Small Town Student Takes On the Big City

Makaila stands in front of the Detroit skyline Graduating from a small high school with a class of 46, I would say I’ve always dreamed of what life in a big city would be like. This summer, I was fortunate enough to experience what living in Detroit is like. My name is Makaila Kent and I will be a senior at Northwood this fall. My major is in Innovation Marketing and Management. On campus, I am the President of the Panhellenic Council and a member of two-honor societies – Delta Mu Delta and Order of Omega.

Growing up, I only visited Detroit for Tigers games. Living in Detroit was a thought I had never fathomed. Fast forward to my junior year of college, I had a decision to make. – turn down one of the top rated internships in the country or move to downtown Detroit. Of course, like any growing young professional in search of adventure and experience, I moved to Detroit.

After being at Quicken Loans for a little over two months, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. While at Quicken Loans, I have worked as an intern on the Marketing and Strategy team. On this team I have assisted with numerous internal marketing communication projects including, weekly updates for the Intern Program, meeting requests, email templates and so much more.

At this internship, I have learned that by always being obsessed with finding a better way, your opinion will be highly valued and your network will grow immensely. Senior leaders will recognize your efforts and fellow team members will value your thoughts and ideas. During my internship, I’ve been invited to numerous meetings where my ideas were respected and some were even implemented in a strategy for our talent brand approach on social media. This later led to me generating content for the QLinternships Instagram and becoming the primary account user.

Being able to apply what I have learned in the classroom at Northwood to a professional atmosphere has been rewarding to say the least. It is one thing for a professor to tell you that you will use the business model every day or SMART goals, but when you actually put those hard skills to use on a project, it is more than rewarding.

Makaila near some colorful street artNot only have I been able to build my resume, but I have also been able to grow as a professional by participating in activities provided by Quicken Loans during their Professional Development Month.  Different Professional Development Month events included resume, LinkedIn, and personal finance workshops, speakers in a wide range of positions and companies and so much more. These workshops allowed you to connect with other interns as well as rising business professionals.

My internship at Quicken Loans has helped me expand my network immensely, grow as a professional and gain real world experience. Being a part of something much bigger then you can ever imagine and leaving your comfort zone, is a piece of advice I would give any student looking to propel their career further. Being able to experience the culture of a Fortune 500 company has been a wonderful opportunity. Before Quicken Loans, I worked for a family owned business and a non- profit. Being able to compare the three, has gave me a better insight as to what I’d like to do with my professional career once I graduate in May.

I would like to leave you with one quote that I have based my entire intern adventure off of. This quote was the stepping-stone that gave me confidence in making the decision to move to an unfamiliar area to grow as a better person/ young business professional.

  “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” –Abraham Maslow





International Graduate Student Shares Experiences at Northwood

International Students posing at a meetingAt Northwood University, we are grateful to serve as a college home to students from many different parts of the world. Having these students as part of our campus family helps to to further our mission to develop the future leaders of a global, free-enterprise society.

Here, Akash Jain Bengani, a DeVos Graduate School student from India, shares his experience at Northwood and in the International Students Organization.

What is your major?
I am pursuing Masters of Business Administration.

What student organizations are you involved with on campus?
I am the President of International Students Organization.

How did you get involved with this opportunity?
It was the inception of spring 2017 when I began at Northwood. We have a pool of international students on campus and there was this international club which already existed. There was a need for new board and I was chosen as the president by the students and our advisor, Rachel Hahn.

What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?
Most important learning for me has been implementing a new culture of collaborating with international students closely. I learned about developing a culture in my Leadership course and it was the right stage to instigate that into action. I am happy to reach it. Along with that, leading the group with positives, deflecting the conflicts and motivating for more participation has been important part of the learning process in my association with International Students Organization.

How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?
Experience is one entity that keeps on adding as we go through our lives. The experience of motivating students and building a culture in the organization would help me when I open up my own firm in the near future. It is has become easier to collaborate with different mind sets around and that would help me in the future work environments.

