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Opening Your Business to Student Career Exploration Pays Off

By Yazmine Brooks

Most students don’t have any idea what they want to do after high school or college. Some of that is due to the fact that there is little career exposure to young people. My school, Cornerstone Health and Technology, is different. I’m about to start my senior year of high school and I’ve already had three career exploration opportunities.

Through Deloitte’s DCCP Scholars program, for example, I was afforded the opportunity to learn more about careers in business. Students visited the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, toured Deloitte’s offices, and learned about business career pathways.

After going through the program, I realized my calling was more in a hands-on career. I explored this interest through student connections at Beaumont Hospital. A group of 15 students and I were able to job shadow a physician assistant and watch a live brain surgery through the observation gallery. I had no idea how involved and exciting a physician assistant career can be!

Now, through Mayor Duggan’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent initiative, I am connected to the education and talent retention work of the Detroit Regional Chamber. This internship offers valuable opportunities to strengthen my professional skills: how to dress, typing, meeting preparation, etc.

Internships, mentorships and job shadowing opportunities are a must in the race for talent attraction and retention. By investing time and energy in prospective talent, companies can expose young people to their culture and exciting careers while also determining if they possess the right skills and fit for future jobs. Unfortunately, not enough businesses in our region partner with schools to offer these unique opportunities. I encourage business leaders to mirror the example of Deloitte, Beaumont, the Chamber, and others who are actively connecting employers with students who are still in high school. Putting that spark of interest in the minds of young people earlier and often can pay dividends for your future talent needs.

To explore partnership opportunities with Detroit schools, contact Sarah Craft, manager of Detroit Drives Degrees.