For Detroiter Walter Savage, becoming an Urban Alliance intern has helped him lay a foundation for career readiness. “UA has impacted my life in a way that many other things never can,” he said. “It has given me an opportunity to already network myself when I didn’t have a gateway to do it.”
During his senior year of high school, Walter joined Urban Alliance Detroit’s inaugural class, beginning the experience with a six-week training program, tailored to equip each student with necessary professional development skills and career readiness. “You go through like everything from knowing cover letters and resumes to doing interviews,” he said. “…The biggest thing is probably writing a resume, like not a lot of people know that, especially in high school.”
This initial professional skills bootcamp gave Walter the boost he needed to thrive in his UA internship at Rock Connections, part of the Rock Family of Companies that includes Quicken Loans. “It’s challenging me to get better,” he said. “… Knowing that I’m a UA intern, and putting my best foot forward to know that I am representing not only myself and my school, but also UA.”
Interning with Rock Connections helped Walter reimagine working in professional spaces, become a team player, sharpen his emotional intelligence capacities, and understand himself.
The program provided Walter with the skills and experiences he needs to pursue his passion for culinary arts and open his own restaurant in his hometown of Detroit. Walter appreciates that he learned customer service during his internship before pursuing his culinary career, and plans to apply what he’s learned. “One of the biggest takeaways from this is like how to communicate and how to not get upset at certain situations,” he said.
Becoming an Urban Alliance intern transcends skills training. Joining UA allowed Walter to grow his network and gain valuable mentors. Walter speaks highly of his program mentor, Jessica. “Greatest mentor I could have ever asked for,” he said. “When I first got in there, I was really, really new, which she never let that be a burden on her because she has a whole team to run.”
Walter sees the program as a needed opportunity for students in his community. “They don’t know what goes into getting a job like a cover letter, resume, interviewing, how to dress,” says Walter. “A program like this really prepared me for what’s to come in the future.”
Walter first joined the Urban Alliance program on a leap of faith, confident the program would assist his future endeavors. He wants to inspire future students to follow in his footsteps and make that leap. “Go for it, put your all into it,” he said. “…Make the best out of it, because it’ll pay off.”