Northwestern Mutual to Hire 300 Local Reps, Interns

Northwestern Mutual's Twin Cities offices expect to hire 94 financial representatives and 206 interns in 2012; Northwestern Mutual says that 45 percent of its senior field managers began their careers with the company as interns.

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company said Wednesday that it plans to recruit about 5,000 workers nationwide in 2012-including 300 people at its Twin Cities offices.

The local positions will be filled at Minneapolis-based The Columns Resource Group and Mendota Heights-based The Bohannon Group, the local network offices of Northwestern Mutual, which is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Twin Cities positions include 94 full-time financial representatives and 206 financial representative interns. The company said that the positions will be filled throughout the year.

According to Northwestern Mutual, the internship program offers a “test drive” and an “insider's glimpse into the industry”-and many of its interns progress to full-time employment in the company. In fact, 45 percent of the company's senior field managers began their careers with the company as interns.

Mark Heurung, managing partner of The Columns Resource Group, said in a statement that the hiring is an effort to “help keep pace with the strong demand among consumers for financial advice and financial security.”

The company said that it expects about half of the financial representatives it will hire this year to be “professionals who believe that they have reached the ceiling in their current occupation and are looking for an opportunity to grow.”

Northwestern Mutual's financial representative internship program was named one of the “top 10 internships in America” by Vault, a national job search website that produces an annual guide to internships. The company was also named one of the “Top 100 Employers for the Class of 2011” by Diversity Employers magazine.

Northwestern Mutual made a similar hiring announcement last January, saying that it aimed to add 265 financial representatives and interns in the Twin Cities in 2011. The company did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether it met or exceeded last year's goal.

In addition to the two network offices in the Twin Cities, Northwestern Mutual operates several “district network offices” spread across Minnesota.

According to Northwestern Mutual's website, the company serves the insurance and investment needs of more than 3 million clients. It is the nation's largest direct provider of individual life insurance, with $180 billion in assets. It is also the largest life insurer in Minnesota based on premiums written in the state, which totaled $259.3 million in 2010.