Trine student selected for Northwestern Mutual’s developmental program

March 08, 2023

Beau BinnieThough mathematically his chances were slim, a Trine University student is very glad he decided to apply for a paid practicum program through Northwestern Mutual.

“It never hurts to try your best and take a risk,” said Beau Binnie, one of 24 students selected from some 10,000 applicants for a developmental program piloted by the firm’s Carmel, Indiana, office.

The program provides college students a fully paid practicum where they are partnered with a financial advisor. Students learn financial analysis, entrepreneurship, business development and marketing and communication.

They also will complete all investment and insurance exams, build a practice through referrals and pursue designation such as the CFP or ChFC, with all licenses and certifications fully paid by Northwestern Mutual.

Against all odds

A finance major from Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, Beau first learned of the program when Justin Ruetz, managing director with Northwestern Mutual-Indiana, spoke to his Investments class last fall about the opportunity.

“Justin spoke to us for an hour about the program and what it would entail,” Beau recalled. “He also mentioned the difficulty level of being selected for this program would be very high.”

Specifically, Ruetz said the company would interview some 10,000 students for 24 available positions. Though discouraged by the odds, Beau decided to give the process his all.

“I have always been very interested in wealth management, and Northwestern is one of the top wealth management firms in all America,” he said. “I really enjoy helping people achieve goals and helping them achieve their financial goals for retirement is a perfect fit for me.”

He applied through a QR code Ruetz provided, then was interviewed for 30 minutes about his goals and plans for the future via video call by a member of Northwestern Mutual’s college recruitment team. The interviewer followed up by sending a personality test to determine Beau’s compatibility with the Carmel office.

The next round of interviews used a group format that included Beau and three other candidates, with the opportunity to ask about any concerns with the program. Following several more phone interviews, Beau was invited to Carmel for a job shadow day, where he sat in on client meetings and did a case study covering what the process is like.

After one more personality survey to see how he would handle the hardest parts of the internship, Beau was offered a position.

“It was very exciting. This is something I really wanted when I learned about the whole program,” he said. “Not only was I ecstatic that I got my first choice of an internship, but it was a huge relief off my shoulders knowing that I have an internship for the summer.”

Already underway

Beau’s work in the program has already begun: He has earned licensure to be a life and health insurance agent, with Northwestern Mutual paying for the licenses. He is now studying for the Securities Industry Essential exam and beginning to book his first referral meetings with his current network.

The program will run through the end of the summer. If Beau performs well in the internship, he will be brought onto the college planner team for next school year.

“I look forward to learning as much as possible about financial planning and building my own book of business (client listing) from scratch,” he said. “The hardest, but also the most exciting part of this program will be not having a book of business already, then using my communication and networking skills to be successful.”

He said the program and his Trine education will give him the foundation to succeed after he graduates and becomes a financial planner at Northwestern Mutual.

“The Wealth Management track that I am enrolled in focuses on material that I know will help with my future career in financial planning,” he said. “There have been several classes that have not only aided my technical skills that will be needed for this program, but several classes have been focused on networking skills and emotional intelligence, both of which are essential for me to be successful.”

“The (Northwestern Mutual) program is a pipeline for future financial planners. Northwestern Mutual pays for every certification I need and gives me the training and know-how to become a successful financial planner,” he said.

“They have one of the top-rated programs in the country. I know this program will help me achieve my future career goals.”

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Beau Binnie

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