State College, PA 16801

November 14, 2000



Lorena Waselinko

109 Scott Bldg

University Park, PA 16802



Dear Lorena,


The following letter is in regards to the progress that I have made on my feasibility report, "Improving the Quality of the Internship Experience Provided by Inroads/NYC and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife)." This letter includes a brief description of the feasibility report, a summary of the work already completed, a description of the work currently in progress, and a forecast of future activities in relation to the scheduled completion dates. Also included is a tentative outline of the feasibility report (see appendix A). Although I have encountered some difficulties, I am confident that I will complete the feasibility report by the assigned due date.





The purpose of my feasibility report is to propose possible solutions to improve the quality of the internship experience provided by Inroads/NYC and MetLife. Inroads is a 30-year-old, not-for-profit organization that recruits outstanding minority youth (high school seniors, college freshmen and sophomores) with 3.0 or better grade point averages. Internships combine two-to-five summers of work experience at a local client organization with year-round academic instruction, training and guidance. Sponsor organizations make a three-part commitment t6 provide career-related summer work experience for interns; staff involvement as mentors, supervisors and liaison with Inroads; and financial support. The client pays an annual sponsorship fee to Inroads and the intern's summer salary. The Inroads goal is achieved when a client organization hires the alumnus (immediately upon graduation from college) who interned at that company. The measure of success is the conversion rate, the percentage of interns who become full time employees in their sponsoring company upon graduation. If a company is not providing challenging and rewarding experiences to their interns, they are more likely to have low conversion rates. Low conversion rates are often viewed as low sponsor commitment and unprofitable partnerships. In the past 10 years, MetLife has only had two Inroads/NYC interns convert to full time employees. With a low conversion rate and high intern dissatisfaction, the partnership is on the verge of being terminated. MetLife will lose many talented interns. As a not-for-profit organization Inroads/NYC would lose much needed financial support if MetLife were to deem the program unprofitable.



Research Completed


   Survey  Initially I had planned to develop and distribute a satisfaction survey to 100 current Inroads/NYC interns. After consulting Shilingford Smith, Inroads/NYC staff specialist, I was advised that this procedure would be redundant. The organization distributes annual satisfaction and performance questionnaires to interns and corporate partners. Although the results of the questionnaires are not usually released, two staff specialists are willing to meet with me over the Thanksgiving break to discuss some of the findings.


            Interviews One of my Inroads/NYC advisors is assisting me in contacting the Human Resources Specialists for MetLife. If they are unable to schedule an interview with me, Inroads/NYC (with MetLife's permission) is willing to provide me with relevant information from MetLife's corporate satisfaction questionnaire. The four current Inroads/NYC-MetLife interns have responded to my request for an interview. They have been very resourceful and cooperative.


            Supportive Data With the help of the resources available through the Paterno Library, I have been able to find many articles regarding internship programs in the insurance industry. One of those resources is the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (NAIFA). They have a national college internship program and provide key guidelines employers should follow to help make their internship programs successful. I have also researched other insurance companies' internship programs. New York Life and Northwestern Mutual both run highly successful college internship programs. Many of their top agents started out as college interns. In addition to viewing the website of these two companies, I have located a former Northwestern Mutual intern, who is willing to discuss her internship experience with me.




Research In Progress


            Questionnaire Development I am currently designing a list of interview questions to ask the former Northwestern Mutual intern. A brief questionnaire is also being constructed for the regional and managing directors of Inroads/NYC.



   Data Analysis The interviews and supportive data have helped me construct a list of possible solutions. Following my appointment with Inroads/NYC staff specialists and the completion of questionnaires by the regional and managing directors, I will be able to make recommendations that meet the established criteria.



Future Activities


      Interviews  Due to a heavy recruiting schedule and an unexpected increase in applicants, it has been difficult to schedule an appointment with the regional and managing directors of Inroads/NYC. However, their secretary suggested that I develop a list of (no more than) ten questions that I would like answered. It is easier for them to answer an e-mail message than to schedule an individual appointment. The former Northwestern Mutual intern has agreed to meet with me in two weeks. This will give me sufficient time to perfect my list of interview questions and possibly develop a satisfaction questionnaire for her.




Despite some difficulties, my work is progressing well and I am confident that the feasibility will be completed as scheduled. If you have any concerns regarding the information presented in this memo, please feel free to share them with me. I would also appreciate any suggestions you may have for improving the quality of the feasibility report. Thank you.







A.     Problem statement & implications


B.     Supportive data (industry trends - Northwestern Mutual & New York Life)


C.     Brief introduction of possible solutions


D.     Research Methodology



II.            (Tentative) Criteria for Evaluation


A.     Effective (educational & enjoyable)


B.     Cost effective (for MetLife & Inroads/NYC)


C.     Feasibility

ifi.            Potential Solutions (to be determined)


A.     Provide introductory training for all interns their first summer


B.     Provide mandatory training for supervisors and mentors


C.     Collaborative effort between Inroads/NYC and MetLife's Management Assistant Program


1.     MAPs serve as internship advisors



Iv.            Evaluation of Potential Solutions


A.     Comparative advantages


B.     Cost Effectiveness


C.     Feasibility



V.            Recommendations (to be determined)


VI.            Conclusion


A.     Summarize report


B.     Ensure reader that recommendations meet all established criteria