Two Laurier business students land U.S. internship

Two Wilfrid Laurier University business students were given the opportunity to experience working for a multi-national company this summer when they were hired by the American-based insurance firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Thomas Gaylor and Thomas Krech, both heading into their fourth year at Laurier, were the first two Canadian interns hired by the multi-national company, which just completed a takeover of a Canadian based insurance firm. The Canadian sector of the company is now called Gallagher-Lambert.

“[The hiring of interns] has gone on for over two decades now, but this is the first time they have hired two interns from Canada,” said Gaylor. “They are really trying to integrate the [Canadian sector] with the US operation.”

“At first I was really unsure about the whole internship, but when I saw some of the schools that other people were coming from – and there’s Berkeley, Texas Tech, Cornell and other big name schools – it really made me view Laurier on a much higher level,” said Gaylor.

Krech continued, saying that the fact that the two interns came from Laurier speaks very highly of the business program here.

“It really opens your eyes because you always hear about how great Ivy is or Queen’s is, but you don’t really hear about Laurier. It just goes to show [that Laurier] really is in that same tier.”
Krech made reference to the fact that the opportunity was a great way to build connections with people in the United States, as well as communicate with and learn from, the top directors of the company.

The guys did not have a set role within the company during their internship; instead it was more of a learning experience for the future.

“They really want to invest in people for the future. It was a lot of learning about the industry, and I have a better appreciation for it,” said Gaylor.

Highlights of the internship included when Gaylor and Krech, along with all of the interns from across the US, traveled to Chicago for a conference.

They were able to network with the CEO and other prominent individuals in the company.

Gaylor added that the internship proved to him that people are beginning to see the quality of Laurier and recognize that it can compete with the best schools in North America.

Gaylor concluded that it is definitely not the business program keeping students from opportunities, but instead their own initiative.

“I would tell first-years to find that balance between academic and social life, and they would really be missing out if they didn’t,” said Gaylor.

“The guy who hired us said we were really well-rounded students and I think that’s what made us stand out from the other applicants.”