Interns: Do the D this summer and come on back

If Kerry Doman from After 5 Detroit has her way 800 interns working for more than 40 companies will fall in love with Detroit this summer.

Kerry runs the After 5 Intern Program, which gives interns a firsthand look at the Downtown Detroit lifestyle.

In its second year the popular program offers those participating a summerlineup of outings, which includes loft and rooftop parties, a restaurant crawl, an Eastern Market tour, networking happy hours and a special Welcome to Detroit gift bag.

“Last summer more than 20 employers enrolled more than 400 of their summer interns in ourprogram,” Kerry says. “We hope to double the 2010 number of employer and student intern participants.”

Kerry Doman, founder and CEO of After 5

Blue Cross Blue Shield, DTE, Ernst & Young, Marketing Associates and the Butzel Long lawfirm have already signed up and more companies are waiting in the wings.

Detroit companies have traditionally brought in summer associates for internships, but it has sometimes been an uphill battle convincing those interns to return to Detroit post-graduation. The tide is turning though. With a growing number of downtown employmentopportunities, an exciting urban lifestyle, unique housing options, walkable neighborhoods, agrowing art and cultural community and the distinct possibility of an M-1 rail, many educatedyoung professionals are considering starting their careers in the City of Detroit and Southeast Michigan.

“The After 5 Intern Program is designed to begin building the ties that will convince interns to launch their careers here,” Kerry says. “We want to show them Detroit is fun, vibrant, clean andsafe. It’s a place where young people can make a difference.”

The program earned praise from companies involved last year.

“The After 5 Intern Program provided our interns with some great after-work experiences andexposed them to networking opportunities with their peers,” said Mia Johnson, senior staffing specialist for DTE Energy, which successfully placed more than 200 students into some very meaningful summer work assignments in 2010.

“Through this relationship with the After 5 Intern Program, our interns enjoyed downtown experiences that showcased the best of downtown Detroit, and may ultimately help us to retain them and convert them into long-term employees,” she says.

Blue Cross Blue Shield also sees this program as a path to retaining these interns.

“The program helped the interns network with other young professionals and build connections.Those connections to the city and its professionals are what help to retain employees,” says Jody Guastella Jones, senior workforce diversity consultant.

The After 5 Intern Program was developed by After 5 Detroit and is supported by the DowntownDetroit Partnership (DDP) and the Hudson-Webber Foundation. The cost of the program is $95 per intern. You can register by contacting Kerry at 248.703.6224or and get more information at The After 5 Intern Program 2011 will kick off on Tuesday, June 7 from 5-7 pm at the Majestic/Magic Stick in Detroit. Come join them.

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