By: Malena Khan, Contributing Writer
When Eric Silverman was a 19-year-old sophomore at Towson University, the Internet was not the way students found potential internships.
Instead, he had to sit with a huge three-ring binder and flip through the different categories of jobs and internships. After coming across a paid internship at a small insurance brokerage in Towson, Silverman called the company in hopes of getting an interview.
Silverman, a Towson alum, is now the owner of an independent insurance agency called Silverman Benefits Group, and says that he owes his success to the Career Center and the advice he received from his academic advisor.
“When I was a sophomore, I was chatting with my adviser and he gave me very great advice,” Silverman said. “He told me that students don’t consider internships until senior year, and highly recommended that I try to get an internship as a sophomore. His guidance pushed me in the right direction and solidified what I am today.”
In 1998, Silverman chose to go to Towson rather than University of Maryland where he could have received free tuition. The UMD campus was far too big for his liking and Towson’s smaller campus was just right, Silverman said. He also wanted to be able to live on campus rather than commuting. His family lived close to the UMD campus, but Silverman wanted the campus experience.
Before landing the internship with the insurance company, Silverman had zero professional experience. He worked at a gas station and managed the bowling alley that used to be in the University Union. As a Towson student, he majored in business administration with a concentration in marketing. His dream was to become an advertising and marketing guru where he could have his own business while being creative.
“My dream ultimately was to be an entrepreneur and own my own business,” Silverman said. “I liked the idea of making my own hours, making my own rules, not having to answer to anyone and making tons of money.”
After graduating, Silverman never had to find another job. He fell in love with the Baltimore area and chose Towson for the space where he owned his first business from 2004 to 2009. Since then, Silverman has always had an office in Towson because he likes being close to the University.
In 2002, Silverman started the Silverman Benefits Group Internship Program. The internship program consists of 12 different internships and takes “the college kid” and transforms them into young professionals. Silverman was named one of 2015’s Top 20 Benefit Advisor Rising Stars under 35-years-old in the United States and was recognized nationally by the Employee Benefit Adviser magazine.
“Enjoy college, live in the moment and have fun,” Silverman said. “But there comes a point where you are going to ask yourself what you are going to do after college.”