Why do you think it is important for students to have these types of experiences while they are in school?
I believe, you never want to learn swimming in the sea. It is always a good idea to start off in a swimming pool.


Northwood University Collegiate DECA Takes on #CDECAICDC in Anaheim, CA

DECA team photo in professional attireOver the past year, Northwood University’s Collegiate DECA chapter made an impressive impact on their competition journey.  This journey began in February with 30 students competing in Grand Rapids, MI at the State Career Development Conference. In April, 13 students had the incredible opportunity to travel to Anaheim, California to compete at the Collegiate International Career Development Conference.  Our members were extremely grateful for the McIntyre Entrepreneurship Experience for sponsoring this trip.

The Collegiate International Career Development Conference gives members the opportunity to grow personally and professionally by focusing on leadership development, community involvement and competitive events. While attending the conference, our members took advantage of the amazing networking opportunities, various competitions, and exploring Anaheim.DECA Members with their awards

During opening session, Northwood University had five students who were recognized for their impressive leadership within the chapter over the year.  The Leadership Passport Program recognized members who excelled at building personal and professional skills around competence, innovation, integrity and teamwork.  Allison Brown, Taryn Cornman, Ashley Hendley, Amanda Schmidt and Joseph Walsh received this award.

Allison Brown, Ashley Hendley and Samantha Paul were selected to serve on the #CDECAICDC Social Media Team.  These three members stayed active on their social media accounts throughout the conference to share with members active updates on the conference and their experiences.  They also wrote multiple articles for DECA Direct that were published throughout the conference.  These articles varied on topics from their competitions, networking opportunities, exploring Anaheim, keynote speakers and multiple other things that they experienced throughout the conference.

DECA members working on a group projectAs emerging leaders, our members took advantage of the Leadership Training that was offered at the conference. This training provided members with materials to grow their DECA experiences and provided them with resources to bring back to the chapter.  They worked on team building, communication, networking, and various leadership concepts.

Taryn Cornman was nominated and ran for Executive Office for Collegiate DECA.  Her campaign was supported by multiple chapter members and allowed them to network with different members throughout the organization.DECA Team Member Taryn behind her campaign table

The 13 outstanding competitors were given the opportunity to take what they have learned at Northwood University and apply it into their perspective competitions.  Their competitive events varied from business simulations to prepared business plans that were judged by real-world professionals.  Collegiate DECA provides competitors with a competitive atmosphere with emerging professionals so they can test their current knowledge in the their prospective business industries. They had the opportunity to compete with over 1,500 other collegians from around the globe.Four DECA team members holding up medals

Northwood University’s Collegiate DECA chapter is proud to recognize that we had 5 finalists after the first round of competition.  These competitors were Anna Geneseo, Nicholas Krett, Amanda Schmidt, Michael Shaddock and Joseph Walsh.  After the second round of competition we had four students who made top ten in their events!  Anna Geneseo and Amanda Schmidt competed together and placed top ten in Business Research were they focused discovered and presented new findings and strategies for improvements to Barnes and Noble.  Nicholas Krett placed top ten in Entrepreneurship Growing a Business where he wrote a report and presenting his ideas on how to grow his car detailing business. Joseph Walsh was also recognized as a top ten qualifier in Emerging Technology Marketing Strategies where he designed a product using emerging technology solutions.

Our chapter adviser, John Gustincic, was also asked to present to the Collegiate DECA Advisers at the Adviser Professional Development Forum.  His presentation was focused on “Building Bridges Between High School and Collegiate DECA.”  After his successful presentation at this conference, he was asked to present at DECA Amped in June.

Overall, our members had an amazing experience and are grateful for the support they got that made the trip possible!  Our members owned their future and are already to head to Washington D.C. in April 2018!

