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Transformative Experiences: Alex Portwood's Journey From Intern to Industry Leader at Cottingham & Butler

Where did you attend college, and what was your major/field of study? 

I completed my degree at St. Ambrose University and majored in Sales & Marketing!

How did you first hear about Cottingham & Butler and the intern program? 

I first heard about Cottingham & Butler from a sales director I met before graduation. He told me that I absolutely had to check out the company and encouraged me to look into the internship program.

Describe your experience in the Cottingham & Butler internship program. What did you learn during the program that you still use today in your full-time position?

The internship at Cottingham & Butler was my first real corporate job. I grew up on a farm, so I hadn’t been exposed to much as it relates to corporate life or what that meant. I was able to learn from experts in their respective fields and help contribute to real problems the firm had. It was a great experience, good enough that I decided to come back full-time!  I would say something that has helped me tremendously from my internship is the relationships that I created during that 10-week period.

What’s your favorite memory from your time as an intern? 

I think my favorite memories were traveling with the veteran sales folks to business meetings and getting the opportunity to see what the job would actually be like if I were to come on full-time. 

What do you think the Cottingham & Butler internship program offers that other internships don’t? 

Cottingham & Butler's internship program truly treats interns as if they're a part of the culture, instead of temporary team members responsible for doing the work that nobody wants to do. The program lets you see where you fit in the company and whether you would be a good asset to the team.

What drew you back to Cottingham & Butler after graduation? 

The people and relationships that I developed and the great opportunity to grow within the organization. Not too many companies do you see the growth or the success that young people have had in this company.

How have you seen yourself evolve as a professional at Cottingham & Butler? 

I went from a college kid who knew nothing about insurance to a top-tier consultant in my specific niche. As an intern, I never would have guessed I'd be sitting where I am today or that I'd have the opportunities that lie ahead of me.

What do you love most about your current role? 

I get to work with fantastic people all over the country and help them solve complex problems, protecting their businesses and property.


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