Thursday, October 17, 2019

Discovering Your Passion - Profile on Dasha Jones

When pursuing a degree, an important question to ask yourself is simply, “Do I like this?”  As a junior in college, Dasha Jones was in that exact situation and wanted to see if marketing was right for her.  After three years of selling Sony cameras at Best Buy, she was able to land an internship with the CDE.  Now, she is using the experience she has and applying for jobs all over the United States!

During Dasha’s time in the CDE Summer Internship Clinic, the marketing major was able to manage the social media of her start-up company, ShapeLog.  ShapeLog has created a device that tracks individual fitness goals and acts as a mini personal trainer.  Dasha did a lot of research, ads, and even photography for the company, some of which are still on their website. “This job throws you right in and gives you hands-on experience,” she shared.  “It isn’t your classic run and get coffee internship.”

After the clinic ended, Dasha stayed with ShapeLog for six months while going to school.  Upon graduation, she landed a job at Stardock Systems, doing a lot of writing and content for the gaming company.  “It was the experience I gained from my internship that got me the job,” Dasha explained.  Now, Dasha is pursuing opportunities in the Windy City, as she landed two interviews for marketing positions in Chicago. 

Although Dasha dreams of working in the beauty industry as a Director of Marketing, she has some other things up her sleeves as well.  She’s started a business from her phone, making wigs and selling them on Instagram.  In addition to the wigs, Dasha is also passionate about photography (@thewigshowcase and @dashajart on Instagram).  “I’d love to pursue one of those full time,” Dasha shared.

Overall, Dasha expressed that the internship is something everybody should do. “This internship will prepare you for your future no matter what your major or career path is,” she said.  “You get the chance to meet amazing people and network with them.  Plus, you get paid!”

Don’t miss your chance to meet amazing people, build your resume, and get paid!  Check out our website for more information about the Center for Digital Engagement and to keep up with all of our events.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Matching Skill with Passion - Profile on Alondra Ramos-Herrera

Do you want to take your work experience to the next level?  That’s exactly what Alondra Ramos-Herrera did when she took the chance on CDE’s Summer Internship Clinic.  Alondra spent a lot of her college career working management level positions at stores such as Rue 21, Aldo, and Garage.  After working retail job after retail job, Alondra finally pursued her passion for social media at Mi Padrino.  Mi Padrino is your one-stop shop to planning a quinceanera.  Clients can get in touch with vendors, get assistance planning, and develop their style on Mi Padrino’s platform.  When Alondra heard Bud Gibson, the clinic director, talk about Mi Padrino in her interview, she knew that it was exactly where she wanted to end up.  

During her internship, Alondra was able to do a lot of email marketing, as well as cold calling.  While in school, she had started a fashion blog on Instagram, which developed quite a following.  Realizing that social media was what she wanted to do, Alondra approached her boss to see how she could utilize those skills.  “One of the best pieces of advice I could give someone in my position would be to not be afraid of letting your leaders know what you’re good at!” she explained.  Once the leadership team at Mi Padrino saw her previous social media work with the blog, they were sold!

Alondra now works full time at Mi Padrino doing social media and has grown their Instagram presence from a couple hundred to over 20,000 followers.  “I absolutely love what I do and the people I work with,” she shared. “I know the company is growing, and I want to grow with them!”

The CDE Summer Internship Clinic was about much more than just a job for Alondra.  “You meet so many people and you learn so much,” she said.  “You get what you put into it.”  For her, that meant a full-time job!  “As an intern with these start-up companies, you get the opportunity to really make an impact and sell yourself on what you’re good at,” Alondra explained, and that was exactly what she did.

“My one word of advice is to talk to everybody,” Alondra said.  “I never really thought about bringing up that I liked social media until the fashion blog.  If that hadn’t come up, I may not be where I am today!”

Companies all over Ann Arbor are looking for skills that might match up perfectly with your passions.  Get connected with the business leaders in your community at our Digital Marketing Workshop on November 15th.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

No Marketing Experience? No Problem! - Profile on Barbara Suzanne Collins

No marketing experience? No problem!  University of Michigan sophomore Barbara Suzanne Collins came into the CDE Summer Internship Clinic with one goal; expand her skillset.  That’s exactly what she did.  “With the CDE, I was able to explore so many realms that I never had before!  It made me fall even more in love with my field of study, Communication!” Barbara shared.
Before the clinic, Barbara worked as a reporter and editor for the Michigan Daily.  She actually learned about this internship from a co-editor, and was excited to try something new.  “I wasn’t sure if PR or Journalism was my passion, and my experience with the clinic helped me figure that out,” she explained.  

