Dobbins, '12, Picked for Challenge Detroit Program

Caroline Dobbins makes a point while presenting a business plan with students from the Gerstacker Institute and Ecole superieur de Vente (SDV) during the Elkin Isaac Student Research Symposium in April.
Caroline Dobbins makes a point while presenting a business plan with students from the Gerstacker Institute and Ecole superieur de Vente (SDV) during the Elkin Isaac Student Research Symposium in April.

Albion College graduate Caroline Dobbins says her experience with Caster Concepts, her family's business in Albion, gives her an understanding of how a vibrant Detroit will change the state of Michigan. Her vision of a renewed, thriving and exciting Motor City helped her become one of 30 winners in the Challenge Detroit competition.

Dobbins, who graduated May 5 with an economics and management major and concentration in the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management, will work for hiredMYway.com for the next year while sharing positive attributes about Detroit through social media, live presentations and contacts with mainstream media. According to the Challenge Detroit web site, the participants will take part in monthly team challenges designed to positively impact the community while keeping the participants and followers of Challenge Detroit engaged.

The opportunity is perfect for Dobbins who is seeking a career in Internet marketing and social media.

"It is exciting to be given such an opportunity," Dobbins said. "There is a sense of pride to be selected out of hundreds of applicants.

"The interview process (with the 66 finalists in the days leading up to Albion's Commencement) was an amazing experience and I'm excited to be associated with 29 like-minded individuals," she added. "I think the monthly challenges are an integral part of the overall experience because it gives each of the participants a true hands-on connection to the city and a space in which we can individually and collectively make a difference."

The 30 individuals selected for Challenge Detroit will take up residence in the Motor City and meet for orientation in late August with actual work beginning after Labor Day.

Dobbins cited the Kids ‘N' Stuff Children's Museum, Albion College, and businesses that have blossomed as positive examples from Albion that can be copied to Detroit.

"I understand a struggling community can only be changed by working together," Dobbins said in her application video posted on the Challenge Detroit web site. "Detroit has the intellectual capacity, the innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit to be great."

Dobbins added in the application video that she challenged herself in college by competing in distance freestyle events as a member of the swimming and diving team, half-marathons and triathlons. She got her classmates involved through her work with the Student Alumni Association and completed philanthropy projects with the Delta Gamma sorority.

"I possess the determination to become what we know we can be, creativity to set a vision unlike any other, business sense to make sustainable change and energy to make it all happen," Dobbins said. "Academics, community involvement, campus activities and expertise in the workplace are my building blocks."