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June 15, 2018
Most internships involve young, energetic adults who are eager to gain some perspective and insight into the career that they wish to pursue. However, interns don’t often get real exposure to how the business operates; instead, they are fetching coffee, making copies, or doing other busy work. In my first three weeks at Parker, Smith & Feek, I have already learned countless valuable things. I have been introduced to several insurance professionals, many of whom have volunteered their time to sit down with me and explain the business and their respective role within it. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a client renewal meeting, where I got firsthand experience on how Parker, Smith & Feek treats and handles their clients in a respectful, caring, and professional way. This meeting allowed me to better understand the role that Parker, Smith & Feek plays between insurers and clients. Not only was I able to participate in an insurance program renewal meeting, I was brought along on a lunch with a prospective client. It was fascinating to see how Parker, Smith & Feek employees interact with potential customers. There was a perfect balance between casual and business conversation at the lunch. The transition from informal chatting to insurance-related discussion was so natural; you could clearly see that our employees at Parker, Smith & Feek have had immense experience working with clients.
During my first couple of weeks, I was given the task of researching prospective companies in a particular geography. I was instructed to use LinkedIn in order to find businesses of certain requirements and add them to the company’s database. This research helped me better understand the magnitude of Western Washington’s economy. The vast number of small businesses across several different industries, for me, was eye opening. This research also gave me insight to the level of professionalism that Parker, Smith & Feek maintains through their online presence. Many companies have incomplete websites, which made it difficult to find the information I needed. It was extremely beneficial for me to get familiarized with LinkedIn; it is a wonderful business tool when you know how to navigate it well.
One of the biggest tasks I was assigned in my first couple of weeks here was to prepare and deliver a presentation. I was simply told, “Describe Parker, Smith & Feek as if you were talking to a prospective client.” This task seemed daunting at first, presenting in front of 10-12 insurance professionals in a real business setting. I began researching the company deeper and scheduled a meeting with our Vice President of Marketing, Melissa Willhite. After sufficient investigation and exposure to the business, I was able to prepare a quick two minute presentation. It wasn’t difficult to find solid content for my speech. In fact, the real challenge for me was to limit the amount of content in my presentation in order to keep it short and sweet. There are so many potential topics to discuss when it comes to Parker, Smith & Feek, so determining the most crucial pieces of information to include was slightly frustrating. I presented, and all went well. I received some constructive criticism, as well as some praise. It was awesome for Parker, Smith & Feek to test me that way so early on in my internship. I was excited to see that they value my growth while I am here, even if it’s only for a couple of months. Parker, Smith & Feek is an extremely well organized business. My time here has been a pleasure so far, the company has invested time and resources into my success, and I look forward to making a positive impact while I am here!