Duo Completes Prestigious Internship

Shawn Fair and Sara McKinney

Shawn Fair and Sara McKinney

Kalamazoo College senior Sara McKinney and junior Shawn Fair secured and completed Monroe-Brown internships this summer. Monroe-Brown internships are local opportunities that include at least 400 paid hours of work with a Kalamazoo area company, valuable networking, and scholarship funding upon completion.

The Monroe-Brown family (and, subsequently, The Monroe-Brown Foundation) has a long history of supporting Michigan students in higher education. McKinney’s internship focused on research into this legacy.

She compiled a family tree; cataloged birth, death, and marriage certificates; interviewed family members; read biographies and news articles; and much more. Much of the work was conducted independently.
The end goal is a book for the Monroe-Brown grandchildren. “I’ve really enjoyed the research aspect of it,” McKinney says. “The project has really helped me develop self-accountability and has helped me learn how to seek out information and contacts in the Kalamazoo community.”

McKinney is majoring in English (with an emphasis in creative writing) and earning a minor in psychology. This fall she will complete a collection of short stories for her Senior Individualized Project.

For his internship Fair worked in the marketing internship at Fabri-Kal, an industry leader in product packaging. He analyzed the branding, marketing and advertising of the company’s environmentally friendly Greenware line.

Fair used the opportunity to evaluate what he’d learned in the classroom about leadership. He observed the leadership styles of his coworkers, managers and company executives, and determined that, to be a relational leader, “You have to be trustworthy, dependable, supportive, and willing to devote time to getting to know each of your team members.”

Fair is majoring in business and earning a minor in Chinese. He is already applying the practical lessons of his internship by launching his own mobile application production company, Simple Fix, LLC.

K students like Fair and McKinney have been well represented in the Monroe-Brown Internship Program for the last several years. Since 2012, 13 students have interned with local companies including Eaton, BASIC, AVB, Parker Hannifin, LKF Marketing, Imperial Beverage, Abraxas, and Schupan & Sons, Inc.

Text and Photo by McKenna Bramble ’16, Post Baccalaureate Summer Intern, Center for Career and Professional Development