Barbara was placed with the DIY financial planning company, PocketNest.  Her experience doing social media was a little unique--she worked entirely remotely.  “Everyone at PocketNest was so fun,” she shared.  “We had Facetime meetings and I got to work from all of the cutest coffee shops in Ann Arbor.”  She loved it so much that she is staying with PocketNest for the next semester, writing blogs and doing social media work.

PocketNest and the CDE were able to give Barbara her first work experience in the field, and the support she had throughout was priceless.  The cohorts offered a support system that is hard to find elsewhere, and she was able to meet with countless business leaders and peers throughout the Ann Arbor community.  One of her favorite parts of the clinic is simple; It’s targeted towards people looking for experience, just like her!

Even though continuing with PocketNest is an amazing outcome, Barbara gained much more than just a job.  “The most valuable thing about the clinic for me was the relationships,” she explained.  “I was able to network and do tons of cool things.  I even got lunch with Jenn Hayman, the director of marketing for Zingerman’s Service Network!”  

When asked to give one piece of advice, Barbara explained that working for a start-up is an experience that everyone should have at least once.  “It gives you so much creative freedom, and it gives you the opportunity to really make an impact!” she said.  “You’re able to present ideas to your boss, and they usually love them!”  

You don’t have to take it from me or Barbara...find out for yourself how the CDE Summer Internship Clinic can make a difference in your career!  Meet some of the team at our Digital Marketing Workshop on November 15, 2019.  Register now to secure your spot!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

A Fun-Filled Experience - Profile on Makenna Giles

If you have been to the Eastern Michigan University Student Center lately, you’ve probably seen Makenna Giles helping coordinate all of the events and designing various graphics.  The Chicago native has worked as a marketing coordinator at the Student Center since October of 2018.  Although Makenna is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Graphic Design, companies are looking for candidates of all skill sets to help with their digital marketing.  Makenna originally sought out the CDE Clinic internship to generate some extra income, however, she gained much more than just a paycheck.  

“Without the CDE, I wouldn’t have my current job at LawnGuru,” Makenna shared. “I love being part of the GuruFam, and I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity without the CDE!”
Makenna was hired on after her eight-week internship doing social media at the “Uber for lawn care”, LawnGuru.  Getting placed at LawnGuru allowed her to broaden her skillset in photography, graphic design, and social media.

Makenna has gotten much more than just a job out of the internship.  “I needed LinkedIn help, and I was really able to sell myself after this experience,” she explained.  “We were able to network not only with other interns but various professionals in the Ann Arbor area.”  Even though the CDE Clinic looks like just an internship from the surface, students are able to make connections in the community that can eventually land them jobs.

Don’t worry, even though students work, learn, and network, there is still room for fun.  Makenna’s piece of advice is one that I think everyone can listen to.  “Don’t get too discouraged. Things are going to flop.  Everyone fails.” she said.  “Focus on keeping things light and having fun. You’ll enjoy the work so much more when you’re being yourself.”

So, now it’s your turn to have some fun and grow your personal network!  On November 15th, the Digital Marketing Workshop is being held from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center.  This is a great way to meet with some of the CDE Clinic alumni and business leaders in the Ann Arbor area.  To sign up for the workshop, click here!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Dartmouth to Downtown - Profile on Abe Joo

An internship with the Center for Digital Engagement (CDE) is much more than just a summer job.  It is the beginning of a network that can jumpstart your career and, let’s face it, that’s what most students are looking for.
Connecting with business professionals is the whole reason Abe Joo, CDE Clinic alumni 2019, joined the clinic community.  As a Dartmouth College student, Abe is already getting an education that set him apart.  It is the network of business professionals that you meet in the clinic that drew him in.  “So many things about this internship had value for me,” Abe expressed.  “Meeting other professionals that I can learn from was one of the most helpful things.” 

The network that Abe built during the CDE Clinic has been instrumental in his career development, so much that he is continuing to work full time with his clinic company PassiveBolt on business to business development.  “It’s all about the sweet spot.  Once you find what works best for you, the opportunities will come.  You can set your own standards.”  Abe shared.  PassiveBolt has even mentioned their interest in Abe after he graduates.  

The New Jersey native has been around the block a few times, from Pennsylvania to New Mexico to Tennessee, then finally landing in Ann Arbor.  He attends Dartmouth College in New Hampshire as an economics and mathematics double major. Abe’s father researched for theoretical physics, which resulted in moving often.  

