Learning at The Leaf: Behind The Scenes of Springleaf's Internship Program

By Katie O'Shea, October 16, 2015

178 college students and recent graduates participated in the Springleaf* Summer 2015 internship program, working in over 150 branch and corporate locations across the country.

As part of the program, interns not only get to learn about the day-to-day tasks required to successfully operate a leading financial services company, but also experience them firsthand. Interns gain experience in various aspects of the financial services industry, from underwriting to servicing.

Springleaf interns also come away with significant achievements to be proud of. This summer's class of interns helped customers receive over $9 million dollars in loans. Interns also received internal recognition for their achievements.

Learn more about the Springleaf internship by reading about some of our recent interns and their personal experiences, below:

To learn more about the Springleaf internship program, please visit the Springleaf careers site. To find out more about internship opportunities, please contact the Springleaf College Recruiting Team at collegerecruiting@springleaf.com.



Meet Kelly Coy

Ohio University

Class of 2016


Why Springleaf

When she stumbled upon the Springleaf booth at a career fair at her school, Kelly Coy had never heard of Springleaf before. She quickly gained interest after speaking with Jason, who was to be her future manager and mentor during her summer internship.

As a Marketing major and Finance minor, Coy had been looking for an opportunity to apply the lessons she was learning in school to real-world experiences. Her Springleaf experience ended up being much more than that.


Hands-On Learning

"I had a lot of fun and learned a lot," says Coy, a student at Ohio University, of her experience. "It took 100 percent of my time, thoughts, energy, and focus, but I learned more that summer than anywhere else I've worked."

Some of these lessons were about consumer lending concepts, like how credit bureaus work. Some, however, reflected a growing understanding of the benefits and opportunities that Springleaf can present to customers.

"It has an important place in the market. It helps people get what they need," says Coy.


Making Connections

Coy also honed her communication skills by talking to a variety of different people, both customers and other people in Belpre, OH.

Though Coy grew up in Ohio, she was a newcomer to Belpre. Being in a new area meant learning about the town's culture, which differed from those of her college town and hometown. Over time, she got to know the Belpre community and gained a better understanding of their needs.

Coy was then able to communicate her comments based on her growing understanding of customers' needs with upper management. "Jay [Levine, the CEO of Springleaf] took comments from us. He's actually listening to the people who work with customers," she says. "There are no communication gaps."

Coy has enjoyed being able to see how her work has impacted people's lives. "We've been thanked so many times for being in the community."


Advice for Future Interns

Coy emphasizes that future interns should know that Springleaf internships are not like traditional internships. She appreciated that her manager trusted her to take on many full-time responsibilities so that she could gain real-world experience. "[Springleaf interns] won't be making coffee or copies... It's fast-paced, and you're going to learn a lot."



Meet Brian Hill

Portland State University

Class of 2016


Why Springleaf

Brian Hill, a Finance major at Portland State University, knew that he wanted to pursue a career in finance but wasn't sure what type of company he wanted to work for. After reading the Springleaf job posting on Indeed.com, he decided to apply and give it a try.

Considering that one of Hill's hobbies is credit card management, a Springleaf internship, which would provide a hands-on introduction to consumer finance at a financial services company, seemed like a perfect fit for him.


Hands-On Learning

Hill, who worked in the Oregon City, OR, branch, says that working at Springleaf "has really shaped [his] decision" about his career path.

It has also helped him sharpen his skills in a variety of different aspects of finance, including underwriting, sales, and servicing.

"It's a well-rounded internship," Hill adds. "Each day is different."


Making Connections

Hill really enjoyed the connections he made, both with customers and with fellow Springleaf team members.

"One of my favorite things is the environment here," says Hill. He enjoys working closely with his fellow team members as well as with direct and upper management. He and his branch team have had a few branch dinners already, and he has talked about having lunch in the near future with a fellow intern from the Salem branch.


Advice for Future Interns

To future interns, he recommends taking advantage of the supportive environment by asking questions and not being shy.

"If you don't know how to do something, there are many people to ask."



Meet Katelyn Versace

Anderson University

Class of 2017


Why Springleaf

Katelyn Versace had been looking for an opportunity to do something different when she met her soon-to-be manager, Benjamin Tritt, of one of the Anderson, SC, branches, who told her that the Springleaf internship was a challenging, fast-paced job, unlike other desk jobs.

"It seemed like something new that I hadn't tried before," she says.

Working in finance was completely different from what Versace was studying - Physical Education. She knew, however, that she was ready for a change.


Hands-On Learning

Once she started, she found that working at Springleaf is "completely different" from school, says Versace. "You can study all day long, but you can't get a grasp of something unless you actually do it."


Making Connections

Working closely with customers was a highlight for Versace.

"Every customer you work with is different and has a new story to tell. Each one has different needs," says Versace.

Versace remembers working with a customer who needed a loan but had been turned down by a few other lenders.

"When I told her she was approved, she burst out crying. She just needed someone to give her a chance," says Versace. At closing, the woman hugged Versace and thanked her for her help.

Having the chance to build these kinds of relationships with customers is something Versace really appreciates.

"You get to know your clients - old customers and new customers," she says. "It feels like a tight-knit family."


Advice for Future Interns

Versace, who was recently promoted to full-time employment at Springleaf, recommends that future interns make sure to take chances. Given her experience of stepping out of her comfort zone by applying to Springleaf, this may not be so surprising.

"Ask as many questions as you can," she adds.



Meet Nick Tyrell

Southern Illinois University

Class of 2016


Why Springleaf

Before Nick Tyrell applied to work at Springleaf, he had spent 6 years working in food service, had never worked in an office environment, and was ready for a change. Tyrell, who is studying Financial Economics at SIU, knew only that he wanted to find a way to help people with their finances.

When he met Genevieve Pedesclaux from the Springleaf College Recruitment Team at a career fair, he felt that Springleaf was a place where he could help people with their finances. It seemed to him that "Springleaf had the personality of a company that cared a lot."


Hands-On Learning

Once Tyrell began working at the Springleaf branch in Carbondale, IL, he knew that it was the right fit. The working environment was "a little more laidback...than you would normally find in the finance industry."

"It's not a suit-and-tie and cubicle experience," Tyrell adds.

Tyrell also enjoyed the hands-on-learning aspect of working at Springleaf. "In school, you spend hours and hours writing down terms, studying for a test, and then forgetting it all a few weeks later," he says, referring to financial vocabulary. On the other hand, when you actually use these terms on a daily basis while helping customers, you start to understand and remember them.

"Every day was a learning experience," says Tyrell. "Every single thing I learned - like how to adapt to an office environment, or how to talk to people - I can use in the future."


Making Connections

"I've learned a lot along the way, but the people I've met have been the best," he says.

Working at Springleaf "opened my eyes to the financial career that I wanted to have." He realized that it was "speaking face-to-face with customers was right up [his] alley."


Advice for Future Interns

To Tyrell, perseverance is the key to making the most of a Springleaf internship.

"I was brand new to the industry and learning as I went," says Tyrell. "With that comes challenges, but you learn and grow throughout the experience."



To learn more about the Springleaf internship program, please visit the Springleaf careers site. To find out more about internship opportunities, please contact the Springleaf College Recruiting Team at collegerecruiting@springleaf.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and the individuals quoted and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Springleaf. The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else. The author was compensated by Springleaf for this post.

* Please note that Springleaf has changed its name to OneMain.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of OneMain. The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else. The author was compensated by OneMain for this post.

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