A large group of college students wearing Give.Fully. t-shirts in the Holmes Murphy headquarters.
Corporate Culture

Just 22 Years Ago, I Was One of Them

Kari Cooling
Kari Cooling
Sr. Vice President and Managing Director, Brokerage Services

As I sat down to write this blog, I started thinking about Monday, May 22. It wasn’t just a regular Monday; it was a surreal one. That day, I had the opportunity to welcome 57 interns to Holmes Murphy — our highest number to date! These nearly 60 new faces to Holmes Murphy spent their first week in our Waukee office for orientation, getting to know each other and the business, and just connecting and collaborating before they officially kicked off their time in the eight offices they dispersed to for their awesome summer internship.

So, why does that day stick out to me and why was it so surreal? Because 22 years ago, I was a 20-year-old walking into the doors of Holmes Murphy looking for an internship in Des Moines.

At the time, I wanted “just some summer experience, to make some money, and to meet some cool people.” I wasn’t even thinking about a career. Quite frankly, I wasn’t interested in insurance, but I thought $10/hour wasn’t a bad gig for the summer. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that 22 years later, I would still be at Holmes Murphy. I’ve had many different roles throughout my two decades here, but during each of those opportunities, I had teammates helping me along the way — and it started when I was an intern.

Holmes Murphy has history of an amazing intern program. If you walk through our halls, it won’t take you long to see someone who was an intern at Holmes Murphy. When I think about our purpose “Caring for Your Unique Potential is Our Soul Purpose,” I believe this is core of why our program has been so successful.

When I came to Holmes Murphy, I never dreamed of being in insurance. As a 20-year-old, insurance seemed boring. But the culture and the way people wanted to see me be successful is what drew me to stay, and now, I wouldn’t dream of being anywhere else. Funny how the tides turned, right?!

There is no doubt our intern program takes a ton of time and energy, but we truly believe that it’s our responsibility to bring in young talent and develop them. Our interns bring a lot of great experiences and ideas, and simply put, they challenge us to get (and be) better. The energy from every one of them is contagious, and it makes you appreciate the growth you’re witnessing—not just in our interns but for every employee who interacts with them. If you think our interns are the only ones learning, you’d be wrong. Our full-time employees learn just as much from our interns as we teach them, and it’s awesome!

So, how about you? Is your company looking to start an internship program, or do you already have one in place? Do you have some great ideas and experiences to share? We’re always looking to advance our program even further for the benefit of our interns and our company.  I would love to connect with you and hear about your experiences and ideas!

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