Amanda Binu finds her stride as CIT student

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Amanda Binu sitting in the CIT lobby

College is a unique journey for everyone. Some know exactly what they want to do and forge ahead toward their chosen career without a doubt in their minds. But for many others, college is more than just a pathway into a career. It's about exploring areas we didn't know we had an interest in, traveling to new places, building our personal and professional networks, and taking time to find ourselves through classes, internships and student clubs and organizations. 

Exploration pays off

For Amanda Binu, a member of the University of Michigan-Flint's Class of 2025, the exploration process is paying off. Binu is heading into her second year as a student in the College of Innovation & Technology (CIT) studying Information Technology & Informatics (ITI) but that isn't where she started. Binu began her college career in her native India where she took part in UM-Flint's online computer science program.  After taking a few courses, she realized her broader interests would be better served with the university's ITI degree.

"I didn't know about ITI during my first semester or I would've jumped right into that program initially," said Binu.

While she first considered attending school in Ann Arbor, a visit to the Flint campus made Binu realize that not only was UM-Flint more affordable but that the size of the campus was more aligned with what she preferred in a college environment. 

"It was clear to me that what UM-Flint prides itself on most, offering a smaller campus community but with a big university experience, was not only what I wanted but exactly what I'd get," said Binu. 

Finding a summer internship

As summer approached and many students look forward to a lighter courseload and time to relax,  Binu went in another direction, opting to pursue an internship at Flint's 100k Ideas. The downtown-based nonprofit is "a community of hobbyists, thinkers, and inventors with a mission to help passionate innovators create products/services and startups of their own through mentorship." 

Located in the Ferris Building, the agency employs students from all program areas to help them put their classroom skills to the test in a real-world setting and build on those soft skills that employers like to see. 

Amanda Binu wearing a CIT shirt
Binu has been working as a project manager and has so impressed the agency that she's been asked to stay with the company beyond the summer. 

"One of my favorite things about working for this company is that I get to connect with so many community members that I typically wouldn't get to engage with outside of a business setting," said Binu. 

Binu said that because she isn't a business major, the internship with 100K Ideas provides the perfect opportunity to connect her interests in computers and technology with another section of the business world and is helping to shape a more well-rounded picture of what her career could look like in the future.

"Every student should know that there are so many resources available for them to take advantage of as a  UM-Flint student that will help round out your college experience," Binu said. "Speak to friends, talk to advisers and learn what is out there that might interest you.  Don't be picky, when you have an opportunity, take it." 

Dayne Hopkins is the communications specialist for the College of Innovation & Technology. Contact him at