SHS student interns at Dennis Morris State Farm Insurance Agency

Elisabeth Slay
Shawnee High School student Juliana Mills working at her internship at Dennis Morris State Farm Insurance Agency.

Editor's Note: This story is part of a series focusing on Shawnee High School students who are preparing for future careers through internships as part of Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP).

Shawnee High School senior Juliana Mills spends time each day sorting papers, posting items on social media and designing graphics as an intern for Dennis Morris State Farm Insurance Agency.

According to the 17-year-old, if there are national holidays or other special events to promote for the insurance company, she creates posts and other items for the company's social media.

"I'll go onto Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and either it's a national holiday or some fun day where we try to incorporate the people in the office...We can all post a selfie together...That's what I do for the social media or I could make a graphic design for the picture to post," Mills said.

Mills explained the best aspects of her internship are the work she gets to do and the people she works with.

"When I'm sorting papers I find that fun. (I like) whenever I have a lot of work to do (because) I'm not just sitting here bored," Mills said.

The high school student said she has a passion for graphic design which developed as she has taken her courses at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

Mills explained she did not entirely choose the place she is interning at, but she feels she has benefitted from working at the insurance company.

"I'm not necessarily in a graphic design place right now so I'm not always going to be in a design firm when I have a career," Mills said. "Maybe it is an insurance company or some place like that so I will have to be in a place where everyone is doing different jobs and I'm the one doing social media or sorting."

The 17-year-old said she feels like interning at Dennis Morris State Farm Insurance Agency has made her adaptable to other positions as she navigates her graphic design career.

However, while Mills finds this aspect beneficial, she said it is also her biggest challenge.

"(The) challenge is also not being in a graphic design place because if I was I could just focus on all art, but that would make it very tunnel vision," Mills said.

At first, Mills said she wasn't certain of her internship, but the insurance company was looking for someone with her skill set and she said she has developed a love for the place.

"It turned out really great. I love it here. I don't think I want to be anywhere else," Mills said.

According to her mentor and Account Manager Melissa McKay, Mills has been an asset to the insurance company and she's gaining valuable experience.

"I think she benefits by learning how to deal with the community (and learning) how to handle stressful situations because we are fast-paced and she does really well with that and she helps us out a lot," McKay said.

In addition to her internship and courses at GCTC, Mills said she is a Tri-Hi-Y Vice President and she's designing t-shirts for the Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP) Internship Program.

"It makes me very happy. I am excited to have my design to put on something that represents the internship program," Mills said.

After she graduates, Mills said she will attend Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology to major in graphic design and possibly the culinary arts.