Program Ends with a Student Winning a Summer Internship at the Company
“I had an absolute blast!” That’s how Amari Jangha describes his experience in the five-week professional development program formed as a partnership between Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD), the broker/dealer arm of Lincoln Financial Group, and Morgan State University’s Business School.
As part of the recent program, students from Morgan State paired up with mentors from LFD’s sales channels and Training and Development team. Mentors helped students cultivate their presentation training skills, from developing content to perfecting virtual pitches. Every week, students created pitches to answer theoretical questions like “If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you did and why?” and “Describe a moment that changed your life forever.”
An internal panel, comprised of representatives from Lincoln’s Annuity, Life and HR departments, judged presentations each week. In the end, Jangha won the competition, receiving a summer internship offer with LFD and a $2,500 scholarship toward his expenses at Morgan State.
Jangha attributes much of his success in the program to his LFD mentors, Craig Waldie, Internal Wholesaler and Irwin Roman, Sales Quality Coach. “My mentors were welcoming, encouraging, and honest, and I really appreciated that,” he said. “Honesty was a huge factor for me because when Craig and Irwin told me they liked my ideas, I knew they really meant it.”
In fact, Jangha’s ideas are what made him most memorable. As mentors, Irwin and Craig would review and polish the ideas in order to help him articulate his thoughts and deliver them concisely.
“Amari would always bring ideas to our meetings that I would have never even thought of,” said Irwin. “He was super easy to work with and brought an incredible energy to everything he did.”
Both mentors truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Jangha.
“Amari’s passion really made a lasting impression on me,” said Craig. “I could feel that he was putting his 100% best effort into each and every pitch.”
Since the program was a five-week commitment, it brought its own unique challenges and lessons. Jangha, who was also balancing schoolwork, tutoring, and an internship, really learned the importance of time management.
The program provided a learning experience for not only the mentees, but the mentors as well. Craig and Irwin both learned to embrace their inner creativity when developing presentations, and they actually learned this from Jangha.
“I learned that I have a tendency to limit myself when it comes to presentations,” said Irwin. “Working with Amari taught me to think outside of the box when building narratives and presenting them.”
For future participants in the LFD professional development program, or any similar mentoring activities, Jangha recommends that students approach it with an open mind.
“I came into this program thinking that it was going to be something totally different from what it was,” said Jangha. “If I had kept that thought process the entire time, I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself as much as I did. Trust your mentors.”
As a mentor, keep in mind that the goal is not to change the person that you’re mentoring, but to help them grow as they are.
“A good mentor, in my opinion, is someone who is willing to learn as much as they’re willing to teach,” said Irwin. “And a good mentee is someone who is willing to take advice, even if they don’t agree with it, and learn to adapt instead of giving up.”
Amari Jangha will begin his internship with LFD in Annuity Sales this summer. He will be assisting in the execution of the sales strategy with the Internal and External sales teams while enhancing his professional presentation skills.