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Andrei Nichols, Rocket Mortgage

The Power of a Summer Internship

Completing a college internship is a crucial experience in preparing students for their career. According to the Employment and Vocational Training Institute (IEFP), students who completed an internship are 15% less likely to be unemployed in the first years after college and earn 6% more than students who did not. That is why the Midnight Golf Program not only stresses its importance but creates partnerships to make these opportunities available to its students year-after-year.

For many students, the pandemic made internship opportunities more scarce. According to a recent survey that explored the impact of COVID-19 on summer internships, 37.6% of students said that their internship got canceled and they couldn’t find a new one. However, MGP’s partners, including Rocket Companies, Deloitte, Michigan Women Forward, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and others remained committed to making these opportunities available. Midnight Golf alumni had unique opportunities this past summer to complete internships and learn more about their potential career opportunities.

Midnight Golf is incredibly appreciative of all of its partners for their continued commitment, especially the work done by Trina Scott, MGP Board Member and Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion for Rocket Companies; Jade Ortiz, University Relations Manager, University Recruiting at Rock Central and the entire Rock Central team.

“We were pleased that Rock Central’s team was able to provide our students from a variety of majors with individualized, and paid, internships,” said Winston Coffee, MGP College Liaison and College Success Coach. “These opportunities are vital for our students to think beyond college and into what their careers might look like.”

For MGP students who had opportunities at Rocket Companies, they were exposed to a variety of departments and speciality areas within the company.

“We absolutely love our partnership with the Midnight Golf Program!” said Jade. “With our headquarters being in the city of Detroit, it is very important that we partner with organizations such as MGP to ensure their talent is given the opportunity to grow and thrive with Rocket Companies. The students that have joined us from MGP have been phenomenal assets to our workforce and we are excited to grow this relationship in the years to come.”

In addition, many MGP alumni secured internships on their own or with the help of their college coaches and mentors.

Here are some first-hand accounts from our alumni about their internships:

Kennedy Byrd, Michigan Women Forward
Junior, Benedict College
I interned for Michigan Women Forward, working with the company’s accountant. Midnight Golf is actually the reason I got that internship because Winston reached out to me personally, asking if I had an internship to which I replied no. Three days later I got an email in an attempt to work with me for the summer. Michigan Women Forward works with local women-run businesses in the greater Detroit area to provide them with support as they mold their businesses into successfully run companies. MWF provides these businesses with support and sometimes microloans as they help them get their businesses up and running. Working with this group of people was so delightful because they were always so kind, generous, and patient with me. I learned so much about the accounting process, much more than I had learned in school. The woman I had the pleasure to shadow, Andrea Davis, was always eager to teach me something new. She made learning her processes easy and was very organized, which I was in awe of, because she not only worked with MWF but an ample amount of clients in many different fields. To me, she was like Superwoman.

Xavier Clemons, Rocket Mortgage
Junior, Benedict College
As a social work major, I worked this internship paying attention to employee interaction and overall company morale. I was extremely impressed by how well the company took time to cater to the needs of the employees. Seeing this not only taught me the importance of keeping your employees happy, but it also showed me that treating your employees well will produce great work. I can admit, as someone interested in advocating for the overlooked, I was nervous about this internship. However, after spending my summer with the Rock Family of Companies, I honestly could not believe how much they did for the community. I can truthfully say that I enjoyed my summer with Rocket Mortgage. I am even more grateful for the partnership the Midnight Golf Program has with Rocket Mortgage.

Malia Edwards, Rocket Mortgage
Junior, Hampton University
My experience at Rocket Mortgage as a software developer remote intern was nothing short of amazing! It has been a true pleasure returning to servicing technology this summer. I learned more about AWS, Angular JS, and GraphQL. I want to say a huge thank you to my amazing team leader and Midnight Golf Program mentor Gerrae Cotton, who has always believed in me, as well as my entire team for the mentorship, knowledge, and encouragement! My passion and skill set for software engineering has deepened and I feel confident in my journey in tech.

