Oakland’s MSITM program provided a powerful platform for Akanksha Patil to merge and advance her skills. The exacting curriculum, hands-on company-sponsored projects, and faculty and staff mentors, provided the foundation for a powerful professional network.

For Oakland’s business students, proximity to major employers across industries is a distinct advantage. As part of their comprehensive business education, students gain real-world perspectives from guest speakers and networking events as well as build professional experiences through corporate-sponsored projects and internships. Many students secure professional employment — nearly 70% — before they graduate.

The b-school’s relationship with BorgWarner offers a great example of this synergy. With its world headquarters in Auburn Hills, Oakland business students have convenient access to internships, projects and professional positions with an international company.

The automotive supplier hires Oakland business students for internships and professional positions across disciplines — from graduate students in the Master of Science in IT Management (MSITM) and MBA programs to undergrads in accounting, marketing, human resources management and operations management.

At BorgWarner, Oakland business interns are embedded in day to day operations of the company, supporting, managing and leading projects where they see the real impact of their work, says Michelle Collins, MKT ‘02, director, marketing, public relations and talent acquisition, BorgWarner.

“If students enjoy an open entrepreneurial environment and challenging projects where they can really take leadership roles, then BorgWarner would be a good fit for them,” Collins adds.

The close proximity of the two organizations is conducive to extended internships that sometimes evolve into full-time professional positions after graduation. Other Oakland business BorgWarner interns leverage this valuable internship experience to land professional positions at other premier organizations.

BorgWarner provides a steady stream of company-sponsored data analytics projects and internships for the b-school’s Master of Science in IT Management (MSITM) program. In fact, two MSITM alums recently parlayed their BorgWarner internship experiences into professional positions in analytics at General Motors.

Akanksha Patil, MSITM ’17, transformed her BorgWarner-sponsored capstone project into an internship focused on data visualization for the company.

“A key part of Oakland’s MSITM program is the capstone project,” Patil says. “It allows students to utilize their new skills on a real-world issue presented by a sponsoring organization.”

After Patil completed the internship, BorgWarner tapped Aswathy James, MSITM ’17, for the internship. Both landed professional positions in analytics at GM following graduation.

Impressed with the quality of OU MSITM students, BorgWarner then hired MSITM student Siddhi Kad to fill the internship.

“My aim is to gain real project experience to prepare me for the full-time job opportunities in the field of data analytics,” says Kad. As an IT data analyst and SAP intern at BorgWarner, Kad is applying what she is learning in her courses in the field in real-time.

Working with tools such as Qlik Sense and Sharepoint, Kad designed a dashboard automating archaic manual processes and has taken part in SAP security tasks such as creating and maintaining users, firewalls, mitigating controls and more.

“BorgWarner is one of the automotive suppliers that hire Oakland University business students, year after year,” says Ian Caullay, director, employer relations, School of Business Administration, Career Services. “It’s regularly a ‘top 10’ internship employer of Oakland University students, which is so important.”

These experiences are not limited to Oakland graduate business students. Undergraduate business students regularly take advantage of similar opportunities. Representatives from BorgWarner visit the b-school frequently, recruiting for interns and professional employees at career events, such as fairs, information tables and as guest speakers for student organizations.