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Hello West Michigan aims to connect interns with community

Posted at 8:10 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 20:10:25-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Hello West Michigan wants to help interns make the most of their experience in West Michigan, organizing summer engagement series specially directed to young professionals.

This is the 9th year that Hello West Michigan has launched Intern Connect, which is the largest intern event in the western half of the state. Intern Connect combines in-person events with virtual elements and also provides digital resources for local interns.

The goal of the program is to connect talented and promising interns to the local community, in hopes of keeping those talented individuals in the community of West Michigan.

“College educated talent is mobile, and the pandemic has only increased the awareness of that fact,” said Rachel Gray, Executive Director of Hello West Michigan. “Now more than ever, new grads have a choice on where they live. If West Michigan is going to keep up with forecasted economic demand, we need to attract talent of all ages. Intern Connect is one way we can showcase the region to young people and encourage them to stay here, either after graduation or at the end of the summer with a job offer.”

As part of the Intern Connect program, a professional development conference will be held in-person on Wednesday, June 15, starting at 12:20 pm and ending at 6:00 pm. The conference will facilitate conversations about personal finance, recruitment, and "real talk on adulting." Delivering a conversation titled "Believe to Achieve: Learn How to Turn Your Concerns into Confidence in the Workplace," the keynote speaker will be Katherine Baker, the Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Meijer.

Other virtual events will be held throughout the summer, on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2022
  • Wednesday, July 6, 2022
  • Wednesday, July 20, 2022
  • Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Hello West Michigan encourages companies to incorporate the events into their summer programs and register interns as a group. Employers looking for entry-level talent or their next round of interns are invited to host an employer table or sponsor a session.

Intern Connect is open to any student or young professional. Tickets run $30 and can be purchased up to the date of the event. Individuals are invited to register here or to check with their college Career services to determine ticket availability.