Illinois Wesleyan Interns Win COUNTRY Financial Competition

Aug. 8, 2014

Eight Illinois Wesleyan students are interning at COUNTRY this summer. 
Kimberly Wenger '15
Kelsey Emmert '15

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University student Kimberly Wenger ’15 (Fairbury, Ill.) and her team received first place for their assigned topic in COUNTRY Financial’s annual case study competition for summer interns.

In addition, Kelsey Emmert ’15 (Bloomington, Ill.) and her team received second place in their category. Each award-winning team member received a scholarship for the next academic year.

Wenger, a Business Analyst intern in Financial Services & Support, and her team built a marketing plan to attract, retain and grow COUNTRY Financial’s multicultural clientele. They were required to focus in areas where COUNTRY currently has financial representatives.

Through the three-week competition, Wenger said she was reminded of the power of collaboration. She said it was daunting to give a presentation to company leaders and employees, but said she appreciated the value of the experience.

During her internship, Wenger queried databases and built reports for business areas within Life/Health.

“I was also one of the pioneers to use a new reporting software,” said Wenger. “Our goal with this tool was to show leadership how meaningful their rows and rows of raw data can be, so that they gain valuable perspectives on their operations and ultimately increase efficiency.”

A risk management and mathematics double major, Wenger hopes to work as an actuary or in a similar position using analytical mathematics after graduation.

Emmert’s team was charged with building a plan to recruit and retain high-potential GenY candidates, specifically recruiting financial representatives from colleges and universities. She said her group of five capitalized on each other’s strengths.

“Taking peoples’unique talents and seeing where you can best apply those to make the greatest overall impact maximizes efficiency while allowing everyone to contribute in a meaningful way,” said Emmert.

An art and business administration double major, Emmert interned in the Advertising Content and Compliance departments. She said COUNTRY has refreshed nearly all of its marketing materials this summer.

“I’ve been doing a lot of copywriting and design with Adobe Creative Suite, so it’s been a good mesh of both my marketing and graphic design backgrounds,” said Emmert, who hopes to work in marketing or advertising after graduation.

Wenger and Emmert are two of the eight Illinois Wesleyan students interning at COUNTRY this summer. The company is a longtime provider of internship opportunities for Illinois Wesleyan students. Through the case study competition, interns gain the opportunity to develop project management, collaboration, networking, problem-solving and critical thinking skills in a corporate environment. 

   Contact: Kim Hill, (309) 556-3960,