From TikTok to the Detroit Pistons, Virtual Intern Experience connects students with industry leaders

For many students, the pandemic left them without an internship. It might be enticing to take a well-deserved summer off, but Virtual Intern Experience is offering the chance to keep growing.

Students across the country have been left without summer plans after their internships were canceled because of COVID-19. But Kerry Doman says that’s no reason to stop thinking about the future.

“Take advantage of this time at home to continue learning and building not only yourself, personally, but professionally as well. It’s not a lost summer,” she said.

For the last nine years, the Detroit Internship Experience has shown students and recent grads with internships in the Detroit area what the city has to offer.

“Really highlighting the lifestyle component that these young kids - they want to know that this is a cool place to be. That there are people their age also looking to start their careers in the city of Detroit and surrounding areas,” Doman said.

But with companies canceling or downsizing internships this summer, many are left without critical career-building experiences.

“This pandemic has wreaked havoc on a critical demographic -- the young demographic that is looking for internships, starting new jobs, this has really put a kink in those plans," she said.

So Kerry pivoted their program into the Virtual Intern Experience, allowing those who sign up the chance to virtually meet and learn from over 50 top executives.

They’re discussing anything from The Business of Beer with the founder of Atwater Brewery to how the Detroit Pistons front office operates to how to ace a virtual interview. Margaret Trimer with Delta Dental is hosting a talk on job planning during a recession.

“We’ll be offering advice, guidance, counsel, perspective, and I think right now, when you’re young and starting out your career, hopefully, you’re soaking that all up,” she said.

Kerry says another goal is to expand students’ horizons on what jobs exist.

“We don’t even realize how many jobs are out there," she said. "Nick Tran, who's the head of marketing for North America for TikTok. Now all of these students know TikTok and are probably using it. But do they realize -- someone, that's their job is to market it and to make it as viral as it is?"

Speakers come from a number of careers including public relations, podcasting, real estate, recruiting, healthcare, marketing, technology, and design.

Other discussions include:

  • Angie Kelly, Detroit Office Managing Partner of Ernst & Young - Women in Leadership: Becoming the First Female Detroit Office Managing Partner
  • Shane Battier, director of Basketball Development & Analytics of the Miami Heat/former NBA Star - No-stats All-star: How to Identify & Cultivate the Intangibles of Life That Winners Possess
  • Mike Masserman, Head of Global Policy & Social Impact of Lyft - The Future of Mobility
  • Nicole Mazur, Editor-in-Chief of Seen Magazine - Writing for the Business World
  • Stephen Henderson and Noland Finley, founders of the Great Lakes Civility Project - Civility as a Career-Building Priority
  • Lynne Golodner, founder of the Make Meaning Podcast - The Secret to Meaningful Work

For more information on the Virtual Intern Experience, click here.