Insurance Sales and Customer Service

Dani Martos
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Dani Martos utilized her bilingual communication skills in sales and built confidence in her professional communication and networking abilities at Aflac.

How did you get your internship?

I got this internship rather last minute after an extensive period of applying and interviewing for various internships. While I did manage to receive a few offers from other companies, those experiences were all located in Phoenix and Scottsdale, and I received them towards the end of the semester, so it was challenging trying to consider relocating in such a short time.  Unexpectedly, a representative contacted me through Handshake (the university database for internships and jobs), asking me for an interview the following day for Aflac’s summer internship. Despite having just a short amount of time to prepare, I accepted, and the interview went a lot better than I thought it would. I interviewed with the Regional Sales Coordinator. She shared her story on how she started her career with Aflac as an intern and how she graduated college with a biology degree. Still, after a summer working with Aflac, she changed her career path. She also shared how she accepted the internship, not wanting to do sales but just wanting to gain experience in a business setting since her past internships had been in a hospital setting. I received an offer for the internship the day after my interview.

Why did you choose this internship?

I chose this internship primarily because of the location. I had been struggling with finding an ideal living situation with the other internships, so the fact that this Aflac internship was located in Tucson made it easier since I didn’t need to relocate. Another factor in why I chose this internship was the interview I had with the Regional Sales Coordinator. It was such a positive interview, and I felt very comfortable so it made my decision a lot easier. It felt good to see someone be successful, especially since they started where I did, and to see a woman be this successful in this industry made me want to do what she was doing as well. 

After the interview with Aflac, I felt that this experience was something that I could do and would be a way to push myself out of my comfort zone. I never expected to participate in a sales internship, but I figured it was a way to gain experience and develop different connections. This opportunity would open different doors because I would be put in situations where I would have to learn to manage rejection and any obstacles that may present themselves.

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

Before the internship even started, I studied for about a week and a half to pass the Arizona insurance test that was required to be able even to sell this supplementary insurance. After passing the exam, our first weeks were scheduled with time frames of what we should be doing and for about how long. I spent two days of the week cold calling businesses for a couple of hours, doing around 50 calls or more a day, and two days doing drops to local businesses with my mentor. The first couple of weeks were kind of difficult since I didn't have a pipeline or any leads. But after a couple of weeks, I was able to go to enrollments and meetings with my mentor after learning how to set meetings with business owners. During these meetings, I had the ability to lead a couple after being able to see them done firsthand. Since I am bilingual, I had the chance to lead enrollments. I also had training weekly and really learned how this business worked. We also learned more about the products we sold. Once a week, we did have a book club where all the interns come together and discuss the reading we did on a book about sales.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

My favorite part of this summer would have to be seeing the policies I sold help the people I sold them to. I saw how people were financially affected by medical bills and how Aflac supported them. There were some situations where I saw people get paid hundreds of dollars to help them pay their bills. This was my favorite part because some of the employers I worked with did live paycheck to paycheck, so seeing how much Aflac helped them made everything worth it. There were specific interactions where some employees were not interested in participating and receiving benefits. Still, after having a conversation with them, they decided to sign up, and later on hearing about the claims, they were able to file and receive the money they rightfully deserved to help them pay whatever they needed to at the time.

What did you find challenging about your internship?

I never really imagined a future for myself in sales when I first started my search and even in my first weeks at the internship. At the beginning of my internship, it was difficult to feel like you were interrupting someone’s day to explain how they would benefit from introducing their employees to Aflac. Having to put myself in situations where I was vulnerable to rejection was difficult for me, but I did manage to overcome it. I learned that although some of these situations could be uncomfortable, there are benefits from having these conversations, and there are people that could benefit from the policies. I was able to overcome this fear of rejection through the support of my mentors. I also spoke with other interns about how I felt, and they helped me process those feelings of rejection. 

I also had some challenges during the internship when my supervisor left the organization. This forced me to stay on top of things and be organized during a time of transition. I learned to go with the flow when something changes and to not be overly stressed out but to see how it goes without thinking the experience is ruined. Fortunately, I was able to determine a second mentor which made things in the office way easier to organize and keep track of.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?

When searching for an internship, start looking months in advance. It's harder to find opportunities at the last minute because there is a long process that occurs when interviewing for an internship. They're usually a couple of rounds that last a couple of weeks. I would also say to keep an open mind. Getting an internship can be a difficult task so allow yourself to explore some fields that you may have not originally considered and see where they can take you.