Erin Cox, Class of 2008
1) Where are or did you intern? Briefly, what does/did your internship entail?
I interned last summer with State Farm Bank Community Affairs and the Hispanic Families Work Group, through the IWU Action Research Center (ARC). It's a lot of titles, but basically what it meant was I worked three days a week at State Farm, and two days a week out in the community with a non-profit organization. At State Farm Bank, I worked on a team to expand banking services to low income and Hispanic segments, and in the community I worked to develop a needs assessment to address how Hispanics currently fit into the larger Bloomington-Normal community.
2) What aspects of your internship do/did you enjoy most? Find most challenging?It was an excellent experience. The program treats you as an adult - you're responsible for the work you do, and you have to step up to be proactive and make sure you take care of your responsibilities. Furthermore, I know I actually DID something, as opposed to an internship spent fetching coffee and making copies (I've had those too).
3) How does/did your internship relate to what you have been studying at Illinois Wesleyan?
Well, it relates to Political Science in that it was firsthand experience in community development, and it relates to my Spanish major in that I was dealing firsthand with the Hispanic community.
4) Has your internship given you any insight into what you would like to do upon graduating from Illinois Wesleyan?
Absolutely - its made me resolute to leave IWU and find a position in which I am out in the community doing something. It has made me completely resolute to never accept a job that keeps me at a desk.
5) What advice, if any, would you give to Political Science majors looking for, or even just considering, an internship?
Do it! It's invaluable. Future employers love it, and more than anything it will teach you what to pursue (and avoid) in the future.