Betel Bedada, Luther College senior, traveled to Coralville, Iowa, to intern for the company GEICO over the summer. This internship allowed Bedada to develop business leadership skills and gain insight about the way that GEICO runs as a company.
Bedada, child of Buruke Fikadu of Arsi Negele, Ethiopia, is a 2015 graduate of Patrick Henry High School, majoring in data science and management at Luther.
Throughout Bedada's internship, they worked on assigned projects to present to the managers and supervisors of the company. "My project group worked on associate turnover in their first year with GEICO with the objective of coming up with action plans to help enhance employee retention past the first-year mark. To better understand the root cause of high turnover rate in the first year of employment, we, as a group, interviewed associates, supervisors, managers as well as analyzed data from previous years." During their final presentation, they suggested initiatives such as incentives for top performing associates, creating opportunities for employee participation, and improving supervisor engagement with new hires.
"The internship presented me with a great opportunity to better understand some of my personal strength and weakness," Bedada says. "Time management is a strength that manifested throughout the internship program, whether be it allocating enough time to doing research relating to group project or interviewing employees in different positions at GEICO so as to better understand their work experiences. Building a solid relationship with coworkers, superiors, customers, and business partners, is a prominent skill to have in order to succeed in the workforce and I need to work on that."
Interning at GEICO has allowed Bedada to view the challenges and possibilities for personal and professional growth in the business world. "In all," Bedada said, "the internship has created a platform to evaluate my leadership skill level and recognize areas I need to improve upon."
Approximately 10 percent of Luther students take an internship for academic credit each academic year. The Luther College Career Center assists students with their internship search through resume preparation, networking, online internship searches, career fairs, on-campus interviewing, and connecting the student to alumni through the college's Alumni Internship Program. Students also meet with a faculty adviser prior to the internship to create an internship learning plan that includes learning goals and assessment benchmarks. An internship work supervisor assists in the process by writing an evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. Students also complete a self-reflection form to help finalize the learning experience.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.