MSU sophomore Lily Stroup used her skills as an Apparel and Textile Design major to help a start-up company that specializes in designing matching outfits for humans and their pets.
As an intern for the pet lifestyle brand My Unleashed Life, Stroup helped establish and grow the company’s social media presence and used her expertise gained from her Apparel and Textile Design classes to design graphics and merchandise for the new company.
“It was a great opportunity to get a glimpse into digital marketing while also having a little bit of fashion in there,” Stroup said. “It was just a perfect mix of things that I really want to get myself involved in.”
Stroup obtained the summer internship through Ann Arbor Spark’s Digital Summer Clinic, which runs each year from mid-June to mid-August. Ann Arbor SPARK is a start-up incubator that hosts its Digital Summer Clinic to connect local students with new companies in the tech sector.
“It was a great opportunity to get a glimpse into digital marketing while also having a little bit of fashion in there. It was just a perfect mix of things that I really want to get myself involved in.”
According to Stroup, the interview process for the Digital Summer Clinic was tailored to help interns develop interview and career skills while also pairing them with a startup that best aligns with their skills and interests.
This year’s Digital Summer Clinic offered paid internships to 48 students looking to gain practical experience in digital marketing, content creation, website and graphic design, photography, social media, and advertising.
“It was a very interesting first internship,” Stroup said. “I really got a taste of every single aspect of starting a business and seeing where that can go.”
Working with another intern at My Unleashed Life, Stroup helped identify the company’s target audience and together they created social media content aimed at that audience. They also helped grow the company’s social media presence by creating a posting schedule to draw attention to the brand.
Stroup’s favorite project was creating short styling videos of owners and their pets wearing matching outfits.
“We were posting a lot on Instagram reels because we thought our target audience would be on Instagram more. But our Instagram content wasn’t doing great,” Stroup said. “We realized we needed to branch out from that and so we went on Facebook, and we received thousands of views instantly.”
“It was a very interesting first internship. I really got a taste of every single aspect of starting a business and seeing where that can go.”
As part of Ann Arbor Spark’s Digital Summer Clinic, interns work 10-hour weeks with their respective companies and attend bi-weekly meetings to present their progress on their projects, work on career skills like updating their LinkedIn profiles, learn about personal marketability, and hear from guest speakers.
Now that the Fall 2023 semester has begun, Stroup is continuing to work part-time for My Unleashed Life.
“Starting off with Ann Arbor Spark, especially just coming out of my freshman year, I could not have asked for a better internship and support group,” she said. “If there’s an area that you want to insert yourself in, whether it’s graphic design or social media, there will be something for you at Ann Arbor SPARK. They are looking for people who are inspired and want to do something with these companies. I really think they will give everyone a chance if they see something in you.”