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing/Sales, with a minor in Finance, this May.

His Internship: Travis is interning with Aon Risk Services, Inc. at its Grand Rapids office.

What Travis is Learning: “A great deal about property and casualty insurance, as well as risk financing. The learning curve is a big one, but it has been a huge help having such great people in the office who are always willing to answer my questions. I spend a lot of time analyzing financial summaries to ensure that quotes, proposals, binders, etc. all have matching numbers, to ensure that we are doing the best job for our clients.”

Future Plans: “My short-term plans are to work as hard as possible to make a good impression here, and more importantly, to take advantage of the networking opportunities this internship presents, to build relationships with my colleagues. My long-term plans? Figure out what I am going to do for the rest of my life.”

Other Activities at Ferris: “I am returning in the fall to exercise my final season of athletic eligibility. I am a quarterback on the football team, entering my fifth and final season with the guys.”

Advice to Students Seeking Internships: “Put yourself out there. Just because you are going to school for, say, Accounting, doesn’t mean that you can’t do an internship for an actuarial practice or a private equity firm. The learning happens on the job, and it happens fast, so focus more on marketing yourself as a valuable asset and less as a perfect candidate. There is no such thing as a perfect candidate. You land a job by your ability to interview well, and you keep a job by your willingness to work hard and learn quickly.”

Ferris Core Value Travis Relates to: “Even though I have already received my degree, I will ALWAYS continue to learn. I have made a commitment to be a life-long learner because there is so much out there in the world that I don’t know about. Every day, I am going to become a little bit smarter and a little bit wiser, and that will make me a better contributor to society.”