Brian Patten Associates
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Thomas Baker

Liberal Arts Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Experience Time: Spring 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I served as a benefits coordinator at Brian Patten Associates over the spring semester of 2022. This company focuses on making sure our consumers have the correct supplementary insurance coverage for all their needs. Through out my role as a benefits coordinator, I have studied and passed my life, health and accident insurance exam. By completing this course I am now able to help sell insurance to different companies across the state of Pennsylvania. During this time, Brian Patten Associates has also created a new training course for new employees. It was my responsibility to complete the training and give my feedback. Throughout the numerous different courses, I would offer my feedback about what I thought was useful and what needed to be improved upon as they continue to update the process. Working with Brian Patten Associates has been a great opportunity for me to help improve the company, but learn so many useful skills as I continue to enroll people with insurance.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has impacted me academically by giving me a sense of the world after college. I had the opportunity to graduate from Penn State a semester early, but I would have not remained eligible for the 2022 lacrosse season. Having this internship experience has helped me guide my thoughts on what I want to pursue after college while also continuing to participate on the Penn State lacrosse team. At times it has been tough to balance an internship and lacrosse, but Brian Patten Associates has been incredibly flexible with my practice and game schedule. This internship has helped me use the skills I have picked up as a communication arts and science major as I assist others with their insurance needs.

"[Through this internship,] I have found that I enjoy helping people find the right coverage and want to continue helping people as I continue in my professional life."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

This experience has greatly impacted my career goals, as finding an internship after my junior year was hard to come by due to the pandemic. Working with Brian Patten Associates also helped me build a more credible resume. I was not sure what direction I wanted to go into after I graduated from college but this experience has shown me my strengths and weaknesses. I have found that I enjoy helping people find the right coverage and want to continue helping people as I continue in my professional life.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The College of the Liberal Arts has helped me significantly find and succeed in my experience. One of my communication professors, Micheal Steudeman, was a fantastic mentor helping me with all my paperwork and guiding me throughout the process. With his knowledge and guidance, he directed me to the right people and helped get everything in order to help set me up for success in the spring semester of 2022.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program helped me greatly in preparation for this internship experience at Brian Patten Associates. My mentor helped me with my extra curricular activities and paperwork. My mentor also helped me create a weekly study guide to make sure I was on top of my life, health, and accident insurance exam that I had studied for over a month. I ended up passing my exam the first time and passing with a score far beyond what I needed. Balancing school, lacrosse, and studying was defiantly a challenge but the Paterno Fellows Program helped me balance it all and do it with great success.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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