SLU PIC Planning Office- Part 3
The last few weeks at the Planning Office have gone by quickly. I sent out my First Time Homebuyer Program Survey and anxiously waited for participants to respond. I had a good feeling that I would get about 50 samples by the end of the week. However, this was not the case.
I received 17 responses by Thursday, and I was extremely disappointed. I wasn’t even close to the threshold minimum of 30 responses. I had to try another way — a phone survey. At this point, I began to call phone numbers that I researched online. Many numbers were invalid, or the phone was left ringing. However, the few that answered their phones saved my survey. I collected 12 more responses by the end of the week. In hindsight, I believe that the best way to conduct my survey would have been through the phone. If I randomly selected 50 participants and administered the survey by the phone I would 1) get more responses and 2) have a less biased survey.
The week of organizing and analyzing the data encouraged me to keep on track. With quantitative data, from the North Country Housing Council and the Planning Office, I graphed First Time Home Buyer participant information, including average household income, average program assistance, and average participant mortgages. Looking at my qualitative data, I was able to organize charts about change of community involvement, spending, and economic position after purchasing a home. I found some interesting information from my analysis. Firstly, I created a basic ‘profile’ about a First Time Homebuyer Program participant. This included the number of people in the household, average household income, average mortgage, and municipality. Additionally, I found that there is be no association between community involvement and change of community involvement after purchasing a home through the program. However, a total of 42.8% of survey respondents felt that their economic position had improved since their involvement with DHAP, and a total of 66.7% of survey respondents believed that the program had some form of positive influence on their spending habits; all participants described their spending habits as “average” or “budgeter”.
Because it is summer, many people in the office will be gone during my last week in the office. I will miss having a full office for my last week. But, we will all try our best to keep the office exciting while they are gone.
I learned many things during my SLU PIC internship. Of course, I learned a lot about the First Time Homebuyer Program. However, I learned more than I could have thought possible. The skills I gained in building professional relationships allowed me to acquire a data analytics job on campus with the Department of Institutional Research. I learned about the difficulty and skill required to write grants and there are so many amazing people living in St. Lawrence County. Everyone in my office helped me mature into a young professional who is ready to tackle her senior year and future job application process after graduation.
I could not have found a better office to intern with— so, thank you St. Lawrence University and St. Lawrence County Planning Office for giving me such an amazing opportunity.