HFC alumnus is No. 1 intern at Northwestern Mutual’s regional office
HFC provided a smooth transition from high school to college for alumnus Giovanni Baiocco – who is currently the top intern at Northwestern Mutual’s Toledo office – as well as a smooth transition from HFC to the University of Toledo.
“I came from a small high school. Coming to the College was a big step up. You were responsible for what you did. It was a smooth transition coming from a small high school. That helped a lot. HFC has the same classes that are offered at UToledo, which are just as challenging,” said Baiocco, of Grosse Ile. “When I graduated from high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. One of my friends suggested a community college to complete my general education credits and see what I wanted to do.”
Finding his niche
The eldest of three, Baiocco graduated from Grosse Ile High School in 2017. He began his education at HFC, earning with his associate degree in general studies in 2019. Upon graduating from HFC, he transferred to the University of Toledo, where he expects to earn his bachelor's degree in professional sales in 2022.
“I had a friend who was in the business program at UToledo,” said Baiocco. “I looked it up and found it very attractive. I toured the campus and liked it. It seemed like a cool place to go.”
Baiocco knew he wanted to enter the business field, but he wasn’t sure what specific area.
“My dad owns B&B Custom Builders in Grosse Ile. Growing up with him being his own boss and seeing what he was able to provide for us and taking time off for us when he could, I just naturally fell into that environment,” he said. “I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do in the business field. My dad told me, ‘Well, you love to talk to people. That’s what they do in sales.’ I gave it a shot and found it to be a lot of fun. I really loved it. I don’t have to be in the office all the time, and I’m always meeting new people – that’s how I ended up here.”
No. 1 intern
Currently, besides attending classes at UToledo, Baiocco is an intern at Northwestern Mutual, a financial advising and insurance company based in Milwaukee, WI. Not only is he the top intern at Northwestern Mutual’s Toledo office, but he is also one of its top interns in the nation.
“It’s been awesome here. I was ranked high for national interns. I ended the summer as one of the Top 30 interns in the country. I was the No. 1 intern (of 20) in our firm, which is pretty cool. I think I found my niche,” said Baiocco.
“Gio is humble, present in the moment, a leader, and persevering,” said Northwestern Mutual director of recruitment and community outreach Chelsea Benton. “He is the role model intern at our firm, and I’m very proud to have him on the team.”
“I am my own boss”
When Baiocco graduates in 2022, he plans to relocate to Toledo and work at Northwestern Mutual full-time as a financial representative. After he obtains his investment license, Baiocco plans to obtain his Certified Financial Planner designation as well. Eventually, he will pursue an MBA – most likely at UToledo.
“I plan to stay focused at Northwestern Mutual,” said Baiocco. “It’s a unique internship that gave me the tools and resources to start a business under the Northwestern Mutual banner. I would love to see that take off and work out full-time as I continue to build that practice.”
For Baiocco, the best part of his job is being autonomous and having a positive impact on people.
“I get to make own schedule, arrange my own meetings – I am my own boss,” he said. “I get to grow my business from the start. Finances are big part of people’s lives. To see someone have nothing set up for retirement then see them build that up, it’s really amazing to have that impact on people and watching them grew financially.”