Mike worked at Mercer in Princeton, NJ this summer. Since he lived in Philadelphia he had an hour long commute every day, with very heavy traffic in the afternoon. Mike worked in the Retirement department at Mercer. There he had a supervisor and a peer guide. The culture there was very young and energetic. He worked on real day to day tasks that other entry level analysts worked on such as sorting through the messy client data to find what is needed for Mercer’s valuation programs. He also worked with 6-8 different analysts and senior associates to make their mundane tasks more manageable. The RMI and Act Sci classes at Temple were very useful in helping him with annuity factors, time value of money, present values, as well as retirement plans gave him a good foundation of pension plans.
Mike got this internship through networking with a Wednesday speaker from Mercer, George Xanakis, and going to lunch with him after the meeting. Later, Mr.Xanakis interviewed Mike at the Intern Reception and he got a second round, and Mr.Xanakis said that he would take his resume to all the New York metro officers. The Princeton office called him a few weeks later, where he interviewed at their office with five employees and a lunch with two younger employees. Finally he received the offer in January. Mike’s peer guide had him create a valuation document for eight clients because an in house auditor was coming by to do a simulation audit. Mike said it was interesting to learn how to do everything that new employees do and review different companies’ pension plans and accounting statements. It gave him a real perspective of the valuation process from the bottom to the top. He had many benefits while working for Mercer, including lunch on his first day, $1500 housing stipend that he received despite living in Philadelphia, several happy hours at Princeton University’s Campus, “lunch and learn” with the chief actuary, participation in the softball and volleyball teams, and all the cafeteria lunches with other interns. He even got to meet with the world wide partner (like a CEO of the office) for 30 minutes, which some of the new hires never got to talk to for that long. He really enjoyed the culture in the office, as well as that each new task he was given dealt with a new aspect of calculating pensions. He also liked completing new hire training (over 50 hours), keeping busy with 2 projects at a time, and he even got to bill clients for the work that he did, so he liked the feeling that he was making the company money. His only dislike was the long commute, so he would suggest for others to live closer to their work. He would recommend Mercer to all students.