Relationship building paves way to internship success

June 18, 2018

When global management-focused firm PCubed launched their North American internship program this summer, the staff knew where to find highly qualified students thanks to connections made with Lecturer Patrick Keyes.

UM-Dearborn internship at PCubed
UM-Dearborn internship at PCubed
M.B.A. student and PCubed intern Rayan Saleh works with the team on a project management plan for a client.

Everyone likes it when a plan comes together—especially project managers.

So it’s no surprise that when College of Business students shared that they were looking for additional project management experience, a COB lecturer whose expertise is in the field put a plan into action.

Department of Management Studies Lecturer Patrick Keyes created workshops to prepare students for project management certification—the Project Management Institute’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)—to help further distinguish COB graduates. He then fostered a relationship with global consulting firm Pcubed to create a pathway to get students access to real-world experience.

So when Pcubed—a frequent campus career fair participant headquartered in Ann Arbor—launched their first North American internship program this summer, Keyes encouraged his students to apply. And from the large pool of qualified candidates, all internship spots were filled with UM-Dearborn students, Keyes said.

“Everyone across the majors will use project management in some way. The goal of the experiences we give our students is to help set them apart from the rest in the hiring process,” said Keyes, who teaches BA 320: Project Management and Leadership and runs the COB workshops four times a year to prepare students for the CAPM, a designation that shows that a person has a global-level standard of project management knowledge. “Employers recognize and appreciate when candidates already have training in project management terminology and process. It gives them a step up above others.”

One Pcubed internship spot went to M.B.A. student Rayan Saleh, who took Keyes’ course and CAPM workshop prior to earning her bachelor’s degree from UM-Dearborn in April 2018.

“Until I took Professor Keyes’ class, I didn’t know project management was something you could be taught in school,” she said. “There is a science to being efficient with your time and resources. By the time I was finished with the course, I was very confident in my managing abilities.”

Saleh, who majored in supply chain management, said she always had a business-focused mind and constantly looked for ways to maximize efficiency.

She had a long-term career goal to serve as a business consultant. But, thanks to Keyes’s guidance, Saleh is doing that type of work now through Pcubed.

“The opportunities I’ve had through my connections at UM-Dearborn motivate me every day to work harder and harder. It was in my five-year plan after graduation to work as a consultant. But it took one month,” said Saleh, who is working in a consulting-type role as a Market Alignment Specialist with a Pcubed client who is a major original equipment manufacturer in the automotive industry. “I feel like I am on the fast track.”

Pcubed’s Andrew Lozon (’15 B.B.A.), who took Keyes’ course and helped Keyes set up the first CAPM workshop in 2015, said he, like Saleh, was introduced to project management as a career while on campus.

Lozon still uses what Keyes taught him in class daily—from working with Pcubed’s clients to setting up the new North American-based internship program. Lozon is Pcubed’s internship coordinator and a consultant team leader.

“I was asked to lead the establishment of an internship program; the team valued my relationship with Professor Keyes, who is well known in our office for the level that he expects of his students, the first-rate education they have, and the emphasis placed on certification. We knew the student talent was out there,” said Lozon, who was the first UM-Dearborn student to participate in Keyes’ workshop and go on to earn the CAPM certification. “Of course we look at all qualified candidates, but, the relationship we have with Professor Keyes, gave the confidence an internship program would provide high-value for the students, Pcubed, and our clients.”

And Saleh said it is a success from the student side too.

“This is not an internship where I am sitting around and making copies. I am in meetings and contributing, working with my supervisor on improving processes. When I came to Pcubed, they told me that UM-Dearborn students were piloting the program. But, for me, there is even more. This experience with Pcubed is helping pilot my future.”

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