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Over 700 Internship and Co-op Placements Each Year

Experiential development is part of the DNA at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  Annually we help over 700 students take advantage of the myriad of opportunities available in the workplace both in the Detroit metropolitan area and elsewhere.  Here are a few samples of what some of our students have gained as a result of their experiential development opportunity. 

College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Internships and Co-ops

Writing NAFTA Compliance for English Major

Theresa Smart
Major: English
Company/Organization: Sanders & Travis Trade Advisory
Position: Intern

"I am responsible for my client’s NAFTA (North American Fair Trade Agreement) compliance. I prepare legal documents for import/export border crossing shipments.

The best part of the co-op experience has been the people and the personal connections that I’ve made. Working with people who really understand NAFTA compliance issues and their willingness to pass on their acquired knowledge and experiences has made a great impression on me.  

Additionally, the organization has been extremely supportive and welcoming to me. They have offered me a full-time position to continue working on NAFTA Compliance.  From this experience, I’ve learned to have faith in myself. The boost to my self-confidence has been worth more than a just a paycheck."


Behind the Scenes for a Major Exhibit at a National Museum

Caitlin Wunderlich
Major: Art History - Museum Studies
Company/Organization: Cranbrook Art Museum
Position: Intern for the Registrar

"In every aspect of my internship, I was able to look at the behind the scenes world of a nationally recognized museum. In a key project, I compiled a comprehensive list of exhibitions held at the Museum over the past 81 years. This involved researching the Cranbrook archives, library, and museum files, since a complete and accurate list did not exist. In addition, I am very excited about my involvement in the current exhibit, No Object is an Island. I was able to properly handle and install the art while working with the Exhibition team."

"This internship gave me a great opportunity to explore my options. Now, I have a much better understanding of the direction I want to pursue. And, that is a master’s degree in collections management.”


Making an Impact from Radio Ads to Corporate News Coverage

Roger Castillo
Major: Communications
Company/Organization: Robert Bosch, LLC
Position: Diesel Marketing Communications Intern

"From the first day at my internship, I was expected to deliver professional quality work, meet deadlines, and participate in key decisions. I have been involved in all aspects of public relations and marketing communications, including writing proposals, plans, press releases, articles, radio ads, and monitoring social media for the company’s strategic events and trade shows. For the Woodward Dream Cruise, I wrote radio ads that aired on 104.3 WOMC as well as identified giveaways to complement the theme for the event."

"In addition, I’ve written compelling news stories about the Bosch Kentwood facility and operations for internal communications. The most important outcomes of this experience were learning to remain confident, act in a professional manner, and be able to adapt to any situation."


Finding the Endangered Redside Dace in the Rouge River

Robert Muller
Major: Environmental Studies
Company/Organization: Friends of the Rouge
Position: Intern (tasked to survey fish in three tributaries of the Rouge)

"Working with another intern, my responsibility was to observe, identify, photograph and record the different fish species found in the Rouge and tributaries. Of major interest was an endangered minnow, the redside dace, which was last identified in 2005. Several sites were picked for our samplings. We identified the types of stream beds (muddy, sandy, speed of the current) and identified, captured, photographed, and measured the fish found at the sites.

As part of our internship, we were responsible for leading and teaching a group of volunteers to help us with the project. What I didn’t expect from the internship was interest in the survey from biologists with the Michigan DNR, MDEQ as well as the overwhelming interest from the general public and local media. The a-ha moment came when I was able to find and photograph the redside dace."


Developed Environmental Educational Programs for Engineers

Ian Tran
Dual Major: Environmental Studies, Environmental Science
Company/Organization: Engineering Society of Detroit
Position: Intern

"During my internship, I was involved in outreach programs for engineers that included developing technical and education programs on environmental sustainability and economic development issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.  I also helped plan and coordinate an educational symposium for area schools on green initiatives.  Additionally, I lead a team of fellow interns that analyzed and made recommendations for improving the organization’s website. 

Based on my internship experience, I have been selected to an advisory committee for sustainability in environmental education and community development.  In addition, I was hired by the Future City 2011 Project to develop integrated learning modules that complement requirements for the Future City program with state and national education standards."


Learning the Art of Cinematography from a Master

Charles Ashley-Pelham
Major: Journalism and Screen Studies
Company/Organization: Campus Media Services, UM-Dearborn
Position: Intern, Video Production Assistant

“With a passion to become a cinematographer, my internship experience has been extremely beneficial. I am responsible for producing video for coursework as well as recording events and seminars. This includes working on every aspect of completing a project: videotaping, lighting, sound engineering, digital editing, and adding special effects."

