InterninMichigan.com matches students, based on their skill sets and desires for a workplace, to companies with properties that match.
Intern candidates submit their credentials to employers, and from there, employers find their perfect candidate.
Wendy Pittman, executive director for Intern in Michigan, said more than 7,000 students have signed up for the service and more than 400 companies are actively searching for interns at the moment.
Wendy Pittman, executive director for Intern in Michigan, said more than 5,000 candidates that have signed up to be part of the service.
The website is a statewide initiative funded by the new economic initiative talent and retention tool, Pittman said, working to reverse the “brain drain” in the state by connecting students to internships.
“A significant percentage of (internships) turn to full time employment, and it’s a great way to keep that energetic, young talent that we want to keep in Michigan,” she said. “It’s a radically different system. The primary difference is we use matching technology to connect students with employers. It's not who you know, it’s what you know.”
The Grand Rapids Symphony is one of those companies using Intern in Michigan. The nonprofit hired their intern, Cara Rubely of Grand Haven, through the site.
Rubely is a Kendall College student who works for the symphony three days a week on graphic design assignments.
“It was really great,” Rubely said. “I’m still receiving emails and it’s constantly giving me matchups to what fits my needs. It helped me find a lot of different options.”
Rubely was given information about the program from her school. Initially, she was seeking a paid internship, but the symphony was a good fit -- in the area and a good opportunity for her to practice her graphic design skills.
About 35 percent of Intern in Michigan’s positions are unpaid, said Pittman. The unpaid internships tend to come from nonprofits, she said, and all employers are given fair labor guidelines.