EMU summer internship program offers paid opportunities for students seeking digital careers

Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) Center for Digital Engagement, in partnership with Ann Arbor SPARK, is hosting its ninth annual Digital Summer Clinic internship program. Program staff are currently accepting applications, and will select 48 applicants to participate.

Center for Digital Engagement Director Bud Gibson states that the paid internship program is designed to introduce current college students to tech industry professionals, and start the process of networking before they’ve finished their collegiate program.

"It’s more than just an internship," Gibson says. "The goal is to make this a win-win for the client companies and the student interns, and to give the students a first start toward a professional career."

The program is open to all college students in Southeast Michigan, not just those from EMU, as well as those who have graduated within 18 months of sending in their application. Gibson says several past interns are now working in major companies such as Google, Pinterest, Ford, and GM. 

In addition to working alongside tech professionals, interns also work alongside each other in cohorts to discuss successes and struggles they may be facing in their respective agencies, and to get advice and mentoring directly from partnering business owners. Gibson describes the program as a "firehose of opportunity" for participating students.

Gibson also highlights the cyclical nature of the program, noting that many previous interns return to the program after graduating to become mentors to the newest batch of interns.

"We’re starting to be around long enough to do that," he says, noting that next year will be the program’s 10th anniversary. "You’ve got to build a system where things feed back into it, or else you aren’t going to be able to sustain it."

Having partnered with SPARK since the program’s beginnings in 2015, Gibson says the program's mission aligns perfectly with SPARK’s mission to "advance the economy of the Ann Arbor region by establishing it as a desired place for innovation, business location, and growth."

"Big companies employ more people than little companies," Gibson says. "By helping train the workforce and giving people a leg up in the local economy, it helps make it attractive for those larger clients that come through."

For more information on the Digital Summer Clinic or to apply, click here. Applications close April 30. 

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

Photo by Morghan Roselle.
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