“An Industry Research Internship at the Center for Automotive Research is a terrific way to develop your research skills while gaining insight into what drives the automotive industry. Our interns work shoulder to shoulder with CAR industry analysts in a fantastic working environment,” stated Alan Amici, CEO and President of the Center for Automotive Research.  

“The Center for Automotive Research values interns as they bring new ideas and approaches to research, finance, or economics using the latest tech tools while providing insight into next-generation thinking on mobility, sustainability, and utility.” 

We interviewed our interns at CAR to share a little bit about their experience and why they think an Industry Research Internship is a valuable career-building opportunity.  

Why did you choose the Center for Automotive Research for your internship? 

  • Samantha: I chose CAR for my internship because it offered an opportunity for me to expand my knowledge in a variety of fields that built on my education. At CAR, I was able to explore the areas of policy, economics, sustainability, and technology through the automotive lens. This made the CAR internship a unique opportunity that allowed me to grow as a student and professional. 
  • Sam: I previously had research experience in academia, but I really desired the opportunity to perform research within the industry. CAR provided me with that, as well as the opportunity to become well-versed with all the complicated aspects of the automotive world. 
  • Lauren: I’ve been a research assistant as a student at Michigan and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so when I saw there was an opening at CAR for a research assistant, I was immediately interested. Growing up in southeast Michigan really exposed me to the automotive industry, so I was excited to learn more about it firsthand. 

How would you define our company culture here at CAR? 

  • Lauren: Open and friendly! Everyone is always incredibly nice when I’m in the office, and events like Grill and Chills emphasized this feeling. 
  • Sam: Intellectually curious, supportive, and growth-oriented. 
  • Samantha: CAR fosters collaboration and educational opportunities every day. The CAR team went above and beyond to ensure my time spent with the group was an educational and beneficial experience for me on all fronts. The shared interest in research and the automotive industry creates an environment that encourages learning, innovation, and drives research and new discoveries.  

What skills or knowledge do you think you gained the most during your Industry Research Internship? 

  • Samantha: One reason that this internship was such a unique and beneficial experience for me was the interdisciplinary nature of the work. My knowledge was expanded in several fields relating to the automotive industry. While my knowledge accelerated in relation to all things automotive, I was excited that I also learned about emerging technologies, policies, and economics throughout my time here. My internship at CAR has also allowed me to develop skills ranging from data analysis, code, and policy analysis, to soft skills essential to any workplace. 
  • Lauren: I learned a lot about the automotive industry, which I had expected going in. What I wasn’t expecting was how prevalent my bias for the “Detroit 3” would be, but I was able to shift my mindset and gain a better understanding of just how many automakers there are and how important they all are to the greater economy. 
  • Sam: Some of my hard skills that improved during the internship are my Excel, PowerPoint, Python, and organizational skills. I also feel that I got better at communicating and generating outlines for solutions to big problems. 

How do you feel this internship prepared you for your next career steps? 

  • Lauren: This internship has really helped me transition my skills from the classroom to the professional sphere. There’s truly only so much learning you can do before you need to apply your skills to reality, and this has helped me realize that and note where I needed to improve to succeed. 
  • Samantha: I entered my internship at CAR in a unique place in my education and studies. I am a Data Science major and beginning a minor in public policy. This internship was a unique opportunity for me to explore real-world opportunities in the world of data while allowing for the exploration of several other fields (policy, technology, economics) that were all of interest to me. As I continue into further education and future careers, this internship has allowed me to explore a variety of ways in which I can apply my skills and knowledge to real-world applications. I hope to continue applying my knowledge of data to the world of policy. This internship has also opened my eyes to a world of options in the automotive industry and provided me with a vast amount of knowledge in the industry. 

Why do you think having an internship is valuable? 

  • Sam:  Internships can be valuable because they offer practical experience, skill development, industry insights, and networking opportunities. 
  • Lauren: I think it’s valuable because it provides a space for learning, both in terms of technical skills and what is expected within the professional sphere. As an intern, you’re not expected to know everything, which really opens the space up for learning and gaining experience before graduating. 
  • Samantha: I think having an internship is a unique opportunity to explore real-world jobs and apply knowledge from years of schooling and education. Deciding on a major, path of study, and career can be an extremely difficult task that requires careful thought and consideration. An internship allows students to explore these potential paths while learning and applying knowledge from past education and studies. A research internship in particular is valuable as it allows interns to contribute and learn in new and exciting topic areas, at the forefront of the industry. 
Become an Intern at CAR

If you are interested in exploring an internship at the Center for Automotive Research and participating in cutting-edge research that informs the automotive industry, please reach out to us at [email protected] to see what opportunities we have available.