Dear GMC members,
For many of our members (and even the GMC itself), the word “summer” is synonymous with “interns.” College students – some of them Milwaukee natives, some not – arrive in droves in May to work at area companies, nonprofits and other organizations big and small and learn what they can in the three months before heading back to school. Looksharp reports that Milwaukee is one of the most likely places in the United States to find a paid summer internship – 70.1% of internships here are paid – making our city desirable to the more than 10,000 students who flock to Milwaukee annually.
We know that interns need more than busywork to make their time here worthwhile. If given meaningful projects, interns can see the impact of their efforts and even have the opportunity to make enough of an impact to secure a job offer after graduation.
Interns are also vital to the health and future of our city. We must ensure that interns enjoy their time in Milwaukee and see it as more than just a summer stop-over; by opening the doors to the city to them, interns will see Milwaukee as a place to return to after graduation to start their careers, families and more.
The GMC worked diligently throughout the year to help place summer interns, especially through Morehouse. The GMC partnered with the MKE Fellows program, championed by Quarles & Brady and John Daniels, to pair students with GMC companies. A total of 15 students were paired and are receiving joint programming all summer long through an organized “Lunch & Learn” series and professional development workshops hosted by The Commons, part of the GMC’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative.
The GMC’s summer intern, through the Morehouse Scholars program, is Justice Hudnall. Justice is a Milwaukee native himself, having graduated from Washington High School. He will start his junior year at Morehouse in the fall, studying business marketing, finance and accounting. At the GMC, Justice has worked on several projects, including our multiple summer strategic actioning sessions, the Scale Up Milwaukee initiative and a weekly intern newsletter. He has learned how to use marketing software and the benefits of the GMC’s work to the community, school systems, businesses and transportation. He plans to come back to Milwaukee after he graduates in order to build strong foundations in urban communities. We hope other interns have had such eye-opening experiences and plan to bring their knowledge back to Milwaukee.
Earlier this month, the GMC, in partnership with United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, hosted the third annual Intern Celebration right here at the Global Water Center. Interns were encouraged to network and meet others outside their own companies in an informal setting at a location that they might not otherwise visit. Badger Meter president, chairman and CEO Rich Meeusen gave a resounding welcome to the interns, stressing the fact that companies and their CEOs are aware of how vital interns are to their inner workings. In order to facilitate networking, interns also filled in the blank of the statement, “My favorite thing about Milwaukee is…”. Some of our favorite answers:
- The Riverwalk
- Accessibility to leadership
- Lake Michigan
- No traffic!
Thank you to the many companies who are employing summer interns through the Morehouse Scholars program and Earn and Learn. We’d love to hear what you’re doing with interns at your companies to ensure their success and excitement about our city – please email Danya Strait at the GMC with any suggestions and best practices you’d like to share with other members.
Greater Milwaukee Committee