Cindy Brown comes downtown

September 23, 2008
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With her business cards still hot from printing, Cindy Brown, the new Internship Initiative project manager for the West Michigan Strategic Alliance, has been busy.

The organization, which recently moved into its new home at 915 Wealthy St. SE, brought Brown in to help get the initiative off the ground. As project manager of the initiative, Brown has some serious goals in front of her.

“Obviously, the 3,000 internships in the next few years for the West Michigan region — that’s over the long term,” said Brown. “Some short-term goals would be getting the Internship Portal Web site up, getting some of the marketing to the local businesses and making ourselves public to a lot of the organizations and business organizations in the next couple of months, so we can get the word out.”

Brown, originally from Saginaw, spent time in West Michigan as a business administration student at Aquinas College. She then garnered more than 20 years experience at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the Detroit area. In her most recent position at Enterprise, Brown developed and oversaw an internship program and recruited college students.

“A big part of my position at Enterprise was recruiting, so I have a lot of contacts with the career centers, as well as some businesses in the area,” said Brown. “When I saw the opportunity here, it was the same kind of fit. It was a way of connecting the students, career centers and employers and that connection with the internships to make the West Michigan area a lot stronger.”

Brown was made aware of the position with the alliance through the contacts she made while working for Enterprise.

“I heard about it the opportunity through some of the contacts that I had made through some of the career centers,” said Brown. “They had heard about the initiative and advised me to get in contact with the West Michigan Strategic Alliance, because of my knowledge of recruiting in the West Michigan area. That’s actually when the positioned opened up, I applied for it, and here I am.”

Brown serves on the board of West Michigan’s 100 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, and the Grand Rapids affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Cancer Institute.

Brown said she is happy with her new role with the Internship Initiative.

“It’s a great initiative; I’m very excited,” said Brown.

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