I learned to not trust preconceived notions and stereotypes. Before coming to Detroit, I found that it has the highest crime rate in the U.S. Some friends told me to be careful and stay inside after dark when I told them about my summer destination. Part of me pictured Detroit as a lawless place with little to find enjoyment in. However, after my 8 weeks in the city, I am proud to call myself a Detroiter. I absolutely love the pride of the city. From Tiger’s Baseball games to deep dish pizza to historical museums, Detroit has a rich culture and citizens who are rightfully proud to call the city home. Seeing the entrepreneurs in TechTown, MoGo-ing by amazing murals through downtown, or eating at a cafe, I have been more inspired by the city’s innovative spirit. Never again will I let popular stereotypes and misconceptions fuel my fear of experiences.
The work itself was extremely valuable. It taught me how to structure a real nonprofit consulting case. Interviewing over 60 entrepreneurs and staff, performing comparing analyses, and developing real recommendations for TechTown was extremely interesting. I learned about best practices for timeline development and how to make deliverables around diverse research. As a student searching for interests, I also found the work very fun. The experience has most definitely encouraged me to work toward a future in consulting and entrepreneurship.
One of the best parts about the summer was TechTown’s scale. I did not expect a nonprofit to be so large and have so many moving parts. Being emerged in that ecosystem taught me about the resilience needed to accomplish tasks. The scale of things breeds chaos, and it is on you to get your tasks done. Even when that chaos makes getting resources or conducting research difficult, you need to persevere. I watched my coordinator, Angeline, do this every week, and it was a fun challenge to experience it myself.
My summer experience was surprisingly amazing. I learned much about how to overcome preconceived notions, structure consulting cases, and be resilient in the workplace’s chaos. Huge thank you to my program coordinator, Angeline, and Matt, Katherine, Madeline for making this a great summer. Many of my highlights from the tours at the beginning of the trip, the group dinners, and enrichment experiences.