By Gene Perry ’22
Funding Source: Whitehead Internship Program
My day starts with a ham egg and cheese sandwich around 8:30 am, before sitting down at my desk to start work at 9 am. From there, I dive into public opinions from across the country. I listen to people’s thoughts on COVID-19, do they support the president, what do they think of the protests inspired by killing of George Floyd? I do not think there has ever been a time when I have been more aware of current events than I am right now.
This summer, I am interning with market research company Engagious. My role involves assisting in data collection during in-depth interviews (IDIs), creating charts and graphics for presentations, creating memos, and more. All the data we gather through surveys can be “sliced” in a variety of ways to reveal key insights into what certain groups are thinking. I also help pull quotes from those we interview for the Swing Voter Project, a project that aims to understand voter sentiment among those who voted Obama-Trump or Romney-Clinton in 2016 and 2020. This has been especially exciting given that it is an election year.
Mid-day I take a break for lunch. BBQ chicken pizza, tomato soup, PB+B are staples of the work from home summer. If it is not raining, I will sit outside in the shade and listen to a podcast or call a friend while eating. The summer has a two-week rhythm oscillating between data collection in survey and interview form and presenting our findings to clients. The internship has exposed me to various research methods and offered many opportunities to develop skills in the Microsoft suite.
Each Friday, we have all hands meetings and recap what people have been working on and the status of major projects. Engagious recently merged with Dialsmith, and the two companies are on the smaller side with employees spread out across the country. People call in from the North East, West Coast, and Ohio. Everyone involved has been incredibly friendly and supportive. This includes my direct report and Whitehead sponsor Rich Thau ’87. Rich is a Haverford alum and a great mentor. I am excited to continue learning about public opinion research and how a small business operates over the coming weeks. Working for Engagious has been and promises to continue being an excellent experience. Thank you to the CCPA, Rich, Haverford, John C. Whitehead, and all those involved in creating this opportunity.
To those reading this who are thinking about applying to a Whitehead internship, I would highly recommend doing so. Whitehead is great for anyone interested in business or who is looking for a great intern experience working with a Haverford alum. I would encourage you to read other blogs to get a sense of what previous Whitehead interns have done, and highly recommend asking them to elaborate if having an experience like theirs appeals to you. The people I spoke with offered tremendous insights into what to expect and how their summers went. Additionally, whether interested in Whitehead or not, I would encourage everyone to reach out alumni. Haverford alumni constitute a strong network and every alum I have spoken with has been incredibly friendly.