When Quicken Loans announced that they were hiring 600 interns for their 2012 summer internship program, I knew that I had to be one of them. I had lived in Downtown Detroit from December 2007- November 2009 when I deployed to Iraq with the Michigan Army National Guard. When I returned in October 2010, so much had changed and I learned of the impact that Quicken Loans was already having on the city.
I moved to Downtown Detroit in December 2007. I lived in the Kales Building just a few blocks north of what would become the Quicken Loans home base. I remember exploring the city that winter. It was really cold, so maybe the weather had an impact on the foot traffic, but the city was pretty slow moving then. 2008 and 2009 were great. I started classes at Wayne State and started exploring; trying new restaurants, going to concerts at small venues and riding bikes endlessly during the summer. It was my urban playground. Sometimes I thought I could be happy in a smaller apartment because I was there so little, but I’m a shopaholic and need the closet space.
At the beginning of 2009, the National Guard notified my unit that we would be deployed to Iraq later in the fall. I was okay with going overseas, but I had no idea how much I would miss the city. When I left my apartment I was devastated. I had grown to love my view of the city and felt so sad thinking about being gone for a year.
When I returned in the fall of 2010, I could already see huge changes in Downtown Detroit. It was obvious that more people were in the city. The Kales Building, where I had lived previously, didn’t have any apartments available. When I called different leasing offices to check their availability, I found that most of the buildings had waiting lists. Finally, I found a great place to live and after settling back into my routine, I learned that Quicken Loans had moved into the Compuware Building and was growing in the city.
It was at this time that I became seduced by the growth and impact of the company. I wanted to be a part of it. At this point in my life I had worked in the dental industry for seven years, and was serving as a citizen soldier. I know what it means to work, but Detroit created an environment where I genuinely love my life. I thought to myself, I can do any job if this is where I come home to.
I knew I wanted to work for Quicken Loans because I could walk to work. That was the highlight for me. I had absolutely no idea that I could love work, too. I really believed that after my work experience I understood how companies operated, and the role that employees play. Quicken Loans is different because we don’t have employees, we have team members. From day one, I felt like part of a family that cared about what I cared about, too. It became a place that I look forward to coming. Even after five months of being a part of the Quicken Loans team, I don’t think there’s been a day I didn’t want to be here.
I had a great experience interning with the recruiting team. It’s a great team that’s really committed to sustaining the growth of Quicken Loans and their family of companies. I learned what it means to be a business partner and advocate for the teams you’re recruiting for. I was even more excited about working with the recruiting team after learning about the Military and Veteran Hiring Program. They have a dedicated recruiter just to help military candidates in the process of transitioning from a military career to a civilian career. I wanted to be one of the veterans that they hired! And, luckily for me, I was.
After learning the way QL operates, I became fascinated with the Team Relations role. I worked in Human Resources with the military, but QL always finds a better way to do things, and I realized how much Team Relations differs from HR. They take an extra interest in building relationships with team members, promoting the company’s culture, becoming strategic partners with the teams that they support to promote success and integrity in team members’ performance. I LOVED this. It was everything I wanted to add to my role in the military and couldn’t. It added the heart to something I was already passionate about.
Through a series of interviews, Quicken Loans made my favorite ISM become a reality: You’ll see it when you believe it. I bugged Team Relations for months! I kept asking to job shadow, emailed meeting requests and eventually got an interview. While I still had a lot of room to grow, the team was able to figure out a position that would allow me to work on their team. I think that says a lot about Quicken Loans. If you’re motivated and passionate about something, they will recognize you for it and reward you. I truly believe this is a company that cultivates careers and breathes success for team members who want it. It was an AMAZING internship and a great start to what I hope to be a long career with a great company that has made my neighborhood a better place to live.