"I have been able to work with a master in the art and learn how to improvise when necessary to achieve exceptional results. It has been the day-to-day, hands-on learning experience that I have valued most from my internship.”


Getting a Unique Perspective on Politics while Living in Canada

Jordan Wohl
Major: Political Science
Internship: Ottawa Political

“For my internship with the Canadian Federal Government, I worked directly with Kevin Lamoureux, the Canadian Member Parliament (MP) for Winnipeg North. My responsibilities included maintaining his social media sites, giving tours of the capital to constituents from Winnipeg North, answering calls, and writing speeches and letters. By working closely with Mr. Lamoureux, I was able to gain his confidence and trust. After the first two weeks, I began working on important projects related to parliamentary issues.

"The internship was a unique learning experience. While learning about Canadian government and policies, I also learned how to navigate around Ottawa (the Canadian capital) and about Canadian culture."


Gaining Insight on the Probation System and Criminal Justice

Brenda Hernandez
Major: Criminology and Criminal Justice
Internship: U.S Federal Probation DEPT./Eastern District of Michigan

“The focus of my internship has been to learn how the federal justice system operates and how the U.S. Federal Probation Department makes a difference by working with clients from pre-trial, through sentencing, post-sentencing, and post-incarceration. Working directly with departmental supervisors, I was able to conduct criminal record checks, verify medical, employment and educational records, and observe client interviews. I've also been involved in a range of court-related proceedings, including court hearings, observing case filings and court documents, and collaborating on sentencing documents.

My ultimate goal was to find out if the criminal justice field at the federal level was right for me. The internship has been an invaluable experience in helping shape my career goals."


Working with Youth at Risk

Cora Scott
Major: Psychology
Internship: Westland Youth Assistance Program

“My internship as a Case Management Assistant at Westland Youth Assistance Program offered a great opportunity for me to work in community-based youth support and mentoring programs for at-risk-youth (ages 9-16) with negative behavioral issues. I worked directly with staff during the youth intake process and joined them during school visits. I was also involved in a Life Choices group, participated in a weekly Strengthening Families program, and managed case file updates throughout the program.

What I learned most from the experience was how essential it is to provide support programs for at-risk youth. This is the critical time to determine the likelihood of behavioral change. Working in an environment where you can make a meaningful impact gives you the opportunity to find out what it is you value most."



College of Business Internships

Aerospace Supply Chain Management at Rolls Royce

Allyson Coppock 
Major: Supply Chain Management
Company/Organization: Rolls Royce
Position: Supply Chain Design Intern

“I was a Supply Chain Design Intern in the Planning and Control Department with a concentration on Aerospace Defense for Rolls Royce.  I was responsible for presenting key findings on data collection and analysis to managers and stakeholders who were responsible for establishing a business case for a materials management warehouse for a historic $600 million investment Rolls-Royce Indianapolis site, called Project Condor.   The project focuses on consolidating facilities and upgrading the infrastructure with an emphasis on reducing the environmental footprint.  In order to consolidate the plants, it was my responsibility to create a Plan for Every Part so that materials to build engines could be transported. The experience taught me that it is okay to make mistakes and ask questions.  It was a great opportunity to gain ‘real world’ experience, which is very different from what is learned in the classroom.”


Gaining a Broad Perspective on Finance

Taylor Sorgatz 
Major: Finance
Company/Organization: Ford Motor Company
Position: Finance Analyst Intern

"I worked as a Product Development Finance Analyst Intern. Finance is cross-functional at Ford, so I also spent a lot of time job shadowing in other areas such as Ford Customer Service Division, Ford Credit, and Treasury. In Product Development, the Finance Analysts are responsible for material cost target setting for future vehicle programs.  My project involved improving and documenting a new cost target setting process.  The goal of my project was to develop an efficient and repeatable process. I felt like I made an impact on Ford Motor Company.  Ford does a very good job of assigning meaningful and challenging projects to interns.  On my last day, I walked away leaving behind important work products, which added value to my internship.  My supervisor and manager always challenged me to go one step further than what was required, which helped me to grow and learn a great deal.”


Gaining the Big Picture of Taxes: Preparation and Compliance

Mario Gonzalez
Major: Accounting
Company/Organization: Deloitte Tax, LLP; MASCO Corp.
Position: Finance Analyst Intern

"At MASCO, I was part of a team of six interns that did monthly compliance for MASCO companies; at Deloitte, I worked on a variety of projects from large corporate compliance to high income individual tax preparation.  

From both experiences, I gained a valuable understanding of how to work on analytical projects and tax research, as well as how to manage long term projects and client engagements. 

What I valued the most from my internship experience is that I got a jump start on my career before I graduated.  The College of Business Internship Office did an incredible job of preparing me for my internships."


