We kicked off our 2017 Summer Internship Program on May 30 with a group of 23 interns who were eager and ready to learn more about Pekin Insurance and the insurance industry!
Our interns have traveled from near and far to join our team. Our interns range from students attending Bradley University and Illinois State University, both located just 20 minutes away, to Drake University in Iowa and the University of Missouri in Missouri.
So, why would interns choose to gain experience from a mid-size insurance company in Central Illinois? We offer an 11-week program that is just as competitive and robust as some of our larger competitors. Interns are able to gain real life work experience in the areas of Personal Lines Underwriting, Commercial Lines Underwriting, P&C Claim, Information Technology, Human Resources, Accounting, P&C Actuarial, Marketing, Enterprise Security, and several other departments. Plus, they are given the opportunity to volunteer with local organizations, network with leadership, participate in social activities with their fellow interns, and partake in professional development courses.
This year, our interns will have the opportunity to choose an organization that they would like to volunteer with. Pekin Insurance is partnering with Tazewell Animal Protective Society (TAPS), John Evans Supportive Living Facility, and The Boys & Girls Club of Pekin in an effort to give back to the community. Some of the volunteering activities may consist of gardening and landscaping, playing games and visiting with the elderly, participating in the Summer Fun Program with local youth, and many more.
In previous summers, we have partnered with the Pekin Park District’s Soldwedel Park, as well as The HOPE Chest, which is a local non-profit organization whose primary mission is to help other people excel.
Networking with Leaders
Our interns are given real life work experience in various departments throughout the company. Due to the nature of their work and the requirements we have in our program, we encourage our managers to invite their interns to meetings with Directors and Vice Presidents. This allows our interns to learn how to interact with employees at different levels of the organization. They may even get the opportunity to hold a presentation in front of our senior leadership team!
In addition to the “work” side of “networking,” we also like to have some fun with our interns. Members of our leadership team joined the group for lunch to kick off our summer program, and we also enjoyed a fun game of trivia to break up the day. In addition to other events that are held, we host an “End of Summer Mixer” for the interns, their managers, and leadership to attend to close out a great summer program. We even offer a scholarship and will announce the recipient at this event.
Engaging with leadership and volunteering isn’t the only way we have fun with our interns. The program offers a variety of activities for them to connect with each other and build lasting relationships. Interns receive free tickets to a Peoria Chiefs game where they are able to let loose and have a little fun. We also host a night out at Buffalo Wild Wings and The Fieldhouse Bar & Grill where they can socialize, enjoy a meal on us, and unwind after the work day. In previous years, the interns have gone bowling, played laser tag, and participated in games at the Home Office.
Professional development is important in expanding on our interns’ knowledge and experience for their career field. Not only are they given significant work for their internship duties, but they are also provided with opportunities to expand their skills in other ways.
This year, we are offering Real Colors Training to all interns. Real Colors is a fun, interactive training workshop used to identify different personality types and improve communication amongst teams. We also offer a resume building session, lunch n’ learn on LinkedIn Tips & Tricks, and a benefits education course. All of these courses will help them in their careers and with searching for employment in the future, hopefully with us.