Hard work paid off

April 30, 2019

Dr. Cedric Fricke Endowed Internship Opportunity Fund makes internships manageable

One of the greatest lessons learned in college is quite likely juggling. Students juggle classes, studying and work; internships have also become an important part of the juggling act. All can consume time and energy, but if an internship is unpaid or low-paying, it consumes valuable resources as well.

UM-Dearborn alumnus Richard Haddrill (’74 B.S.A.) recognized this hardship and wanted to help students at his alma mater. In 2014, Haddrill created the Dr. Cedric Fricke Endowed Internship Opportunity Fund in honor of influential College of Business Emeritus Professor Cedric Fricke. The fund is designed to provide financial support to undergraduate students in the College of Business who have accepted internships that will help advance their careers but are usually non-paying or low-paying work with a non-profit organization. The funds can be used to offset tuition or provide other support needed throughout the internship.

The scholarship helped me tremendously because it allowed me to not have to work outside of the internship while still getting an income, said Marta Szkiladz.

Two juniors are recent recipients of the Fricke Opportunity Fund - Marta Szkiladz is double majoring in digital marketing and information systems management and Kayla Salamon is majoring in digital marketing while minoring in communications and seeking a Public Relations Certificate. Both plan to graduate next April.

Szkiladz interned at The Virtual Global Consultant Group in Detroit from January to May of last year. She started as an executive administrative assistant to the COO and moved toward account and social media management. She created content for an all-natural skincare brand and interacted with customers on social media. Once the internship was finished in May, she was hired to continue her work through December.  She gained knowledge of the digital marketing industry and found her passion. The internship became a deciding factor in choosing in her major.

The Fricke Opportunity Fund provided another deciding factor for Szkiladz. “The scholarship helped me tremendously because it allowed me to not have to work outside of the internship while still getting an income,” she says. “It definitely influenced my decision in taking the internship.”

Salamon just concluded a two-month internship at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce (SWCRC) where she worked directly with the president and director of membership services. Her work consisted of creating marketing materials, assisting with membership and recruiting, and networking within the SWCRC. Through it all, Salamon was able to take her projects from start to finish.

All of that was made possible through the Fricke Opportunity Fund as Salamon’s internship was unpaid. Working during school is hard enough, but working without pay is a huge challenge. With expenses covered, she could concentrate on work, not finances, and that was a greater payoff.

“This internship has provided me with the networking skills and experience in promotion, recruitment and community relations,” she says, “all key areas and necessary skills for my career field.”

Szkiladz and Salamon chose UM-Dearborn because of the strength of the programs within of the College of Business and the proximity to both their homes and downtown Detroit. Their internships are the bridges along the path toward careers after UM-Dearborn, and the Fricke Opportunity Fund played a big part in their successes. Both recommend internships to all of their fellow COB students and say the scholarship made the internships easier to manage.

“Do not be afraid to apply for an internship because you feel you do not know enough,” says Salamon. “That is the point of being an intern. You will learn from it!”

“This internship is helping me achieve my goals by showing me how to market my skills and use them to bring value to a company,” says Szkiladz.

The lessons are invaluable, and the Fricke Opportunity Fund, through the generosity of Haddrill and others, will continue to make them possible.

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