State College, PA 16801
November 14, 2000
Park, PA 16802
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.
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.
· 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.
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.
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.
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.
Problem statement & implications
Supportive data (industry trends - Northwestern Mutual & New York
Brief introduction of possible solutions
(Tentative) Criteria for Evaluation
Effective (educational & enjoyable)
Cost effective (for MetLife & Inroads/NYC)
Potential Solutions (to be determined)
Provide introductory training for all interns their first summer
Provide mandatory training for supervisors and mentors
Collaborative effort between Inroads/NYC and MetLife's Management
MAPs serve as internship advisors
Evaluation of Potential Solutions
Recommendations (to be determined)
Ensure reader that recommendations meet all established criteria