By Andrew Aguilera,
Stillman News Editor
Alyssa Potenzone is a junior majoring in accounting with a certificate in leadership studies. She is from Rockaway, New Jersey. During her time at Seton Hall, she has been involved with the Accounting Club, ALPFA, Finance Club. Her most notable experience was in the Student Government Association as Treasurer for the 2016-2017 academic year. During her free time, she loves to play soccer, spend time with friends, and being outdoors. The Stillman Exchange interviewed her to discuss her experience interning at Prudential.
Q: What were your responsibilities as an intern?
A: This past summer I had my first internship. I was an intern at Prudential Financial in Newark, NJ as part of their Finance Internship Program (FIP). I was an intern in the Corporate GAAP Consolidation and SEC Reporting team where I worked on a team to file Prudential’s second quarter Form 10-Q. I worked on the Management Discussion and Analysis Questionnaire (MDAQ) which was a letter sent to all the business heads of each business department within Prudential (Retirement, Annuities, Group Insurance, etc.). I also worked on a Cash flow Checklist that ensured the Cash flow worksheet was complete and accurate. I worked on the Prudential Account Signoff System (PASS) Reconciliation which verified that numbers in the MDAQ, Cashflow, and Performas (Balance Sheet and Income Statement) were reconciling with one another.
For my most current internship, I am continuing work at Prudential Financial. I am a part-time intern in Prudential’s Group Insurance office in Roseland, NJ. I work three days a week in the Life Planning and Analysis team for Group Insurance.
Thus far, I have worked on the monthly and quarterly decks submitted to management to discuss in the earnings release call. The monthly deck package, when I started working on it, required a lot of work each month to update links and roll the file for the next month/quarter with updated information. Through a series of formulas, I was able to automate the file to be used going forward. Now all that has to be changed in the date and quarter that we are reporting for and all the data gets updated. Time is spent now reviewing and analyzing the data, rather than transferring over new data each month. My time in Group Insurance has been spent automating files, and finding more efficient ways to complete tasks. Most recently I worked with my team on the GAAP to STAT forecast. Prior to this, I did not know much about statutory accounting, so it was challenging and a great learning experience.
Q: Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Prudential?
A: Both my parents and uncle have worked for Prudential many years and they all have commented on how great of a company it is to work for. I applied my freshman year of college for Prudential’s PEAK Leadership Conference, a 5 day, 4 night opportunity to learn about the company’s businesses and culture. Through the conference, I secured my sophomore summer internship in the FIP program. The conference gave me a great idea of what the company is and the culture. I think the company is amazing and I was honored to have received an offer in both their early identification program (PEAK Conference) and their selective FIP summer internship program. The FIP internship program ultimately leads into the FLDP (Finance Leadership Development Program) post-graduation which is a 3-year rotational program where you complete three, one-year long job rotations in three different areas of the company.
Q: What was the company culture like?
A: Prudential’s culture is very collaborative, supportive, accepting, and helpful. Prudential feels like a family when you walk in. Everyone is very friendly and willing to help you however they can. You hear interns at some companies say they were the coffee runner or were left working on something alone with little guidance. At Prudential, you do real work as an intern. They want you to feel like part of the team, and they want you to add value to the team being that you are a new pair of eyes/bring a new perspective. I felt part of the team in both of my roles. I never felt like an intern doing the work that no one else wants to do. I saw where I added value to the team and that is the reason why I liked interning at Prudential. As part of the internship, a group of us were able to sit down with the Corporate Controller, Rob Axel, and the CFO, Rob Falzon for lunch. I never thought I would meet the CFO of such a large global corporation, never mind have lunch with him. Prudential is very welcoming to interns and makes sure everyone feels at home/welcomed.
Q: What were some skills that you learned at Seton Hall that you used in your internship?
A: I found my BITM class at school to be very helpful in navigating through Excel while at my internship. I also found my accounting classes to be helpful in understanding financial statements. I was able to use this knowledge to apply it to each individual scenario.
Q: What is next for you in your career?
A: I have accepted a return offer with Prudential in their FIP program for this upcoming summer. I am excited to work in a new area to gain more insight into Prudential’s many businesses.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 7th print edition.
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