Abe’s professional background started out just like some of us.  From the age of 15, Abe worked in restaurants and did miscellaneous jobs while he finished high school.  After his freshman year of college, Abe took a year off to figure out his career path and ended up working with BestFoodFeed, an Ann Arbor SPARK company, doing marketing and ad campaigns.  SPARK is a company that assists start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Ann Arbor area, and the incubator for all of these wonderful internship opportunities. Omeid, the CEO of BestFoodFeed, connected Abe with Bud and the CDE Clinic...and the rest is history.

Abe’s words of advice are simple but powerful.  “Focus on one thing, and do it well,” he said. While working multiple jobs to get through college is the norm these days, dedicating at least 10 hours per week to developing your career in the field you’d like to grow in is essential.  With Abe’s willingness to learn, he was able to follow his passion for business and entrepreneurship and ultimately land a job.

Want to learn more about how to be a part of the CDE Summer Clinic?  Visit our website or email with any questions!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Importance of Networking

As we wrap up the 2019 CDE Summer Internship clinic, the journey has really just started.  For all of the interns involved, the clinic has given us a platform to build our network and sell ourselves to future employers! 

Throughout the clinic, it has been stressed that networking is very important.  The reception afterwards proved it.  Interns from both cohorts mingled with professionals in the local community on Wednesday, August 14th. 

"It was great to get to know some of these people in a more relaxed setting, while also having some quality conversation!" Jamie Ferguson stated.  She had been working with PassiveBolt over the course of her internship, and had nothing but rave reviews.

With the clinic over, many interns are continuing with the companies that they were placed with.  Makenna Giles, with LawnGuru, is continuing her role as a social media manager.  "We had fun throughout the internship, and I'm glad I can continue the experience into this next semester.  I'm part of the Guru Fam now!"

Did you miss out on the clinic this year?  No need to worry, the networking opportunities have just begun!  In November, the CDE will be hosting a Digital Marketing Workshop to help you get ahead of the game in your field, as well as chat with local business leaders.  CDE Alumni and interested students are encouraged to come join in on the fun!

Overall, the CDE Summer Internship clinic was an amazing experience, and one that I value.  If you have any questions regarding networking, job experience, or what exactly the mentors are looking for when interviewing candidates, please reach out to us on Facebook or shoot me an email at

Friday, August 16, 2019

Final Words of Advice & Graduation Photos!

This summer flew by, especially for our summer clinic interns who spent the summer working with start-up companies! This past Tuesday and Wednesday, all of our interns graduated and attended a networking event directly afterwards. Intern, Jinkyung Byun, surprised all of the mentors with an appreciation plaque for all of their hard work. All of the interns sincerely appreciate all of the time and effort that the mentors put into this program and that was the perfect way to show it! We are so proud of all of the hard work that the interns have put in with all of the start-up companies. If you are an intern, mentor or you would like to see the graduation there will be some pictures below! Luckily, we were also able to snag a few last piece of advice from our interns:

“Do your best, Forget the rest! Go CDE!" - DeAndre Hicks 

"This internship has granted me the opportunity to gain relevant industry experience, in addition to ample networking opportunities. Both are crucial to finding a good job before or after graduation." - Josh Lewis

My name is Brian Kinsley, an intern working with TechStak & ShopWindow. This is the quote I use on my portfolio site: 
“Give then what they want, but never what they expect...” - V. McMahon

"The clinic gave me the opportunity to put into practice skills I've been learning in class, but haven't gotten the chance to use yet. As a grad student, this is particularly important. I also have the advantage now of going back onto the job market with tangible, numerical results from my start up that I can use to showcase the value I bring to future employers."  -- Vee Kennedy. EMU concurrent MA student in Written Communications and Creative Writing.

"The thing that made me most successful with my company was taking initiative and doing work on my own. The mindset to find the next thing to do made a good impact with the CEO, and led to me growing my skills and accomplishing a lot." - Lexi Morgan 

"Not only did this internship give me the experience I was looking for, it gave me confidence in a future career path." - David Moening

"No matter if you are an intern or a CEO, put your whole heart into everything that you do. All your hard work will pay off in the end!" - Jess Robine

Our interns also had the pleasure of listening to a final panel speaker, Eric Wortman, who is in charge of Sports and Ticketing for Google, give us one last piece of career advice:

"Do not underestimate yourself. Be confident in your experiences because no one has the exact same set of experiences as you do. You are one of a kind." - Eric Wortman

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