May 9, 2012

Kemper Scholar selected

Freshman Molly Loudon is the latest in a line of Knox College students to be accepted to the Kemper Scholars program, which provides internships, financial aid and networking opportunities in administration or business.

Sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation, the Kemper Scholars program provides selected students with up to $10,000 in scholarships for three years and funding for two summer internships: one at a non-profit organization in Chicago between their sophomore and junior years and another at a for-profit business anywhere in the world between their junior and senior years. Twenty students from one of 16 “Kemper Scholars Institutions,” including Knox, are selected each year.

“This is such an opportunity,” Loudon said. “There are just so many awesome parts about it.”

Loudon first heard about the program from junior Anna Novikova, a 2010 Kemper Scholar and the teaching assistant for Loudon’s First-Year Preceptorial course. An informational meeting during fall term cemented her decision to apply.

“I was like, ‘I’m going to really try to get this. There are a lot of cool things [about it], and I should do it,’” Loudon said.

Loudon spent about a month working on her application, which required her to write two essays, answer nine short answer questions, put together a résumé and get two letters of recommendation. She then had to participate in a group and an individual interview.

“The group interview was maybe the most challenging interview I’ll ever have to go through,” she said. “There’s a panel of seven or eight people judging you … and as they’re asking you questions; they’re comparing your answers to the people next to you.”

A studio art major with minors in Spanish and business, Loudon hopes to intern at either the Art Institute of Chicago or an individual studio in Chicago next summer and then pursue an internship in a Spanish-speaking country after her junior year. She eventually hopes to join the Peace Corps before starting her own business with “some connection to art.”

“I feel like as soon as you get it [the Kemper scholarship], you’re like, ‘What do I want to do?’” Loudon said. “Kemper has made me think more about my future plans. I want to take advantage of every opportunity.”

Although Knox had two students selected as Kemper Scholars in both 2010 and 2011, Loudon felt that the overall applicant pool this year was strong, even though she was the only scholar selected.

“I feel really, really fortunate because the competition was very qualified,” Loudon said. “I’m just really excited.”

Anna Meier

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