I’ve lived in Detroit my entire life. So as you can imagine, I didn’t grow up in the best neighborhood or environment. A vision of what I wanted to become was never apparent to me, only what I wanted to do. Growing up, I knew I wanted to be like the guys I saw in my neighborhood – guys who I believed were successful because of the freedom and friends they had. I strived to become what I thought I needed to be in order to be like them. Then there came a point where I realized that the direction I was going was not somewhere I wanted my seven younger siblings to follow. I realized what life really had to offer and committed myself to becoming the best possible role model for my family.
When I first came to Quicken Loans, I had no idea what I would be doing or what to expect. I didn’t know anyone who had gotten a home loan, so the process was completely unfamiliar to me. Nonetheless, I would have been perfectly fine with just getting coffee and making copies. I came wanting to be the intern that supported my team in any way possible. It didn’t occur to me that my team would want to support me in every way possible, but that’s exactly what happened. In fact, this is my second summer internship with the company, and there are plenty of reasons why I just had to return.
I’ve had many amazing experiences this summer that I will remember for the rest of my life – experiences that would have been impossible if it hadn’t been for this internship. The most memorable ones involved being shadowed by various individuals throughout our organization. I work with the executive team, so sharing the culture of my team and representing it in that way was a huge part of sharing our vision of Detroit with team members. Working so closely with the executives also allowed me to see how deep the Quicken Loans culture, such as their disdain for bureaucracy, really goes. It gave me an insight into the business realm that I would have never thought existed, and I was included as a real part of the team. Meetings in completely different states and invitations to Cavalier games all took me by storm. It was my inclusion in these opportunities that makes me sure I wouldn’t want to work at any other company.
One of the most epic opportunities over the course of the summer was being invited to be on Zupdate, which is our companywide internal news/talk show. I had a live chat with Quicken Loans president Jay Farner, with the entire family of companies watching. Before going on stage, I’d never been more nervous in my life. It was a chance for me to represent and be an advocate for the incredible internship program. Being on stage in front of my fellow team members and the team leaders, I felt more comfortable and was able to express my personal love and appreciation for my team and the internship as a whole.
In order to have the best internship possible, I believe that you have to look for every opportunity available to you. Never settle for only what you’re told to do. Instead, create projects for yourself and help others on your team. I know as an intern, you might sometimes be hesitant to speak up when you’re interested in something. But that very curiosity will open doors to aspects of the business that you may not even know exist. You’ll see that Quicken Loans wants you to become as great as you can be. This is a place to grow professionally, academically and personally, so never feel like there’s something you can’t do. Always strive to find ways to improve the quality of life for your team as well as the company. This internship opportunity is whatever you make of it. So make it amazing.
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