When University of Arkansas – Fort Smith student Remington Pate looked at a list of the top 10 companies in the nation for internships, Quicken Loans ranked fourth.
Now, after earning an internship with the company, Pate is working to make that ranking even higher.
Pate is serving a 12-week internship with the Detroit-based company, where he works on the college recruiting team to help enhance the internship experience through an intensive surveying process consisting of gathering feedback from interns on every step of the internship process.
“We’ve been asking them about what they like and don’t like in the internship, from the application process to the day the internship ends. We want to make sure they feel like they’re being challenged and growing as individuals,” Pate said. “I want to help make Quicken Loans the number one internship in the nation, and there’s always room for improvement.”
“My team relies on me to not only find areas for improvement, but also to take it on as my own project and create a solution,” Pate said. “There are two values at Quicken Loans that speak to me every day: ‘The inches we need are everywhere around us’ – meaning to strive towards small improvements that culminate in greatness – and ‘Obsessed with finding a better way.’ These ideas are constantly pushing me to find those small inches for improvement and more efficient methods. We want interns from across the country to have an experience that exceeds all expectations and gives them an experience they will never forget.”
A native of Greenwood, Pate pursued the internship out of the desire for a new and unique experience before he graduated. When he saw Quicken Loans on the list of top internships in the nation by the website Glassdoor, he researched the company and decided to apply.
More than 13,000 people applied for internships with the company, and Pate was one of the approximately 10 percent of applicants who were selected.
The company’s values, called ISMs, spoke to Pate. But as an aspiring community leader in Fort Smith, Pate also saw the opportunity to see Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert’s efforts to restore downtown Detroit firsthand and bring what he’s learned back to Fort Smith.
“I want Fort Smith to be that awesome place in Arkansas that everyone wants to go to,” he said. “So I wanted to come here to Detroit and see what the city was doing and the direction they were taking and bring that to Fort Smith.”
Pate, who had never been north of St. Louis prior to the internship, has also gained an insight into city life that he hadn’t experienced before.
“I didn’t realize what I was taking for granted with Fort Smith, and I didn’t realize what I was missing, either,” Pate joked, adding that he missed the closer bond with the people in the Fort Smith community.
But the company’s corporate culture – focused on encouraging and developing ideas from interns – has motivated Pate to continue refining the interning experience. He has recently spearheaded the effort to revamp the Campus Ambassadors program for the company, an initiative that provides interns the opportunity to serve as a brand ambassador and recruiter for Quicken Loans while attending classes at their university.
When Pate and a fellow intern emailed the team members overseeing the program to recommend their changes, Pate was surprised when they wanted to meet in person to discuss implementing their changes.
“This was obviously very shocking and humbling for me. Here I am, only an intern of four weeks, and my ideas are not only being heard, but put into action immediately,” Pate said.
Quicken Loan’s focus on personal growth is just one way the company has helped Pate grow as a professional.
“From the way everyday processes are carried out, to how I report to my supervisor, and even how I dress is different here,” Pate said. “I am very blessed for this opportunity. I owe it all to my family, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, all of my mentors, and my previous co-workers at ArcBest Corporation. I am indebted to them all for enabling me to be in this position, supporting my dreams and encouraging me to test my limits.”