Urban Alliance Chicago, an employment program for under-resourced high school seniors based in D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago, recently designated Residential Properties’ intern Michael Jones as its “Intern of the Week.”
Michael, 18, is a senior at Wendell Phillips Academy in Bronzeville, on the city’s south side. He began working with Residential Properties at the beginning of this school year, and will work there full-time, Monday through Thursday, through July. According to Michael, his interest in business and marketing led his school’s counselor to suggest Urban Alliance place him with a University.
And his boss, Myriam Weaver, senior manager of Residential Properties, said she’s thrilled with the match.
“Michael is hardworking and conscientious. He’s never been late for work and finishes all assigned work ahead of schedule. He takes ownership of his projects and asks questions when he needs help,” she said. “We are excited to have him join us and happy he is fitting in well with the experienced RP team.”
According to Weaver, Michael has been involved in several projects, including parking lease file audits and creating files for building projects. His newest project involves reviewing more than 6,000 interior photos of apartments in the RP portfolio and documenting any missing or mislabeled pictures. Michael has also attended final apartment inspections to observe the turnover process in action.
Michael says he was interested in joining Residential Properties in order to gain experience working in an office environment, and said he is learning a great deal about time management and professional decorum through his internship. FS co-workers feel more like “friends or relatives” than just colleagues, he said, and he views Weaver as a role model because of her own impressive professional achievements.
Outside of work, Michael loves to rap and write poetry and short stories. He intends to pursue a degree in business, marketing or advertising, and hopes to attend either Clark Atlanta University or Purdue University. After college, Michael aspires to relocate to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a musician, or in a successful business environment -- perhaps even in academia, as he’s enjoying his work with the University.
Urban Alliance was founded in 1996 with a goal to provide yearlong employment and life skill training to under-resourced students in three urban areas. The program blends paid internships, formal training and mentorship to prepare students for a life of work and self-sufficiency. The agency has employed more than 1,100 youth and partnered with more than 100 local businesses nationwide.
-- By Bethany Minton, operations administrator