DECA Team Members Group Photo


5th Annual Sports and Entertainment Symposium

5th Annual Entertainment and Sports Management SymposiumComing up this Friday, April 28 is the 5th Annual Sports and Entertainment Symposium at Northwood University. This symposium is to educate anyone interested in working in entertainment or sports on the current trends of the sports and entertainment industries while also giving them time to network and create lifelong relationships with sports and entertainment professionals.

College and high school students, along with young professionals, will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions with panels of professionals with topics such as “Breaking Into the Industry,” “Women in Sports,” and “Life in the Entertainment Industry.”

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased until Thursday, April 27 at midnight. You do not want to miss this opportunity to interact with professionals in the field including Paul Bee, Director of Sales for the Detroit Red Wings, Josh Reasoner, Team Sales Manager at Adidas, Mark Zimmerman , General Manager at Georgia World Congress Center, Mike Guswiler, President of West Micigan Sports Commission, and so many more!

A full listing of speakers, companies, and breakout sessions, as well as registration information can be found here!


Meet Your TLC Tutor, Grace!

Grace GermanName: Grace German

How long have you been a TLC tutor: First Year

Major: International Business Management

Home town: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Year in School: Sophomore

Dream Job: Not for Profit International Company

Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?

Yes, I am on the women’s basketball team here at Northwood University.

Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?

I feel being a tutor has been a huge help to me.  I enjoy helping others and as a peer tutor I get the opportunity to both learn and teach others!

Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?

Absolutely! It is a great working environment and has very flexible hours, which fits perfectly with my school and basketball schedules.

“Grace is a tireless worker and a very motivated player for us.  She always has her priorities in order and attacks each day with an outstanding attitude.  She is progressively emerging as one of our best leaders on the team.”

-Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Jeff Curtis


Meet TLC Tutor, Zakiya!

Name: Zakiya Wells

How long have you been a TLC tutor: First Year

Major: Accounting

Home town: Ypsilanti, Michigan

Year in School: Sophomore

Dream Job: Certified Public Accountant

TLC: Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?
You: Yes, I am on the women’s basketball team here at Northwood University.

TLC: Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?
You: I feel being a tutor has been very beneficial to me. I really love helping others. In addition, to see them progress over time is very rewarding.

TLC: Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?
You: Yes! It is an extremely welcoming environment. You get to touch the lives of others and get your homework accomplished as well!

TLC: “Z is one of the toughest competitors on our team. She may be small in stature, but she plays with an edge that truly makes our team go. On top of what she can do on the court, Zakiya is a class act and great student. She truly exemplifies the definition of student-athlete.”

-Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Jeff Curtis


Northwood Seniors Take 2nd Place in AMA Marketing Strategy Competition

Sarah Novak and Taylor DarbyTwo Northwood Seniors recently took 2nd place in a Marketing Strategy Competition at The American Marketing Association’s recent Intercollegiate Conference in New Orleans, LA. Sarah Novak and myself, Taylor Darby, traveled to the conference with three other Northwood students to receive an award for AMA’s 2016 Case Study which the group completed last fall, but we were shocked when we came back with an additional trophy. Both Sarah and I are graduating from Northwood in May, but plan to return in the fall to attend the DeVos Graduate School of Management. Prior to leaving for the trip, the students traveling decided that Sarah and I would be the ones to represent the chapter in an additional competition that was held live at the conference. On Friday, March 17th we reported to our competition information session at 9 A.M. and felt somewhat out of place upon walking into the room as we were both in business professional attire and many of the other contestants were not. We were instantly relieved and thankful to Northwood for teaching us appropriate attire for presentations when the advisor running the competition told everyone that those without business professional attire on would need to change before their time slot.

