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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That's a Wrap: Graduation Summer 2019

Yesterday evening, the Wednesday Cohort finished up the 2019 Summer Digital Clinic with a lovely soiree at Ann Arbor’s Bar Louie. Each participant who finished the clinic received not only certification from the CDE Clinic, but also successfully completed either Google Analytics or Google Ads Certification (or both). This summer’s highly successful clinic was the biggest yet, with combined cohorts of 48 students!

Before the party, the Wednesday Cohort students were given graduating parting words by four stellar entrepreneurial leaders and friends of the CDE Clinic: Chad Wiebesick of Destination Ann Arbor, Shaina Bertrang of LawnGuru, Dave Warren of Impellia, and Steve Lowisz of Qualigence. Each offered sound advice for “launching into the Post-Clinic world.”

Wiebesick reminded participants of the importance of social media branding, and of the possibility that social media can come back to haunt you. He went on to emphasize the importance of networking, telling participants that his most successful career changes were “less about who I knew, and more about who knew me.”

Bertrang encouraged participants to question authority and to confront failure head-on. “In your future, you are going to work for people and with people who might be wrong. Challenge their assumptions and hypotheses and show what value you bring to the table. The best idea always wins.”

Like the others, Warren encouraged networking, but also emphasized the importance of in-person, face to face networking, as opposed to simply using social media for networking.

Last but not least, Lowisz shared his story regarding having hired a former clinic participant who has since become an indispensable part of his team. He imparted a story with participants regarding his understanding of the digital translation, and what a colleague had succinctly distilled for him years before. “Marketing is not about the services you offer, or the products or widgets you might make, it’s about the narrative you tell. In the digital sphere, you’re telling that narrative to the world.”

With that, participants and community members went down stairs to mingle, enjoy a game of Human Bingo, and enjoy the outdoor air on a lovely summer Ann Arbor evening as they celebrated the biggest and most successful summer clinic yet!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Student Intern Spotlight: Jinkyung Byun

In this edition of the Student Intern Spotlight, we will take a look at someone who has a very unique story to tell. Meet Jinkyung Byun! Jinkyung is a Marketing and Human Resources Major at Eastern Michigan University. She is actually an international student from South Korea. She has a CPT (Curricular Practical Training) visa which is a program that temporarily allows international students with an F-1 visa to gain practical experience directly related to their major through employment and internships. Jinkyung has been a student of Bud Gibson for the past two semesters and discovered the Center for Digital Engagement from his classes.

Jinkyung is working for CSEG Powertrain Live which is a startup engineering company in Ann Arbor. It is actually the only cloud- based vehicle simulation model that checks fuel efficiency animations that condense the design process from 6 months to 6 minutes. Her main focus was industry research and how she can get the target audience to purchase the product. 

Jinkyung’s favorite part about the cohort meetings is being able to practice her public speaking. Coming over to the United States, Jinkyung felt less confident because of a language barrier but she likes to communicate with people. Also, the expert panels have helped Jinkyung understand the working field better.

Jinkyung plans to be a marketer after she graduates in 2020. Even though she has had offers from Korean companies, she wants a position with an American company and wants to learn more about American culture. She wants to encourage other international students to be apart of the Center for Digital Engagement.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Student Intern Spotlight: Yulia Brown

In the CDE, many of our interns are undergraduate students or recent grads. Not too many of our interns have Master’s degrees. It’s not often that a typical intern, if there was a such thing, has a Master’s degree from another country. Meet Yulia Brown! Yulia is a 24 years old and has her Master’s degree in Film Production from Russia (Yes Russia!) She has lived in Russia, Vietnam, California, and we are now lucky to have her in Michigan. She currently takes classes in Film Production at Washtenaw Community College, which is also how she found out about the Center for Digital Engagement.

Yulia is working with Pathware this summer. Pathware creates solutions to simplify digital pathology workflows and reduce the rate of repeat procedures. (Clink here for more information on Pathware is in charge of brand image and content creation. During the time of the internship she’s been creating a video for the companies’ investors, it includes planning, filming and postproduction editing. She has only been to the office once to meet everyone before filming. This is a reality of working remotely, when the main way of communicating is through video conferences. Yulia has never experienced a workspace where everyone is spaced out and it was challenging but she was able to succeed.

The most challenging thing for Yulia, before the internship, was public speaking. Interns have to present progress reports in Cohort Meetings every week. What made these reports easier for Yulia was the fact that every intern understood the marketing space. Overall, Yulia has learned more about how to be confident in presenting ideas, and how to organize the production of a video. She has gathered people around to deliver a positive result and has become a flexible team-player.

Yulia feels that she has gotten 110 times more than what she has expected out of this program. She’s already gotten a GM Talent Recruiter to inform her about a Content Creator position! However, the CDE Clinic has shown her that she wants to work for herself. She feels very accomplished with what she has done in the past 8 weeks.