State Farm Projects:
My 3 main projects in PCA were to review customer-facing communications materials for Drive Safe & Save, to create an electronic database for DSS customers, and work on a group research project presentation regarding retaining frequent shopper business. In my communications reviews, I read webpages, agent brochures, quick start guides, email templates of communications plans, and watched commercials & informational videos to provide my feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of each in how effectively DSS is communicating with the “average” American consumer. I also organized customer letters sent in with returned In-Drive devices to address the most recent customer issues first, and developed an electronic database which addresses the frequency and priority of customer issues pertaining to the In-Drive program. Finally, I worked on a group research project with the four other interns in PCA to locate current and develop new strategies for State Farm to retain business of customers in the “frequent shopper” segment. At the end of the internship, we had the chance to share our findings and suggestions in a presentation to the executives in PCA.
Most of my work at Milestones has been marketing and outreach-focused. In my first month, I spent time collecting video footage of the kids, teachers, parent and staff interviews, etc, and created a promotional video for the organization to share via social media and at various community or family events. I coordinated and helped host VIP tours to promote the new building to potential sponsors in early July. I also coordinated and planned a “Parking Lot Party” open house for the current, past, and new families to join and be welcomed to the new building facility. The event will also act as a small fundraiser and will include food music, raffle prizes, children’s crafts to contribute to a time capsule, and tours. There will also be a more formal Open House event in September, which will focus more on publicity and broader promotion, which I have helped gather an invitation list for and arrange for parent speakers. I also had a chance to create a historical presentation that will be used at the Open House to showcase Milestones’ 106-year-old history and will be kept permanently at the entrance of the building. Finally, I coordinated a collaborative program for the Milestones’ families and staff, in which I wrote a grant proposal to the Action Research Center to request funding for (see below).
Milestones Early Learning Center is requesting $500 to fund the Milestones Family Feast program. Milestones will extend an invitation for the quarterly event to host all immediate family members of its students for a free dinner and presentation on a special topic about raising children. Milestones Family Feasts will address the needs for nutritional assistance and education, as well as “safe and enriching learning environments” for raising children, as per the center’s mission. This program involves a collaborate partnership with Illinois Wesleyan University’s (IWU) education department, an IWU philanthropic sorority, a local farming non-profit called “Farm to Food Pantry,” and a donor willing to match the half of the grant. The grant funding will be dedicated to sustainable supplies required to host such a program, such as dining necessities.
A Note From Mehgan:
All three of my “jobs” this summer–State Farm, Milestones, and the Action Research Center–have worked independently and together in unexpected ways to provide me with such an incredible experience. I can genuinely say that I feel I have learned more over the past 11 weeks than I have in two years of classes at Illinois Wesleyan. I’ve learned how to make mature decisions, take initiative, be confidently creative, about the advantages of making connections, to seek my own ambition and figure out how that can positively impact whichever group environment I am working in. I’m so grateful to be in a position where I have so many people to thank.