Work-based learning

While the school year is paused for the summer, six students from Detroit’s Renaissance High School used their time off to gain valuable work experience at DTE.

The five-week program is a partnership between DPSCD and companies around the community. Students – mostly in 11th grade – obtain training on the job and learn about different job roles in the company. Students learned programs like PowerBI and advanced Excel commands, as well as resume tips and job resources. The six students at DTE were placed in different business units around the company and they weren’t the only ones learning on the job.

“I’m getting as much out of this as our student Rahman,” says Hunter Alpert, senior Customer Service analyst. “Rahman has exceeded all expectations I had. He has shown a willingness to learn and contribute, and even actively participate in our projects. He quickly picked up complex tasks and offered valuable input.”

10th grade student Myles Hicks was placed in Human Resources – a career he wants to move into. Laurie Washington, program manager Workforce Development/Career Awareness at DTE, says, “At first, I was apprehensive but quickly learned Myles is wise beyond his grade level. He was always punctual and showed up prepared, ready to learn and contribute to the team. Hopefully, the networking and connections he made will arm him with insight to his future endeavor to explore a career in Human Resources.”

Hicks feels more prepared for his future endeavors through the program. “I have learned how to use and navigate through Microsoft Excel and utilize my time management skills by being punctual and prioritizing my time. I also learned how to use my marketing skills by making flyers for the SYIP interns about safety and wellness.”
Washington sees the value in the program – one of many DTE offers young people. “The work-based learning program and variety of student programs DTE offers are a great way for students to gain experience, even in a virtual setting,” says Washington. “Students can learn, grow and experience first-hand how to navigate a corporate setting.”

Alpert also has noticed the benefits for both the student and the employee. “The student benefits by gaining work experience from a company like DTE, immersing themselves in our work culture, learning on the job, and developing skills that they will be able to apply throughout their career,” he says. “For the employee, it’s an opportunity to develop skills that aren’t always a focus, like sharing their knowledge and helping to apply that knowledge. By partnering with our student, I felt like I was benefiting equally by sharing my expertise and seeing the rewards in real time from our student, applying what they learned to complete projects and provide valuable team participation.”

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