students studying
Grant Recipient

November 9, 2009

Internship Academy of Michigan receives $500 Womensnet Amber Grant

Internship Academy

Woman Entrepreneur:
Ellen Tilly and Deborah Schneider

Ellen Tilly and Deborah Schneider of Auburn Hills, Michigan, founders of Internship Academy (, were awarded a $500 Amber Grant from on September 30th. awards quarterly Amber Grants of $500 to women in the process of starting or expanding their own businesses. Grant funds may be used to cover start-up expenses, such as buying or upgrading equipment, hiring consultants and advisors, joining professional organizations, or paying for advertising and marketing efforts.

Video Transcript

Tilly and Schneider’s inspiration and desire to start a new business were spawned by experience. As parents of college students, they saw firsthand their children’s frustration in choosing a meaningful major and consequent career path. Tilly stated, “As we were discussing ways to reach out to the young college group, our community was overrun with layoffs and adults needing to rethink their career paths.” After reading an article in the “Wall Street Journal” about a company that did all the legwork for student job searches, Tilly and Schneider felt “there is a greater benefit to learning how to go about a job search and then pursuing an internship to clarify a career direction.” was impressed with the Internship Academies focus on teaching students how to write a resume, write a cover letter, prepare for an interview, and search for prospective employers. Along with their focus on college students, Internship Academies is also committed to assist “career changers” by identifying job skills, and how those skills can be desirable in another industry.

Tilly and Schneider gave an example of a student who recently benefited from Internship Academy: “This past summer we had two young men go through our program at about the same time. The first was a soon to graduate college senior. This young man was getting his degree in Human Resource Development and had no relevant experience. We placed him in an internship with a staffing and recruiting firm. Not only did he find the on-the-job experience beneficial but he told us the job search classes really helped him find his focus. Our other student was a first-year college student that had already changed his major three times. While not unusual for a student at this level, this young man had an idea of what he would like to do as a career he just wasn’t sure what training that job required. After spending time with our career counselor he was better able to identify what his career choice would look like and we were able to place him in an internship with a waste management company. This proved to be the course he had in mind and he returned to his campus knowing that he really wanted to major in environmental engineering.”

With the $500 grant, Internship Academy plans to promote their program to more college and career changer applicants through promotional materials, their website

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What people are saying about WomensNet


“You have to be in it to win it...seize the opportunity and apply.”

Nerd Wallet

“Every month, WomensNet awards three $10,000 Amber Grants to women-owned businesses. At the end of each year, monthly grant winners are eligible to receive one of three $25,000 annual grants.”


“Launched 20 years ago this grant honors the memory of a young woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur but died at age 19 before she could achieve her goal.”


“The Amber Grant offers three $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses each month. Then, at the end of each year, WomensNet gives an additional $25,000 to three grant winners from that year.”

Essence Magazine

“This organization offers monthly grants of up to $10,000 to support female entrepreneurs starting businesses. Those who qualify for these grants are also in the running for a yearly $25,000 grant.”