“I joined AMA after Sarah asked if I would help with the writing portion of the case study. I was not prepared for the numerous opportunities that the club would bring and feel that this club has prepared me for the real world!  –Taylor Darby, Senior

The first round of the competition consisted of 21 minutes to create a marketing strategy for a company, seven minutes to present the strategy to a panel of three judges, and then three minutes to answer two questions from the judges. After completing the first round Sarah and I felt great about our presentation and became anxious to hear the results later that night. It seemed like it took forever for 6 o’clock to come, but the entire Northwood crew attended the closing event for the day where various awards were given out. It wasn’t until the end of the night that AMA announced that out of 98 teams only 16 would move onto the semi-finals.Marketing Strategy Competition Semi-Finals List

There it was among some of the largest, most prestigious Universities in the nation… Northwood University! It didn’t take long before Sarah and I became set on winning the competition no matter what credentials and experience we may or may not have had. The next morning, we reported to another instructional session, but now with only 14 other school teams present. The task was the same only with a new panel of judges, after which we were to report back to see if our team made it into the finals.

Marketing Strategy Competition Finals ListOnce again we were amazed to find our team in the top six! Similar to the first two rounds we had 21 minutes to prepare a marketing strategy, seven minutes to present, and three minutes for questions only this time there were six judges. Once we finished we were finally able to breathe except for the fact that we had to wait until the award ceremony to find out the results.

The awards were given out at the very end of the evening so by the time the Marketing Strategy Competition came on the screen, Sarah and I were both on the edge of our seats. Out of the six teams that competed in the finals AMA presented 1st through 5th place winners. Winners began to be announced and as 5th, 4th, and 3rd place passed, we got nervous because either we did really well or we were the 6th place team who would receive nothing. Beside Sarah and myself, I don’t think that anyone was more surprised and more delighted than Northwood AMA’s chapter advisor, Dr. Hosein, as this was the first time Northwood students have won an award for competing in a live event.

            “This year AMA has given me some of the best hands-on experience in marketing and leadership that I have had during my Northwood career; from running the case study to competing in the marketing strategy competition, I have gained invaluable knowledge and experience.” –Sarah Novak

Sarah Novak and Taylor Darby with their awardSarah and I are both thankful to Northwood for preparing us as students to handle anything thrown our way and to Dr. Hosein who provided us the opportunity to compete for our chapter. We strongly encourage other students to take full advantage of the organizations that Northwood has to offer, especially AMA because no matter your expertise or background you have talents to bring to the team. NU AMA meets on Thursdays at 5 PM in Sloan 109 and is beginning to work on the 2017 Case Study so if you want to gain valuable experience doing real-life marketing tasks come check out the group!


AMA Group at Northwood University




Automotive Aftermarket Major Turns Connections into a Career

Samantha (center) during her internship with GM.

Samantha (center) during her internship with GM.

What is your major?

Automotive Aftermarket.

What student organizations are you involved with on campus?

I was a member of the women’s varsity soccer team for all four of my years at Northwood University. I was the goalie and I am glad that that was an experience I was able to enjoy.

Tell us a little bit about the internship you participated in.

For the past two summers I interned at General Motors Customer Care & Aftersales in Grand Blanc. The first summer I was on the digital marketing team. My summer was spent researching tires and GM’s position in tire sales. I looked at usability of competitors website against the GM website, as well as the prices. The second summer I worked on the Accessories Team. My project was about cleaning out a warehouse. There were millions of dollars clustered in a warehouse and it was my responsibility to figure out what needed to be promoted and sold and what needed to be scraped. I also started to develop a website for other GM countries that could sell the parts that we wanted to scrape. It was in the early stages when I left, but hopefully it has become beneficial. Both teams spent time introducing me to important people and exposing me to different parts of the business. They didn’t treat me like an intern, they treated me like an equal.

How did you get involved with this opportunity?

One of my dad’s friends works for GM and told me about the internship program. He told me who to contact and I had an interview and they wanted to bring me on board.

What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?

The most important part is to network and meet new people. My team took me to countless meetings with bigwigs who could remember me down the road. Also, go to as many meetings and opportunities that present themselves. I sat in on as many meetings as I could and I learned information about a multitude of different aspects of the business. My advice is just to learn as much as you can because you never know what is going to come in handy down the road.

