MINDSCAPE is pleased to be a part of the City of Grand Rapids “Mayor’s 50” program. This program is designed to give 50 local high school students an opportunity to intern for local businesses. As part of the program, the student receives a paid internship with up to ten hours a week for six months. These students apply to be part of the program and are selected by the business based on interest, talent, and skills. In addition, the students receive comprehensive training to prepare them for the business world prior to beginning their internship.

Devin Rittenhouse, the first of our Mayor’s 50 interns, wanted to share his thoughts on his experience at MINDSCAPE for 6 months. Devin is a junior at Rockford High School and recently turned 16 years old. He wrote a blog so we could share with you- click “read more” to check out what he wrote!

My name is Devin Rittenhouse and I am a 16-year-old from Grand Rapids. I am a junior attending Rockford High School. I am involved in the Grand Rapids Mayor’s youth council, St. Cecilia Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Kent ISD Early College Academy and Grand Rapids Dive Club, among other things. This past fall I had the privilege of adding employment at MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKednry as the Student Leader of All Things Web to my resume. I was able to receive employment at this award-winning Web engagement company through a youth employment program held by the City of Grand Rapids, specifically Our Community’s Children the L.E.A.D Program (Leadership, Employment, Achievement, Direction). This program gives youth in the city of Grand Rapids job training and readiness workshops. After you have finished these workshops you have the opportunity to apply at different businesses in Grand Rapids. I was very fortunate to be one of the few youths admitted into the first cycle of this program.

Writing this blog has evolved into a way to track what I have done in my time working at MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry. Well, it has come to the end of my time working at Mindscape at Hanon McKendry and thinking back to what I have done really seems more like what haven’t I done or been exposed to while being the Student Leader of all Things Web.

While in my position as Student Leader of All Things Web I made a survey for local college students to take. This survey was designed to find out what college students want in a job such as benefits and culture. I did research on topics such as a wellness program, different banks, and university demographics, and presented them to the Lead Program Cycle 2. But out of all of the projects I have done while working at MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry, my favorite has to be planning Content 101: The Changing Landscape of Communication.

Content 101: The Changing Landscape of Communication was an event that I was asked to plan fully by Ellen Winterburn, Director of Human Resources and Dawn Pick Benson, Director of Branded Content. This event was for local West Michigan college chairs, university department chairs, and faculty members. While at our event we presented what “content” is in today’s business world and showed them it is much different from the world of academia. We also showed them who we are and how we are using content. Our main goal for this event was for the professors who attended Content 101 to bring the information we gave them back to their students. We have also put together a follow-up page where the college and university department chairs and faculty will go and tell us how to improve and how they have brought this information back to their students. Alicia Saenz, the new Student Leader of All Things Web, will be analyzing their responses and making any adjustments that we need.

Over my 7 months at MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry, I had a great learning experience on how to work with people and how to manage not only myself but also others on occasion. But what I truly gained was a family of two new mothers: Ellen Winterburn and Pam Michael. Memories that will last a lifetime and the satisfaction of knowing that I, a 16-year-old teenager, could go into a Web engagement company and work there for 7 months and be able to emprise my fellow co-workers that have been working for 10+ years. I think that is what will be motivating me through my college years and into my career as a doctor. I will always remember the people who helped me get to where I am today and where I will be in the future: Lynn Heemstra, Shannon L. Harris, Ellen Winterburn, Pam Michael, Dawn Pick Benson and of course my mother Daniella Rittenhouse.

~Written by Devin Rittenhouse, Student Leader of All Things Web, MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry