BY RICH REZLER
It didn’t take long for Mackenzie Benning to go full circle.
The 2017 Washtenaw Community College graduate was back on campus for the college’s annual Fall Career & Internship Fair recently. A one-time participant in the General Motors Summer Internship Program herself, Benning was back to help her employer find the next batch of GM interns from the college.
Benning, 20, works as a full-time Calibration Technician in the Metrology Department at GM’s Milford Proving Ground while attending the University of Michigan-Flint, where she’s pursuing dual bachelor degrees in Actuarial Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering.
She accompanied Brad Raedel, the Instrumentation Repair Technicians team leader at GM’s Milford Proving Ground and Warren Tech Center, to the Fall Career & Internship Fair.
“It was really interesting to me to see all the different students with a variety of résumés,” Benning said. “It’s impressive how many people seem to fit what GM is looking for – whether they’re studying math, science, computer science or automotive services. There are so many people who go to WCC that would do well in this job.”
Future intern candidates must be impressive to live up to the expectations that Benning and other members of WCC’s inaugural GM internship program set during the summer of 2017.
All three of the interns were offered full-time employment upon graduation and one — Automotive Services Technology student Emily Hatsigeorgiou — was recognized as the Intern of the Year at the Cooperative Education & Internship Association national conference for her work at GM.
Barbara Hauswirth, WCC’s Experiential Learning Coordinator, said GM is planning to make even more internship opportunities available to WCC students for the summer program.
“General Motors has been a tremendous partner to WCC and they’ve been impressed with our programs and our students’ abilities,” Hauswirth said. “We recognized them as our Employer of the Year at our last Employer Appreciation breakfast for their dedication to hiring and developing WCC students.”
The internship opportunity changed Benning’s future. She earned a full-ride President’s Scholarship to WCC after graduating from Chelsea High School with a 3.85 GPA in 2016 and planned to complete a transfer degree program on her way to studying mechanical engineering at either the University of Michigan or Kettering University.
Her time at WCC flew by, thanks to an overachiever’s game plan. She enrolled in WCC’s General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences Associate in Science Degree program after graduation and completed the 60-credit requirements by December 2017.
Upon accepting the full-time position at the GM Milford Proving Ground when she graduated from WCC, Benning changed plans and enrolled at U of M-Flint. She purchased a home in Fenton, roughly midway between the two locations.
U of M-Flint academic advisors told Benning her WCC degree put her more than halfway down the path to both a mechanical engineering and actuarial mathematics degrees, so she decided to pursue both. An actuarial mathematics degree has a business slant, which Benning hopes will make her a more attractive managerial candidate.
“We’ll see where it goes from here,” Benning said. “My associate degree from WCC set me up to get the job I have right now. Now I want to set myself up to do a few different things.”
For more information on internship opportunities at WCC, contact the Career Services department.