Monira interned with Mercer in Philadelphia this past summer. The internship consisted of many tasks. She frequently performed disruption analyses and census manipulation. She was also approached many times to compile benchmarking data about a certain employer and its industry or its competitors. Other interesting tasks were GeoAccess and Profile reports. Monira also had the opportunity to sit in on many rate negotiation conference calls and participated in several vendor meetings. Her mentor was a recent Temple graduate who also went through the internship program. She thought that the RMI classes definitely prepared her well for the internship. Doing simple tasks like analyzing a Summary Plan Description was easy because of the exposure that she had to the vocabulary and to other similar documents that she worked with in her RMI classes.
This internship was beyond what she expected after the interview. She did not expect to gain as much as she did from the internship. Monira thought that it would be very guided and limited concerning how much she could do or gain exposure to. In actuality, she found that she was given a lot of trust and was able to work on projects that were vital to final client-facing documents. The first day on the internship, she was taught how to do a disruption analysis and submitted her final work to a Principal at Mercer. The trust that was put in her to complete important jobs was key in her growth over the summer. A special project she was assigned was to compile rate information on Fully Insured and Self Insured plans. This document will be used in the future for reference concerning 2009 and 2010 rates and market changes. Some benefits were the several vendor “Lunch & Learns” where the interns were invited to a free lunch and had the opportunity to hear vendors explain their services to associates at Mercer. At one “Lunch & Learn”, a vision vendor raffled off a pair of Ray Bans and, to her surprise, she won! They also had a softball league where Mercer played against other teams in the industry and went out for drinks and food later. She enjoyed the exposure that she got to the many basic fundamental practices needed to successfully manage an employee benefits portfolio. The work load was fairly consistent and she rarely found herself staring at the clock, waiting for time to go by. There were times that the work load was very heavy, but it taught her important lessons such as good time management and the importance of communicating with the associates concerning her progression and expected completion of the projects. She thought that the mentoring program could be altered so that there is more one-on-one time between the Intern and the mentor. Often, the mentor was very busy and didn’t have too much time to spare. Thankfully, her mentor, along with several other members of the Mercer team, took as much time as they could spare to help her when it was needed. Finally, Monira believes that Mercer is one of the best companies you could Intern with. Not only are the people great, but the work experience you gain is priceless as well.