Professional internships have the power to shape a student’s future career by providing work experience beyond what can be taught in a classroom. Since 2015, the Ilitch companies have partnered with Detroit Public School’s Cass Technical High School on a paid internship program for juniors and seniors, with about 125 students participating to date.
The Ilitch companies internship program provides Cass Tech students with experience at Ilitch Sports + Entertainment, the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesars, Olympia Development and Ilitch Holdings. The students work on business projects throughout the summer in areas including event management, marketing, public relations, information technology, finance and human resources.
“Access to opportunity is a core value of our organization, and we are so proud of our long-standing internship program with Cass Technical High School,” said Rian Barnhill, Vice President, Community and Government Affairs at Olympia Development. “The student interns from Cass Tech are a direct reflection of the city of Detroit. They are smart and enterprising, and we look forward to having them year after year.”
This spring, 19 students are currently participating in the seven-week internship program, which includes enrichment opportunities such as meetings with company executives, professional workshops, networking opportunities, outings and tours.
One of the Detroit Public School Community District’s (DPSCD) strategic priorities is to dramatically improve the academic experience of all students to ensure they are college and career ready.
“This opportunity is a great example of how the District is partnering with local businesses and alumni to enhance career-focused training and essential skill development for students across multiple career pathways,” said Shawn Hill, Deputy Executive Director, DPSCD. “The experiences students gain from industry professionals can inspire them to positively impact their school, neighborhood, and city.”
In addition to the real-world professional experience, the 2022 have interns have had some fun during only-at-Ilitch companies events. Recently, they were recognized before a Detroit Tigers game during an on-field ceremony at Comerica Park. They’ve also been able to connect with former Cass Tech interns to get advice and hear about how the internship was a building block for former interns’ careers.
“I was very excited when I learned that I was selected for the internship, and it has been an incredible learning experience so far,” said Jecholiah Marriott, a Cass Tech senior currently working in the Ilitch Holdings, Inc. communications department. “Interning at the Ilitch organization has opened my eyes to a new world of future career opportunities, and I know it will be a strong addition to my college applications.”
The Ilitch organization has a long-standing partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District. For the past two years, Olympia Development has participated in innovative, hands-on educational programs such as Project Destined, which offered a real estate internship for high school students in the city of Detroit.
In the spring of 2022, the Ilitch organization and Detroit Public Schools came together for another opportunity for students with An Evening of Fine Arts. More than 200 Detroit middle and high school from DPSCD’s fine and performing arts departments got the chance to perform on stage at the historic Fox Theatre.
Learn more about the Cass Tech High School internship program and this year’s talented participants in this video: