Recent Kalamazoo College graduates sometimes assume there are no opportunities in Kalamazoo for job growth, and so they move to bigger cities. This perception is often a misconception, and to help set the record straight, Joan Hawxhurst, director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, highlights an exclusive local internship opportunity.
“The Monroe-Brown Internships serve as a pipeline for thriving local businesses to access local student talent,” she said.
The program began in 2005 and is administered by the economic development organization Southwest Michigan First. Its aims are two-fold: to help companies find talented young students and to help young people pursue meaningful careers. “It’s an investment that goes both ways,” said Hawxhurst.
This year 32 students from K applied for Monroe-Brown Internships and four were selected, a robust representation for K. They are: Taylor Brown ’15 with AVB, Drew Hopper ’15 at Eaton Corporation, William Cagney ’15 at Imperial Beverage, and Stephen Oliphant ’15 at Schupan & Sons, Inc.
Hopper is a Global Product Strategy Intern at Eaton. He recently returned from studying abroad at the London School of Economics, and he finds his internship an excellent proving ground to apply and develop skills in marketing, engineering, and program management.
“Eaton stresses employee development, and everyone is open to providing outlets for personal improvement, particularly with the interns.” He has participated in presentations, meetings, research projects, and analysis-based discussions.
Brown works for Portage-based construction firm AVB. Last year she worked behind-the-scenes with the construction management company, Skanska. She finds the Monroe-Brown internship with AVB “much more hands-on,” she says. “A great deal of my work is on display, because I am responsible for writing, designing, and distributing newsletters and press-releases via print and e-mail.”
She created a slideshow presentation that plays in AVB’s foyer. And she frequently meets with the company’s Chief Operating Officer and other top executives. Like Hopper, she said she has developed confidence in presenting herself in the business world.
There are many opportunities for professional growth in Kalamazoo; just ask K’s Monroe-Brown interns.