Baldwin & Lyons gives international student experience

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Senior operations and supply chain management major Leo Cunningham interns at Baldwin and Lyons three days a week working in the claims and legal department. Baldwin and Lyons is an insurance underwriting company located in Carmel, Ind. that writes policies for trucking and fleeting services. Much of Cunningham’s time is spent preparing information for lawyers to use in their cases.

“I create large loss reports for new cases that come in, which is basically a summary of everything—you know, where, when, who, why, police reports, summaries of speeds, angles of roads—stuff that lawyers are going to need to make a case,” he said. “I spend a lot of time doing that and assessing how much I think a case is worth, like how much they should payout to someone who has been critically damaged and [within] two years of their life, their standard of living has gone downhill, which is interesting. It’s not something I would do long term, but it’s definitely interesting to see what this is about.”

Cunningham learned about this internship opportunity through Kirk Bryans, assistant director for financial services, manufacturing & logistics and entrepreneurship at the Professional Edge Center, who introduced Cunningham to the Baldwin and Lyons’ human resources representative.

Cunningham moved to the United States from London to attend college in upstate New York, then transferred to UIndy and has decided to stay in the United States after graduation.

To stay in the United States after college, he will need a working visa. Cunningham said that a working visa can be expensive for a company, but some companies will sponsor international students to work for them post-graduation.

In addition to finding a company that will sponsor him, Cunningham will also have to apply for Optional Practical Training. OPT more than $400 to apply for, and international students must find work within the field they studied as undergraduates.

Interning with Baldwin and Lyons this semester has given Cunningham hope for his post-graduation plans.

“Baldwin and Lyons is willing to do it if it has the right job opportunity for me,” he said. “It’s giving me something to look at there.  I know I wouldn’t go into Claims and Legal first of all because I probably need a law degree, which I don’t have and probably won’t ever have, but it’s giving me something to look at there in terms of project management, which I’m kind of interested in.”

According to Cunningham, there are around 25 to 30 interns, and Baldwin and Lyons hires about 70 percent of it own interns. Baldwin and Lyons also provides intern sessions, which are created to promote feedback and to allow interns to network with other interns and employees higher in the corporation.

Cunningham said this internship gives him a better idea about what he does and does not want to do post-graduation, and he is able to find the value of professional experience in his internship and encourages students to pursue opportunities outside of the conventional careers within their field.

“If you know what you want to go into or if you have an idea of something you, think might be interesting, seek it out,” Cunningham said. “Go and try to meet them, apply and contact these people. Try to speak to Kirk in the Professional Edge, because he will do whatever he can to try to get you to where you need to be. Internships aren’t always going to be fun. I’d be lying if I said I’m there having such a fun, gay time, but it’s worth it. It’s definitely worth putting in the effort to try to get that professional development and put it on your resume. So I’d say you just need to make sure you go at it and try to be proactive about it [rather] than just expect it to come to you. It’s something you have to go search for.”