As a year five Challenge Detroit Fellow, you finished your fellowship over six months ago, what are some of your highlights, personally and professionally from the past few months?
Life after Challenge Detroit has been a whirlwind of personal and professional adventures. I continue to live Downtown and to be car free! Other than this, life is starkly different! Professional highlights include the opening of Beacon Park where in the summer and fall months I traded my cube for a sunny table in the park. In addition, personal highlights include weekly dinner & drinks with my Detroit Family (with fellow Fellows Liz and Poonam!) and discovering my new favorite US city: Cincinnati, OH. If there is ever a Challenge Cincinnati, I would apply in a heartbeat!
You chose to continue working for your host company, DTE Energy, tell us about your work, and how you continue to carry what you learned during your fellowship in your work today.
I continue to work at DTE Energy as a program manager in Public Affairs. This role is dynamic, collaborative, and cross-functional- most days I do some combination of project management, data analysis, and strategy work. Although my work is varied, I consistently use Design Thinking in my projects and processes. I have found elements of the Empathy and Prototype phases to be especially helpful when I am designing analysis/reporting tools.
In what was do you serve as an ambassador for Detroit in your work and life outside of the city.
I say nice things about Detroit… When I travel, I say things about Detroit. When I talk to my friends and family, I say nice things about Detroit.
What are a few of your favorite ways to play and explore in Detroit?
Food and drinks are my favorite ways to play and explore in Detroit. Detroit has a great cocktail scene and many bars serve amazing seasonal cocktails. Wright and Co, Grey Ghost, and the Standby are some clear standouts for me. In addition, Detroit has a growing food scene with New American restaurants aplenty. I am partial to international flavors and found a handful of favorites: El Cataracho (serves amazingly authentic Central American food), Ima (Udon in the winter, need I say more) and Takoi
What excites you most about Detroit’s future?
Before moving to Detroit, what excited me about Detroit was the physical change of the city. Now I am excited to see the change in the people and leaders in Detroit. I can’t wait to see the accomplishments of my peers.