Hailey’s CDK Summer: An Internship She Never Expected

By Hailey Kilbarger

Hello fellow Ad peers! As we settle back into the flow of our Fall semester, I am here to share some of my insights with you from my summer internship. I was very fortunate to land an Account Advocate Intern position at CDK Global in downtown Detroit and I worked there full-time for 10 weeks.

So, what is CDK Global?

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CDK Global is an Online Marketing Company that provides digital solutions to car dealerships. Since I worked in the Detroit office, you can probably guess that one of our biggest clients was GM.

In my position, we mainly focused on the website strategy for the dealerships. I never thought that I would be interested in working in the automotive industry, but after learning more about cars than I had ever desired to know, it has grown on me. There’s definitely a lot of room for growth and multiple areas of opportunity.

What is an Account Advocate Intern and what did I do?

Account Advocate is another way of saying the person who talks to the dealer on a regular basis. Each full-time advocate has 40 accounts (which means 40 different GM dealerships throughout the country) that they develop relationships with and create website strategies for.

As an intern, I worked with a mentor who was a full-time Account Advocate and co-owned five accounts with her. Each week, I would focus on a different dealership. First, I would identify their weaknesses and then I would come up with solutions that I would suggest to the dealer in order to improve their website. It was really fun and there was a lot of freedom for me to work creatively. I loved designing a brand for each dealership and making their messaging cohesive to create a better experience for the consumers.

How did I get the internship?

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By chance.

During my Fall semester last year, I was in one of Frank Blossom’s classes. One day he announced that he had an internship opportunity he had heard about from one of his former students. He told everyone that if we were interested in the internship that we should see him after class. 

Naturally, I was intrigued by this opportunity and he got me in contact with Sophie who now works there full-time. I applied to the internship, went through the interview process and on a cold December day as I was studying for exams, I received the offer call. It was easily the most exciting day of that semester.

This just goes to show how important it is to always be open to any opportunity. I had no idea what the internship position even was when I first heard about it. And had I not been in class that day, I would have never known.

I’m a firm believer that things truly happen when you least expect it. So stay open to new opportunities and someday something may just fall into your lap.

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