As a fourth-year College of Business student with a passion for helping others, I was
thrilled to begin my internship with the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI
SBDC) last October. This role has allowed me to use the knowledge I have gained at Michigan
Tech to assist small businesses in their growth and development. It is my pleasure to share with
you some of the experiences that have shaped my internship journey so far.
In my role as a business consulting intern, my primary responsibility is to provide
comprehensive support to small businesses throughout the Upper Peninsula. From helping
them with their daily accounting and record-keeping tasks to conducting market analysis and
creating detailed reports, I get to provide a wide variety of assistance to these businesses.
Throughout my work, I am committed to ensuring that these enterprises have access to the
resources they need to thrive in this growing economy.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my internship is assisting entrepreneurs in writing
business plans. Collaborating with small business owners, I have helped transform their visions
into well-structured, actionable plans. These business plans serve as roadmaps, guiding them
toward sustainable growth and facilitating better decision-making. As well in many cases,
allowing the business access to capital to further business operations.
Additionally, I actively contribute to small businesses by providing assistance in
accounting and record keeping. Leveraging tools like Quickbooks and Wave Accounting, I not
only streamline financial processes but also devise effective management and collection
protocols. This facet of my role enables me to directly apply the knowledge I’ve acquired
through my major in a practical and impactful manner throughout my internship.
Furthermore, developing effective marketing strategies is a crucial aspect of my role. By
leveraging data-driven insights and understanding their target audience, we craft customized
plans that not only elevate their brand presence but also lead to higher customer engagement
and increased sales. The primary assistance I serve during this process is providing industry
and target market reports delivering comprehensive information of the industry.
During my internship, I have had the privilege of working with over 50 small businesses,
each with its unique set of challenges and aspirations. Being a part of their journey, witnessing
their growth, and contributing to their success has been incredibly rewarding. Recently, I was
presented with the opportunity to speak at the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce. Addressing
the local business community, I assisted another consultant in emphasizing the vital role that the
MI SBDC plays in supporting small businesses. This experience was both humbling and
empowering, as it showcased the impact our consulting services have on local businesses. As
well, I was also able to see Governor Whitmer address the recent improvements made to
Michigan’s infrastructure at the UP State Fair. This provided me with the opportunity to see state
representatives discuss projects that will affect the clients I work with directly.
In conclusion, my work at the MI SBDC has been an eye-opening and transformative
experience. I must credit the MI SBDC team for being instrumental in my development as a
young professional in the business. My mentors have provided invaluable insights, sharing their
knowledge and expertise. Their guidance has been pivotal in shaping my consulting approach,
enabling me to deliver impactful results to the businesses I work with. Witnessing their success
has reinforced my commitment to supporting small businesses, knowing that they are the
backbone of vibrant and thriving communities.