Food for Thought: Leveraging Alumni Database to Enhance Non-Profit

Rachel Ruta
Dual Major: Digital Marketing, Information Technology Management
Company/Organization: Detroit Food Academy
Position: Intern

“My primary task at Detroit Food Academy, a non-profit after school leadership program for young Detroiters, was to create an alumni database.  I also worked to improve the organization’s digital marketing and conducted research on product trends.  The experience taught me the importance of keeping a detailed and current database for alumni.  With it, the organization is able to stay in touch with former students and allows alumni to provide feedback, new ideas, and outreach.  They can stay connected and remain involved. I really value the connections I made during the internship. It not only strengthened the organization’s network, but also my own.”


Gaining the Big Picture of Taxes: Preparation and Compliance

Jamila Owens
Dual Major: Accounting and Finance
Company/Organization: Deloitte Tax, LLP
Position: Tax Preparation Intern

"In my internship position, I was able to work on a diverse array of projects from large corporate compliance to small partnership and high income individual tax preparation.  The internship provided an excellent opportunity to work directly on large, long-term projects in a team-based environment.  

The most valuable part was the experience in learning about the path I want to take for my professional career, and the type of company that best fits my career goals."


Gaining the Dual Perspective on Taxes: Preparing and Auditing

Matthew Keigher
Major: Accounting, Finance
Company/Organization: MASCO Corp.; Deloitte Tax, LLP
Position: Tax Preparation Intern (MASCO Corp.); Auditing Intern (Deloitte Tax LLP

"In my internship position, I was able to see both sides of the tax and auditing process. During my first internship at MASCO, I was a part of the company’s internal tax preparation team. In my second position at Deloitte, I worked as a member of an auditor team. The Internship Program is the single greatest asset available to UM-Dearborn business students. It’s the reason I was able to lock in a full-time job at my dream accounting firm... nine months before I graduated."


Looking at IT development through the Toyota Lens

Jamila Osseili
Major: Information Systems Management
Co-op: Toyota Motor North America

"As a STEM co-op in Information Systems at Toyota Motor North America, I was a member of a team responsible for Manufacturing and Engineering Businesses Systems for Direct Purchasing and Supplier Preparation. My role was a "Product Owner" for a project application. As a product owner, I represented Purchasing and Design, the users of the application. It was my responsibility to guide the team of developers toward building the right product by finding ways to improve its efficiency, accuracy, and usability.

Not only did I gain real world experience, but the Toyota culture helped me grow professionally. The Toyota culture welcomes challenges, focuses on continuous improvement and teamwork, values and respect others, and encourages employees to go and seek new ideas, knowledge and opportunities. These are values that I will take with me throughout my career."



College of Engineering and Computer Science Co-ops

Designing Experiments on New Material Application for the Ford F-150 

Breana Cappuccilli 
Dual Major: Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering
Company/Organization: Ford Motor Company
Position: Materials Research Intern

"I was selected as a Blue Oval Scholar from the College of Engineering and Computer and represented UM-Dearborn on Ford’s material research team for the F-150. My role was to investigate thermal properties of aluminum alloy in order to understand how it would behave as part of the vehicle body.  As part of one of the top research teams at Ford, I was able to design my own experiments in the lab and deliver formal presentations on the data collected, which were included in published internal technical reports. My experience allowed me to hone in on where I want to take my career.  One thing I did not expect is how much I was able to contribute within the company.  People assume that interns are at the bottom and hardly have a say in the work they do, but I was surprised by how much my opinions and ideas were valued by my team."


Developed Applications for NASA Augmented Reality Simulations

Rabab Alrayes
Major: Electrical Engineering
Company/Organization: NASA Kennedy Space Center
Position: Application Development Intern

"During my co-op with NASA Kennedy Space Center, I had the opportunity to develop software apps for NASA employees as well as hardware for an augmented reality project.  This project strengthened my software development skills and allowed me to learn new coding languages.  The hardware I developed was for the IDEAS wearable technology headset, which featured a heads-up augmented reality display to be used by technicians and astronauts during their missions.  I was able to learn the process of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design and worked with embedded systems.  By the end of the internship, I had completed four PCB boards that were implemented into the headset. My co-op experience at NASA was incredibly valuable, and it taught me so much more than I would have been able to learn in school.  It is very rewarding to know that the work you completed as a co-op will affect projects bigger than your own.  Completing a co-op has helped prepare me for a career after graduation by teaching me how to use the skills I have learned at school, as well as on the job, in real-life settings."


