Statewide Business Administration Senior Margaret Miller Navigates Competitive General Motors Internship with “Urgency and Professionalism”
On a number of occasions during summer 2017, Margaret Miller remembers sitting around a table at General Motors with her fellow marketing interns, all of whom were from Ivy League schools. Miller could have felt intimidated—but she had no reason to. As a hard-working Ferris Statewide student, studying Business Administration with a minor in Marketing through transfer and secondary partnership school Macomb Community College, she knew she was capable of keeping up.
“You wouldn’t know it if they didn’t make us tell you our schools. Just because Ferris isn’t an Ivy school, doesn’t mean that we can’t get the job and succeed,” she said.
Miller both got the internship and succeeded in it. She found the position through connections she made over her lifetime in the Metro Detroit community and the hard work and dedication she puts into everything she does. Her passion for Detroit and the automotive industry made General Motors (GM) a natural fit.
“As our wonderful CEO, Mary Barra, stated ‘I believe the auto industry will change more in the next five to 10 years than it has in the last 50’. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a company making such substantial growth?” said Miller.
While on internship, Miller was given exposure and access to senior leadership at GM. One of her projects was to develop and implement a dealer candidate review system for senior leadership use. She also collaborated with compartmental managers to streamline the transitional process for dealers, which will be used nationally.
“I have been given a lot of responsibility and flexibility within the dealer development program,” said Miller. “Through my internship, I have learned that dealers drive the industry; so, every task I am given, I take on with urgency and professionalism.”
Miller saw the Ferris Core Value of “excellence” come to life on her internship. She participated in GM’s Operation Excellence program by helping to address issues she noticed within the company. This program is GM’s way of using excellence to continuously improve business performance and increase the value they bring to their customers. In addition to excellence, Miller also experienced the Ferris Core Value of “diversity.”
Ferris has given me building blocks which I now implement in my day to day work with General Motors.
“Ferris has given me building blocks—through the university Core Values—which I now implement in my day to day work with General Motors,” she said. “I work closely with our Diversity Dealer Relations team whose goal is to get more minorities and females into owning dealerships. Diversity, in our world today, is essential. General Motors is a company that not only embraces diversity, but strives towards it.”
Since Miller is a statewide student, she is an active member of her home community. She is a goalie for a local ice hockey team and a young leader member of the Detroit Economic Club. She spends her free time with family and friends. In the future, she hopes to be offered a position at General Motors and continue working in the industry she is passionate about.
“I believe GM’s comeback was the start of the revitalization of Detroit and I have a lot of pride for my city, so I will forever be thankful for General Motors.”
Miller, who will be graduating in Spring 2018, gave this advice to her fellow interns and Ferris students: “Take risks. If you don’t think you have a chance, take the risk anyway.”
After all, taking a risk was what led to Miller sitting around a table, showing Ivy League students what Ferris students are made of.
The College of Business at Ferris State University provides career-oriented education, responding for over 100 years to the changing needs of the business world. The curriculum prepares graduates to deal with real issues as members and leaders of tomorrow’s workforce. Their Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program aims to prepare students to succeed in this competitive and fast-paced world in a variety of professional and management roles.