Janajah Ford, Rock Central
Senior, Alcorn State University
My experience this summer at Rock Family of Companies was nothing short of life-altering. In my journey to preparing for law school, I was privileged enough to work in the legal department in licensing and operations alongside several different licensed attorneys. Not only were they personable and brilliant; the gems they dropped seemed to be never-ending. As an intern, I was able to help manage the Legal Department’s SharePoint site, facilitate a culture calendar, and work alongside my department’s leadership team in a large company-wide project. I had the opportunity to work on building my project development, communication, and organization skills on several different fun and collaborative projects. All the while being able to work on professional goals of my own. The dedication to individuals excellence was so vibrant, within my intern experience, left me so inspired. Overall this position was full of opportunities for growth that have turned into a life-changing experience.

Jordan Hines, Amrock
Senior, Norfolk State University
I had the pleasure of being a copywriting intern for Amrock. This was my first internship experience, and I can honestly say that it was all that I hoped it would be. I was able to gain valuable knowledge about a profession that was not really on my radar, while also making meaningful connections with people who have been in my shoes. Throughout the summer I felt supported the entire time. When I had issues, I was comfortable with letting my mentor and my team leader know and they were able to help me get my issues resolved. The thing I really enjoyed was how they treated me like family, and they dropped gems on me whenever they got the chance. The knowledge they gave me during my 13 weeks was very valuable, and I have been able to apply it to my academics. Upon completion of the internship, I had the opportunity to write a letter to the next intern in which I detailed my experience and gave them insight as to what to expect from the job and the team. Overall, I had a great experience being a part of the Rock Family of Companies, and I would highly recommend their internship program.

Antonio Johnson, Deloitte
Senior, Michigan State University
I didn’t know what an internship was and Midnight Golf expressed the importance of internships and how hard they are to get and how to get them and put yourself in those situations. Next semester I will have a co-op experience at the accounting firm Deloitte. I have been an accounting intern there for two summers, after my freshman and sophomore years. Last summer I interned with Sunbelt Properties. If everything goes well I will be signing a full time offer with Deloitte. I knew how to network but Midnight Golf helped me understand what internships actually were.

Andrei Nichols, Rocket Mortgage
Senior, Michigan State University
I have served as the Administrative Assistant within the refinance channel of Rocket Mortgage’s web mortgage banking. The role requires the technical skills to prepare team documents, create corporate presentations, and effectively communicate with executive level professionals. In addition, a unique set of soft skills are necessary to establish rapport with team members and utilize personality traits to stand out! Being the socialite that I am, this role added to my professional toolkit and presented me with the opportunity to grow my network, adding phenomenal thinkers, leaders, and innovators.

During my internship, I had the opportunity to attend the John Shippen Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage. The event highlighted the nation’s top Black golfers to raise awareness about the need for diversity and inclusion within a $80 Billion industry. Bringing more events like this to the city of Detroit are what is needed to bridge the gap between the community, local organizations, and large companies who are helping push development forward with the city. I am extremely grateful to have been presented this opportunity to serve as an intern, and I look forward to making an impact in the lives of others.

Caitlyn Moore, Rock Central
Junior, Norfolk State University
For the past two summers, I’ve worked with Rock Central as an intern to assist and facilitate the tasks within the Banker Training support team. Although I served virtually, the internships were still impactful. I sat in on trainings, and leader meetings to gain knowledge on banker training, the information within the trainings, and the family of companies as a whole.

Morgann Phillips, Rock Central
Junior, Howard University
I had a wonderful experience interning at the Rock Family of Companies. My team exposed me to a new way that I can use my degree post graduation. As a political science major, I always limited my career goals to public service and grassroots campaigns. After working at Rock Central, I realized that my potential is limitless and I am now strongly considering a career in the private sector.

As an intern, I was fully immersed in the Government Affairs team. I received an inside look on how the company is run, and I strongly improved my professional communication skills. I am so grateful for my experience at Rocket and thankful for all of the connections that I was able to make.

Kennedy Robinson, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation
Junior, Michigan State University
I interned at Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation under Chanelle Manus. I gained the internship through the assistance of my mentor and coach, Winston Coffee. Some highlights from my internship include being able to learn how to complete an online audit, getting insight on the everyday activities a lawyer must complete, being able to sit in on-board meetings and learning to better understand the diction used within them, and meeting other young women interested in a career in law.

Alexandria Williams, Rocket Companies
Senior, Alcorn State University
I was invited to share my talents as a software engineering Intern at Rock Central headquarters in Detroit, MI. I was able to make a meaningful impact on projects while refining my coding style and expertise.