Finishing Strong


Our summer’s task was to create a report to present to our board of directors on how to attract and retain Millennials in Southwest Michigan. We had spent countless hours conducting studies, gathering different data and putting it into a form that we thought would be accessible to the group in which we were presenting. We practiced countless times in front of our own leadership team and finally we had our presentation polished and ready to present.

Southwest Michigan First’s board members consist of the most powerful executives from almost every major company in the region. Each individual has the power to take the information we gave him or her and immediately use it to make an impact. Among them are the two gentlemen who just donated 70 million dollars to the city of Kalamazoo to solve the budget deficit and lower property taxes for residents. We understood the importance of giving them applicable information that they would be willing to act on right away.

Our presentation went off without hitch. Everyone was engaged and ready to ask questions at the end. I feared that if there were no questions that we didn’t do our job, but there were more than time allowed for. After, at cocktails and dinner several different board members continued to rave over the presentation and were so grateful that we had made the information available for them especially from a millennial perspective. I was even able to talk to several CEO’s about post graduation employment opportunities with their companies, including Stryker, the company I would most like to work for post-graduation.

Our leadership team at Southwest Michigan First has been so invested in our intern group all summer and allowing us to present in front of their board was a real testament to that. They made sure at the board meeting that I was introduced to the CEO’s of the companies I am interested in working for and many others. An internship is meant to develop professional skills and build relationships before entering the workforce and Southwest Michigan First has gone above and beyond in doing these things for their interns. I am far more prepared going into the workforce due to my time at Southwest Michigan First.


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