1. FINAL REPORT
Student Name: Hannah Scott
Organization: Workforce Engagement and Transformation, Michigan Dept. of Community Health
Directions (please type):
In your own words, report on your cooperative education experience. Add additional
sheets as necessary. Report length should be at least one page for each credit requested.
Be sure to address the following areas: activities completed, relate work done to initial
job description, relate the experience to your career goals, evaluate yourself in relation
to the experience, evaluate your supervisor and/or employer and the employment
situation, evaluate the cooperative education program, and any additional comments.
The Workforce Engagement and Transformation (WT) office at the Michigan Department of
Community Health (MDCH) is an internal affairs office which analyzes and responds to the
needs of MDCH employees. Their responsibilities include handling administration
scorecards, which track the progress of each office, Lean Process Improvement training,
coordinating biannual staff and manager meetings, analyzing the annual employee survey,
initiating wellness and engagement campaigns, and coordinating mission and vision
committees, among many other tasks. I was involved in many of these projects, ranging
from observation and basic assistance to taking on major roles.
One of the ongoing WT projects that I spent much of my internship observing was the Lean
Process Improvement (LPI) workshop. This service is available to any agency in the State of
Michigan that has identified a process that is inefficient due of recordkeeping, security
concerns, software limitations, or other barriers. The goal of the LPI workshop is to gather
the office’s supervisors and front line employees together to identify the source of the
barriers and brainstorm ways to overcome them. The workshop is led by a Lean certified
member of the WT team, who acts as a facilitator, guiding the early progression of
discussions and keeping the workshop on schedule, but not taking over or making decisions
for the group. This is a fascinating program that takes a great deal of training to become
proficient in, but I was quite interested by the concept and made an effort to read and
observe as much as possible about LPI.
I completed many small-scale projects during my summer internship. For example, my
supervisor, Shelly Murrell, asked me to become familiar with the program MDCH uses for
hosting webinars, so that I could draft a “cheat sheet” which would make it easier to
understand to first-time users. I also wrote a letter on behalf of the director of MDCH, Jim
Haveman, addressed to all new MDCH employees, which welcomed them to the
I assisted in a support and consulting position on a joint project between Workforce
Transformation and MDCH’s Communications office on a campaign to promote the unity of
2. the department. It was called “We Are United”, and incorporated appreciation events,
pictures and videos, volunteer events, and messages from the director, all meant to
promote the idea that all MDCH employees, approximately 4000 people, are united in a
common goal of bringing healthcare and wellness to the people of Michigan. I offered input
on the materials and language of the campaign, and assisted WT teammember Irda Kape in
creating a promotional video. This campaign began during my first week, and will continue
in new stages for several months into 2015.
The event of the highest priority during my summer internship was the All-Manager’s
Meeting, a biannual meeting in which the highest ranking managers in the MDCH gathered
together to hear the overall progress of the department, as well as any exceptional
accomplishments or new position appointments. The WT office was responsible for locating
a meeting space, organizing seating, providing refreshments, creating materials for
distribution, and arranging for a guest speaker. I created the PowerPoint presentation that
was displayed before the meeting began. I also assisted with seating the managers and
recording the guest speaker’s presentation.
The All-Manager’s Meeting not only served as experience in event coordinating; it also gave
me experience in dealing with conflict. Though our guest speaker’s presentation
represented a business philosophy that was well received by his audience, he made several
inappropriate comments to the female managers that participated in his demonstration.
We felt that it reflected poorly on our office, as we were the ones who advocated for him
and his presentation. In a follow-up discussion after the meeting, I suggested to the WT
team that I write a presentation etiquette guide that could be given to any future guest
speakers. This guide is now finished and has been given to the guest speaker for MDCH’s
upcoming All-Staff Meeting, and will be used for all future presentations organized by the
WT unit. Not only does it politely remind the guest speaker of the expectation that he/she
will be mindful and respectful of the audience, it also includes basic public speaking
suggestions, such as being prepared to continue the presentation in the event of
The project which I was most heavily involved with was the campaign to encourage MDCH
employees to practice healthy habits, including an initiative from the director of MDCH to
be launched in September encouraging employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
I designed a variety of posters and other media to post in MDCH buildings across the
downtown Lansing campus. Themes included a series of wellness posters that featured
different healthy tips, such as drinking more water and eating meals at a slower pace. The
WT office expects that these posters will begin circulating in September, 2014.
This internship provided me with a clear understanding of my career goals. Communication
factored heavily in the work of the WT team, and the experience helped me to better
understand the Mass Communication aspect of my degree. WT deals heavily in internal
communication, overcoming distance barriers to reach out not only to downtown Lansing
employees, but the MDCH employees working in hospitals and psychiatric centers across
3. Michigan. This is one of WT’s biggest challenges, as the employees of the hospitals and
centers face an entirely different set of daily challenges from those of us in offices. Many
times they are unaware that they are a part of the MDCH organization, and do not take
advantage of the many education and training opportunities available to MDCH employees.
Or, for example, their LPI needs are significantly different from those of an office such as
Medicaid or the Bureau of Laboratories. But overcoming these communication barriers and
engaging these employees in the MDCH culture is incredibly important to the WT team.
I experienced only a few shortcomings from the internship. Most notably was the fact that I
did not have the authority to organize events on behalf of the department. Therefore,
though one of my assignments was to contact local parks and recreation offices for
potential volunteer opportunities, if I received a positive response all I could do was pass
the representative along to one of the WT team. I felt that this looked unprofessional. I also
felt the limitations of my knowledge in terms of design. I had access to Photoshop, but no
knowledge of how to use it, so I was limited to Microsoft Publisher for the wellness
materials that I created.
My supervisor, Shelly Murrell, was, without exaggeration, a perfect example of an academic
mentor. She was always willing to talk to me in detail about aspects of WT projects, and it is
because of her commitment to my education that I was able to get so thorough an
understanding of Lean Process Improvement. Shelly is genuinely committed to nurturing
her employees and helping them to develop their careers. I also received plentiful support
from the WT team: Nikki Wood, Irda Kape, Nicole Mueller, and Carmen Thomas all utilized
my help at one point during the internship, and they all acted to mentor me in some way.
The team was not only welcoming when I first began my internship, but ready to teach me
something at every opportunity. This is a great, enthusiastic group of people, and I would
recommend their office, or any MDCH office, to any Olivet students looking to complete an