When Yehna Bendul began an internship with the Postal Service’s marketing department in June, she wasn’t sure if the work would be applicable to her international affairs studies.
After working on projects to improve customer service in Western Area districts, however, Bendul, who’ll be a senior this fall at George Washington University in Washington, DC, began to see the connection.
“The analytical and communications skills I learned can translate to my future work. I also learned how a large government entity functions at multiple levels,” said Bendul, whose work included monitoring Post Office lobby cameras to identify ways to reduce customer wait times and helping create more informative dashboard reports.
Bendul was among 56 interns across the nation who spent 10 weeks working on projects to improve postal operations and customer service this summer.
Edward Young, a university relations recruiter for USPS, visited campuses to encourage students to consider internships and other opportunities.
“We’re able to tap into the Generation Z talent pool and develop a much-needed pipeline as our workforce continues to mature,” he said, referring to the demographic group that includes people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.
In Great Lakes Area’s Gateway District, Caleb Dennert analyzed customer survey data and provided improvement suggestions, which included refresher training courses and an employee recognition program.
“I’ve been able to practice my public speaking skills,” said Dennert, who’ll be a senior this fall at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. “I’ve gained experience on how to analyze a problem, propose a solution and apply it.”
Michele Martens, Gateway District’s marketing manager, said the team will miss Dennert.
“We pushed reports out to the field that he produced and had him speak at trainings we put on. His perspective as a young customer was beneficial to us,” she said.
At USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, Brad Rogelas served as a realty asset intern in Facilities.
Rogelas, who graduated this month with a finance degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, worked to help manage USPS assets, which included an analysis of the organization’s vacant properties to see which ones could become rentals.
“I gained real-world experience,” he said. “I was able to put my Excel skills to work and practice what I learned in school.”
Another headquarters intern, Casey Hassett, served as a social media associate and addressed customer feedback posted on the organization’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
The recent communications studies graduate of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, proposed that having more social media response teams could help address customer concerns more quickly.
“I might work in human resources someday and my experiences at the Postal Service will be useful,” Hassett said. “It was an amazing experience.”