Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, June 4, 2010

U-M honored as Employer of the Year for innovative internships

The university has been named nonprofit Employer of the Year by Crain’s Detroit Business and the Detroit Regional Chamber’s program.

Because students who intern in Michigan are far more likely to take permanent jobs here, the chamber has made boosting internships a major priority at its last two Mackinac Regional Policy Conferences. The award, presented for the first time this year, recognizes U-M’s innovative Development Summer Internship Program.

Click here to learn more about the Development Summer Internship Program.

“Our commitment to the Michigan economy includes creating and supporting careers for new graduates. We want to keep talented graduates in the state, and internships are an excellent path to full-time employment,” President Mary Sue Coleman says. “We are pleased to expose students to careers in philanthropy through our innovative Development Summer Internship Program.”

U-M was judged the best nonprofit while Southfield-based Barton Malow, a contractor on several U-M construction projects including the Michigan Stadium renovations, was honored as the best private company. A Wayne State University student, Yan Isayev, was honored as “Best Intern” for his performance as an intern at Blue Cross Blue Shield.

U-M’s Development Summer Internship Program offers students a 12-week paid internship that combines four days of work with weekly learning sessions in a related U-M philanthropy course, leadership development workshops and retreats.

Other universities have copied the program, which allows students to earn money and receive course credit, as philanthropy increasingly has become more important. U-M’s No. 1-ranked higher education administration master’s program last fall added a master’s concentration in philanthropy, advancement and development.

Brittany Affolter-Caine, program director of who earned her master’s and doctorate at U-M, has worked with all 15 public universities and private employers to build interest in internships so college graduates will be more familiar with job opportunities in the state.

While stressing the winners were judged and selected by the Crain’s news staff, she says the U-M program serves as a role model for ways to attract and retain the most talented young people since strong interns often wind up getting permanent jobs with those same employers. She notes several Barton Malow employees started there as interns.

Affolter-Caine says the site is looking forward to a fall second-generation upgrade designed by Digerati Inc., a company founded by U-M alumni while they were still U-M sophomores. The current version of the site has grown to 13,506 registered students and 1,079 Michigan employers, although she says many more have used the site to make connections.