As Detroit becomes a new home to small businesses and large corporations alike, college students are provided the chance to gain real world application of their lectures, but they get to invest in a historic city that is no stranger to investing in a new identity. These are my experiences as I begin to take the first steps into a professional career.
Why I wanted to work in Detroit: A Familiar Story
Academia has a certain sense of irony to it. As many undergrad students have their eyes set on finishing out the winter semester with a decent GPA and a strand of sanity, there comes the reminder that they probably should have tracked down that summer internship a few months ago. Unfortunately, everyone who is having this revelation now realizes that the game is on to find an internship with a company that offers decent experience and hopefully, a paycheck. Though at this point, most of them will suffice for whatever they can find.
How do I know this? That is because until about two months ago that was my reality!
Welcome to Downtown
For many, including myself, Detroit is the ultimate destination for landing an internship. The city has a certain appeal to it: the number of energetic new small businesses, the large corporations investing into the area, the number of restaurants that are a simple walk away for lunch, and a landscape that is dotted with historic buildings. One can’t help but look up and notice the old stone facades being re tailored and washed as you walk under the scaffolding on Woodward on your way to Campus Martius.
The city is often labelled as the “Comeback City of America”, and you can’t help but begin to agree when you see the transformation of the Downtown, Foxtown, and Midtown areas. A simple walk down Woodward and some general perusing of the local stores and you find yourself asking, “Why didn’t I come down here sooner?”
What I’m a Part Of
When I first started my internship with Total Solutions last month, I sat down with members of the marketing team to discuss where I would be able to assist the rest of the team, but also where I could create my niche.
I knew since my interview that I would be in charge of helping plan SharePoint Saturday Detroit 2017 and much of the promotion that goes along with that event. Once some of the SharePoint Saturday activities are finalized, I will be able to invest more of my energy into brand awareness efforts, improving our social media, learning what contributes to SEO ratings, working on how to convert leads into clients, and picking the brains of those around me.
Within this same marketing discussion, there was talk of our brand and our image – a sense of who we are. I may be part of a growing IT consulting company that works mostly in SharePoint, but Total Solutions is also a young company, with energetic employees, who purposely decided to put their newest location in Detroit. Not only because parts of the team live in Detroit, but because Total Solutions realizes that Detroit offers a growing canvas of opportunity, a larger range of talent to pull from, and a location that ties together the tech community. All of that creates a unique image, and that is something that a multitude of growing businesses in the area are striving to achieve.
When your company invests in being a Detroit company and a part of the city’s culture, it stands for something different than any other area. I’m more than just part of Total Solutions; I am a part of Detroit!
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