Ten talented students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide have gathered in Detroit to kickstart a transformative 10-week immersive internship program in marketing and communications. This program, hosted by Chevrolet and the National Newspaper Publication Association (NNPA), aims to equip these students with valuable skills in content creation and expose them to the cutting-edge technology driving the automotive industry.

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The fellows will collaborate with NNPA journalists and Chevrolet marketing teams throughout the internship, delving into innovative and challenging assignments. They will also have the exciting opportunity to embark on a group road trip, experiencing the all-new 2024 Chevrolet Trax while documenting their journey on social media platforms.

Now in its seventh year, the Discover the Unexpected (DTU) internship program offers HBCU students a platform to grow professionally and gain hands-on experience. Mentors and ambassadors, all HBCU graduates themselves, will guide the students throughout their DTU journey. Returning for his third year as an ambassador is renowned television host and actor Terrence Jenkins, also known as Terrence J.


“Having support and opportunities during your college years is invaluable and will set you on a path of lifelong success,” said Jenkins. “As a proud HBCU graduate, I am thrilled to collaborate with Chevrolet and the NNPA again to uplift the next generation of talented journalists, marketers and content creators.”

Chevrolet and the NNPA remain committed to developing young talent and providing opportunities for underrepresented communities. The DTU internship program serves as a stepping stone for these bright students to thrive in their careers and make a positive impact in the marketing and communications fields.

Speaking with The Source, Terrence J details the benefits of the Chevy DTU program for students and the importance of these students receiving this hands-on experience.

The Source: How does being involved with Chevy’s DTU program this year feel?

Terrence J: It feels amazing to be back with Chevy’s DTU program this year. The students this year are phenomenal. I’m so excited to work with them and help mentor them on this journey to discover the unexpected.

What motivated you to become a mentor for HBCU students?

When I was in college, I remember doing my summer internships and having different mentors and leaders in my life who took a chance on me. Those extra lunches and times in the office changed my life and perspective on things. It gave me a sense of purpose and enthusiasm. I want to give some of that to these young people.

How are interacting and engaging with these students?

We just left Detroit, and I met all the students as they started their journey. We had a great lunch to kick things off, and they had many different questions about life, how to manage their finances, and a job while in school. To be able to sit there and talk candidly and provide insight was truly a blessing. It’s always amazing to give back.

The DTU program works to empower communities for marketing and journalists. In what ways do you see this happening?

This program isn’t just throwing money into the HBCU system. Instead, I get to assist and see hands-on experience in the journalism and marketing fields. So when they have the kings that they learn in the classroom on how to conduct an interview and what to expect in the workforce, this program is actually conducting the interview and being in the workforce, meeting new people. It’s an amazing journey for the students and gives them practical hands-on experience to connect the dots and build the future.

How has being an HBCU alum helped you in your career?

First, I wasn’t accepted into many schools, and HBCU took a chance on me. I wouldn’t have a lot of opportunities if it weren’t for my experience of going to an HCBU. Some of the mentors in the communications department that helped me when I was in school and still helped me to this day still provide a sounding bar. They don’t care how many awards shows I’m at; if I call them, they will give it to me straight. But even the people I work with, from Will Packer to Steve Harvey to Taraji P. Henson, all link to my fraternity and HBCU background. It’s very near and dear to my heart and has benefitted me in many ways.

What challenges do you think the students encounter going into the workforce that they may not expect, and how can this program ease the burden of some of them?

There are so many different challenges. When you have to work with people, that’s a challenge on its own. We live in a world where communication occurs through different platforms. You have to be able to let that go and be in actual meetings or interview people, look them in the eyes, and have that interaction. It’s completely different from being on video games or social media. So this type of hands-on experience, especially for journalism students, will benefit their future and career.

You can study journalism. But when you go out there and apply it, there’s nothing else like it. When interviewing someone, you may have to ask uncomfortable questions or want to dig deep; that skill set has to be developed over time. These students are getting that practical experience. They will be in settings they have never seen before and travel to different places. Half of them had never been to Detroit, so they will be exposed to different cities, hotel rooms, food, and people. Then there is the competition of other students that are wanting the same things. All of those elements are a part of this fellowship experience. Once you have it, you will return the next semester and be a cut above the rest. So I’m really excited for these students and this journey.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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