How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?

At the end of my internship the Accessories Team offered me a position to join them full time in June of 2017 and I accepted. Since this is a team I have already worked on, I understand a lot of the dynamics behind the way things work and how teams interact with other teams. This deeper understanding will allow me to be more efficient at my job from the beginning instead of taking months to figure out the basics. Also, this experience will help me down the road if I join other companies or shift around inside the company because I will have knowledge of how this industry works.

Why do you think it is important for students to have these types of experiences while they are in school?

Everyone always talks about real world experience and getting out into the real world. It sounds like a way to scare you into an internship, but they have a point. You never really know what to expect until you get out there and see what your field entails. You are never really ready for the work world, but having an internship is a chance to peak into what it’s really like and dip your toes into the water instead of getting thrown into the deep end. I think it will make the transition into full time work smoother than if I didn’t have an internship.

What was the highlight of the experience for you?

I think the highlight of my first summer was going to the facility where the Copo Camaro is built. Myself and another intern spent a Friday morning touring the facility where Copo Camaros were built and we got to see someone pick their vehicle up and drive it for the first time. My second summer, the Chevrolet Grand Prix on Belle Isle is one of GM’s crown jewels and they put together a tent for all of the interns. We spent the day watching the races, walking around to see all of the pit crews and it was an awesome day. It exposed me to the racing side of GM that I wasn’t particularly familiar with.

 Anything else we should know about this experience?

Through my internships I was exposed to multiple opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I met people that could potentially help me down the road if I need assistance and I look forward to seeing what General Motors has in store for my future.


Meet TLC Tutor, Amel!

Name: Amel Ljaljic

How long have you been a TLC tutor: First Year

Major: International Business/Management

Home town: Celic, Bosnia

Year in School: Junior

Dream Job: Owner of multiple sport teams

TLC: Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?
You: School keeps me pretty busy. However, in addition to being a tutor, I am also heavily involved in coaching soccer. I coach ages 8-18 and am in charge of training curriculum development for the club I work with. In the summer, I often coach four or more teams!

TLC: Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?
You: It has most certainly been beneficial! The experience I’ve had as a tutor can only help me in my future jobs because teaching and coaching are one in the same.

TLC: Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?
You: I would definitely recommend working at the TLC! Helping fellow students is very rewarding!

TLC: “If it was not for Amel, almost every class session would have been much less productive. He asked important and provocative questions that led to much more discussion and free engagement with the assigned reading. His leadership demonstrated that real learning begins with the students and not with the professor. I was very thankful to have him in class” – Professor Glenn Moots


St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn

What is your club?

St. Jude Up ’til Dawn is a student-led organization that raises awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Every year we encourage students to sign up on teams and they individually have to raise a minimum of $100 to attend an all night event. At the all-night event, the teams compete in various games, win prizes, and overall celebrate the funds raised for the hospital. We stay up all night for the kids and families at St. Jude Children’s Hospital that lose many nights of sleep from childhood cancer.

What is the purpose of this organization?

The purpose is to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

How long has this organization been with Northwood?

I believe about 5 years.

What days are your meetings?

There are no weekly meetings for students who sign up to be an Up ’til Dawn Participant. However, throughout the year, we hold different events to inform kids about the program and help them with their fundraising. E-board members of Up ’til Dawn meet weekly.

Do you do any volunteer work?

Participating in St. Jude Up ’til Dawn is considered volunteer work, and it is a great resume builder. Students that participate also receive excel credit.

What kind of events does this organization attend?

The E-board holds and plans their own event every year for the participants who have raised a minimum of $100.

Anything else you would like to add?

St. Jude Up ’til Dawn is a great program and not a huge time commitment. Students have all year to raise the $100 which is very easy to do. It is so much fun, and it is a great way to make a difference.