Digital Summer Clinic to Hire 48 Summer Interns

Professional headshot of a employee.

The Digital Summer Clinic (DCS) works in conjunction with Ann Arbor Spark and the Center for Digital Engagement (CDE) at Eastern Michigan University to place paid summer internships for college students and recent grads from Southeastern Michigan. This year’s application process is now open and closes April 30, 2024.

Last year they reportedly had just short of 500 applicants, interviewed 100, and accepted 48. This year they are also expected to hire 48 summer interns.

They are looking for passionate candidates that have a drive to learn more and can adapt and learn quickly.

Elizabeth (Liz) Lohman is currently a Marketing and Communications Associate for Tropolis Insurance. Lohman is also a junior at EMU majoring in international business marketing.

Lohman was first placed as an intern with DCS during the summer of 2023. She had previously worked at the CDE. She was placed with the University of Michigan, School of Information, Engaged Learning Office (ELO).

“My duties at UMSI ELO included optimizing email marketing campaigns resulting in 400+ leads, developing a website for the External Engagement Center, providing University of Michigan staff members a central hub for connecting 20+ communities campus-wide, and identifying data on top landing pages, bounce rates, and session durations of UMSI’s website to optimize potential client’s journey,” Lohman said.

She credits her summer internship with connecting her with her current placement.

“These roles are connected in their marketing nature, but now I am working in the insurance industry as opposed to technology/digital marketing,” Lohman said. “They are both connected in the digital career aspect – many marketing roles are digital and both of my roles have encapsulated these features.”

Lohman advises all students to investigate a digital internship and/or career.

Headshot of an employee.Digital careers basically are connected to technology in some manner, such as social media manager, web developer, computer programming, project manager, software development and CAD/CAM design. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2030 global digital jobs are estimated to grow by around 25%.

“I believe that an internship in digital careers is perfect for many majors and benefits a large number of students,” Lohman said. “It is also a perfect opportunity to learn more about specialized roles in digital careers. I found the internship to be particularly educational in the way that every pair was doing something different with their company, and I enjoyed learning about the different roles available that other interns took on. This aspect was great exposure to the opportunities digital careers have now and for the future.”

The DCS internships are unique in that there are regular meetings with mentors to give feedback and advice from their work during the internship as well as professional development opportunities.

Not only are digital jobs in more demand, but many people enjoy the opportunities the work affords.

“I like the digital field,” Lohman said. “Being someone who is still experimenting with targeted roles that work for me, I found that the digital field provides many job opportunities in many fields. It brings me comfort to know that I am not stuck to one thing.  I enjoyed learning more about UMSI while being an intern and learning more about new technologies used in classes. I also liked the representation of women in the office at the ELO.”

She also has some sound advice for those considering a digital career.

“This program is a great launching pad for your career and can take on many shapes and forms depending on the student,” Lohman said. “It provides exposure to many types and people, jobs and industries available. You also have the opportunity to network with other interns and learn from each other.”

The program also works to be fair and equitable for all.

“I think that it is important to note the diversity of the internship program,” Lohman said. “It features a balanced representation of both sexes and embraces racial diversity and inclusiveness. This value of the internship made me feel more comfortable with the structure supporting the system. Every student is taken into consideration for this program regardless of sex, race, religion, gender and age. The only qualification is that you are a current student or recent grad. I strongly support equal rights and opportunities and this program has it.”

Nick Woods is an account manager at Google. “I work full-time at Google as an Account Manager, but I am starting this year as an executive in residence for the Digital Summer Clinic,” Woods said. “I was an intern in 2018 and have been involved with the clinic through speaker events since then.”

Woods shared a good synopsis of the entire digital program as well.

“The clinic helps college students and recent grads get introduced into the fast-paced digital marketing landscape,” Woods said. “It is geared for those who are eager to make those critical business connections by pairing interns in teams of two for companies housed in Ann Arbor SPARK’s high-tech incubator. At these companies, they can gain experience in a wide range of areas like coding, marketing, SEO, website design, anything.”

Woods explained that the vast majority of past interns are made up of college students or recent college grads, but applications are open to anyone who is interested.

Woods attended Eastern Michigan University where he earned his bachelor’s in Marketing, graduating in 2018. He took a class taught by Professor Bud Gibson, , the founder and director of the Digital Summer Clinic, who encouraged him to apply for an internship.

“I was paired with a local Bio-Tech company called Genomenon, where I was hired full-time after interning for about a month or so,” Woods said. “After this, I began working at a Digital Ad Agency called ‘iProspect’, managing the national paid search campaigns for Cadillac. After this, I made my way back to Ann Arbor and started my current position with Google.”

The application process started in February and applications close on April 30.

“Interviews will be conducted in May and final offers will be completed by Memorial Day 2024,” Woods said. “Class size has been rapidly growing and this year we are accepting 48 interns into the clinic.”

Interns come from all colleges in the area with different career interests and backgrounds relating to the digital world welcome.

“A digital career covers an expansive list of jobs and opportunities,” Wood said. “It can be anything from managing SEO for a business or being a front-end developer for a startup. That is one of the unique positions the Digital Summer Clinic is in. You can come from pretty much any background with any interest and these startups will find a place for you to not only do what you are interested in, but to also expose you to so many other opportunities within their companies where you could find your new passion.”

Many of the companies and organizations where people are placed may be familiar.

“Our start-ups based out of the Ann Arbor SPARK incubator are plentiful and all have unique missions and business models,” Woods said.  “75% of interns actually start full-time jobs at a lot of high-tech firms like General Motors, Career Now Brands, iProspect, Google and more.”

While Woods once felt somewhat estranged from the digital world,  the internship helped bridge that gap.

“Being a commuter to college, I felt very far away from the digital marketing world and didn’t have any connections to where I could start my career,” Woods said. “I genuinely know that being a part of the clinic gave me not only the tools to succeed but also the community and invaluable connections that I could rely on when it came to big career decisions and moves. If you need any more of a push to check it out and apply, just see the stories of past interns on our LinkedIn, YouTube or any social media channels. They are all out there doing awesome things in the world of tech, and I think they would all agree it would not have been possible without the early guidance from the clinic that set them apart in interviews.”

Headshot of a director of a company.Bud Gibson, founding director of the Digital Summer Clinic, said, “We do two things. First, we help college students either from Michigan or attending school in Michigan to make that first step toward a professional career in digital. Second, we help employers in Washtenaw County’s thriving start-up ecosystem identify emerging talent. Think of us as providing a place where those two needs can meet.”

Gibson said the program is specific to Michigan grads or current Michigan college students.

“We’re open to anyone over the age of 18 who is currently a student in a post-secondary program (i.e., community college, university),” Gibson said. “That program can be a certificate or degree program. Interns must either come from Michigan or be in a program located in Michigan. We also accept recent grads up to 18 months after graduation.”

Gibson oversees driving and all aspects of the clinic from recruiting interns and mentors to design and execution of the intern program in the summer. This also includes recruiting company participants.

For more information on the program, visit

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Donna Marie Iadipaolo is a writer, journalist, and State of Michigan certified teacher, since 1990. She has written for national publications like The Village Voice, Ear Magazine of New Music, Insurance & Technology, and TheStreet.
She is now writing locally for many publications, including Current Magazine, Ann Arbor Family, and the Ann Arbor Independent. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she graduated with an honors bachelor’s degree and three teacher certificate majors: mathematics, social sciences, English. She also earned three graduate degrees in Master of Science, Master of Arts, and Education Specialist Degree.