By Tanner Lumer ’21
Funding Source: Whitehead Internship Program
I am fortunate to be working for the Education Outcome Consortium (“EOC”) through Haverford’s Whitehead Internship Program. It has been a fun and varied experience, which I will take with me long after the summer is over. My experience over the past week or two is a good illustration of the types of tasks I have been assigned, including some that were entirely unexpected. This process has been both challenging and rewarding.
During the past week, EOC has asked me to assist with the rollout of their new website rollout for their high school honors society, Torch and Laurel. More precisely, I implemented part of their web design, which was something I had not done before. It was initially difficult, but I was glad for the assignment, as I learned additional basic skills and was able to see the product of our work. More to the point, projects that are outside one’s comfort zone are excellent ways of building confidence and expanding your toolset.
This coming week, I am returning to my original project, which involves analyzing their financial data for their organization, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I have been tasked with conducting an analysis of their profits and losses based on segmentation of their email listings. Such a detailed examination allows EOC to determine how to better market their service, and identify any improvements or modifications to their services that may be useful or otherwise appeal to consumers.
Virtually all of the work I perform as an intern for EOC flows from knowledge, information, or a mode of thinking I learned at Haverford College. I became proficient in the use of Stata in my Economic Statistics courses, which I use for all my data analysis. Moreover, with thanks again to Economic Statistics with Calculus and Econometrics, I can understand what the data is telling me, and am able to extract data and put it into a meaningful context. This has made my work for my internship a lot easier, and made it possible for me to provide EOC with useful information. Haverford has also helped me develop confidence in my ability to use my knowledge, not only to answer questions, but to use the information I’ve gathered to fashion ideas and suggestions that lead to new actions and directions. I feel that during my time as an intern at the Education Outcome Consortium, I have made an impact in the confines of my role.
While I am disappointed that I would not be able to live and work in Washington D.C. this summer, working remotely has not presented any issues or obstacles. We hold weekly meetings to check in via Zoom, and my internet access at home is sufficiently reliable to support that technology. While living in an unusually full house during this pandemic presents many distractions, both generally and during meetings, I found a space that works well enough for me to perform my job and communicate with my supervisors and colleagues such that my experience still feels very “hands-on”. My employers involve me in the day-to-day operations from sales pitches to partnership meetings, and it almost feels as if I am a full time employee.
Finally, I would say a tip for successfully navigating any Whitehead internship is to demonstrate a genuine willingness to go above and beyond what is asked of you. A commitment to the organization, creativity, and a good work ethic will do a lot to impress your superiors, and lead to a more enjoyable experience.