Koka's Experience a Perfect Example of What Internships Should Be
Aug. 5, 2015
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— A good internship experience should give a college student the
opportunity to apply his or her classroom knowledge in a work setting, help the student
establish professional contacts and gain confidence, and explore career possibilities.
Beatrice Koka’s experience at COUNTRY Financial has been the perfect example of a
Koka ’16 (Aurora, Ill.) is a Diversity and Inclusion intern at COUNTRY. Her primary
responsibility has been to coordinate the “Learning and Leading” program at COUNTRY
for 21 local high school students. In this paid position, she developed a mentorship
program for the students, organized job shadow events, arranged transportation, and
conducted professional development workshops.
Even though she was excited and eager to learn, it was not an experience that came
easily at first. “I went into this internship feeling a bit overwhelmed and uncertain
about my capability to organize an internship program,” said Koka, a psychology major. “Over time, I gained confidence in my organizational skills. I saw my internship
as an opportunity to grow professionally, and I was able to inspire others to do that,
Koka said the internship also helped her discover a new career path. “I hope to go
into human resource management, and this internship has given me the chance to not
only learn more about it, but also receive direct guidance and support from amazing
COUNTRY employees working in the field,” she said.
She will continue the internship this fall, in addition to working as an Intern Ambassador
for COUNTRY. In this role, she will network with other students on the Illinois Wesleyan
campus to build awareness for internship opportunities at COUNTRY. Koka said the networking
role is one that comes easily to her as an extrovert; at IWU she is a Residential
Community Advisor, president of the African Students Association and member of several
other registered student organizations.
She found the internship by meeting representatives from COUNTRY Financial through
the Hart Career Center’s annual Internship Fair, which is scheduled for Sept. 28. Koka interviewed for the
internship through the Career Center’s on-campus recruitment program, which allows
employers to conduct screening interviews on campus.
“Beatrice’s experience provides a shining example of a high-impact internship that
can play a transformative role in helping a student develop future career plans,”
said Laurie Diekhoff, associate director for career engagement. “We appreciate the
efforts of employers like COUNTRY, who offer paid professional internship positions
for students that not only provide opportunities to learn and grow, but also give
students a chance to make significant contributions to their organizations.”