Improving Productivity with Web-Based Applications

Waseem Hijazi  
Major: Computer Science
Company/Organization: Ford Motor Company
Position: IT/Project Management Intern

"My co-op was an IT program/project management position at the Ford Customer Service Division at Ford Motor Company.  I worked on a team developing a new vehicle diagnostic tool for dealerships and authorized repair facilities in Massachusetts to assist with the state’s Right to Repair Initiative.   As part of the co-op, I was responsible for performing daily project management tasks, including milestone and risk/issue management.  Additionally, I reported metrics to business partners and program stakeholders using CA Agile Central and Excel tools.  I was able to enhance my skills through Ford’s training opportunities in Project Management and software training. I had the opportunity to work with an IT business team instead of a development team and learned it requires more than just writing code for projects to succeed."


Developed Controller Software and 3D model for NASA simulations

Jessica Turner
Dual Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering
Company/Organization: Metecs
Position: Co-op Student

“In my first co-op with Metecs, a contractor for NASA’s Simulations & Robotics at the Control Center, I was responsible for developing software for a translational hand controller and integrating it into the International Space Station docking simulation.  My project now allows astronauts to have a portable training unit. In my second co-op, I was responsible for modeling a new spacecraft-docking interface known as LIDS (Low Impact Docking System). After creating a 3-D model, I was able to perform simulations to see how two spacecraft would interact in the interface. 

My co-op experience verified that I loved what I was doing, and I was in the right field. Knowing I was able to accomplish something was priceless.”


Improving Productivity with Web-Based Applications

Justin Hoyt
Major: Computer Science
Company/Organization: Epitec, Inc.
Position: IT Intern

“I was responsible for working with customers to create and maintain web-based applications to improve productivity to the recruiters and managers at Epitec, Inc., a human resources company. I was able to practice in test driven development, learn more about the .Net framework and the entire .Net stack. This was a great opportunity to see how the industry works, apply what I’ve learned, and identify where I need to focus my education. The most important aspect of experiential learning is to see one’s education put to use. I definitely experienced that at Epitec.”


Proving Energy Efficiencies in Automotive Design

Christian Cannon
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Internship: Advanced Energy Integration, General Motors

“At General Motors, I had the rare opportunity to intern on the Advanced Energy Integration team at the Milford Proving Grounds, considered the world's first automotive proving ground. Throughout my internship, I led, and was part of a team that worked on cross-company projects on advanced fuel efficiency, vehicle sustainability through solar energy integration, and cost mitigation. Our work on these projects resulted in over $300 million of value in vehicle energy efficiency discoveries. With the help of my GM mentor, I was also able to complete the requirements and gain Black Belt certification for Design of Six Signma during my internship."


Using Test Engineering to Build a Better Vacuum Chamber

Sarah Overbeck
Dual Major: Electrical Engineering/Engineering Mathematics
Co-op: NASA Glenn Research Center

"As an Electrical Engineering Intern on the Testing Team for Vacuum Chambers at NASA Glenn Research Center, I was responsible for learning how to utilize and apply test engineering principles. I began by working on small projects, such as redesigning a temperature control box for vacuum chamber heating elements, measuring and tracking generator and building run off power, and creating an experimental test bed for alternative ion gauges. Doing this allowed me to wire breakout boxes for gauges and test them. Once I understood the testing process, I started working on a larger project, a HMI/PLC control system for a vacuum chamber. Previous work on this had failed. It was my job to start from scratch and produce the initial concept for a new control interface.

Besides being at NASA, the one aspect that made a difference for me was the variety of projects. My mentor helped me to find my interests and talents in ways not possible in an educational setting, such as finding out that I have an affinity for hardware and wiring. I was able to explore and refocus my educational goals during this process."

Internship and Co-op Placement Companies and Organizations

Students take advantage of internship and co-op experiential learning opportunities at a variety of companies and organizations. Below is a sampling from recent placements.

Acromag Incorporated
AAA of Michigan
Aisin World Corporation of America
American Axle & Manufacturing
BASF Performance Materials
Blue Cross Blue Shield 
Brose North America
DaySmart Software
DENSO International America
Detroit Diesel 
Detroit Lions
Detroit Manufacturing Systems
Detroit Tigers, Inc.
Disney College Program
DTE Energy
FCA Group (Chrysler)
Fives Group
Ford Motor Company
General Electric
General Dynamics Land Systems
General Motors 
Henry Ford Health System
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc.
International  Automotive Components
J.D. Power and Associates
Magna Closures of America, Inc.
Mahle Behr USA Inc.
Marathon Petroleum Company LP
Masco Corporation
Nissan Technical Center North America
Olympia Entertainment
Quicken Loans
Sirius Satellite Radio
Team Detroit
U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research
U.S. Steel Co.
Visteon Corporation
Yazaki North America, Inc.

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