2022 Mterns - McKinney

2022 Mterns

July 26, 2022

Audrey Freeman, Agency Operations

I grew up in the suburbs of the Inland Empire, in a super small town. I grew up in a tight-knit, somewhat sheltered community where everyone knew everyone, and that was my first taste of community and learning the importance of it. At the age of 17, I took a chance to move to LA to attend UCLA, where the environment was the complete verse of what I knew growing up. Growing up with a curious spirit, I decided that it was best for me to move 2 hours away from home and start fresh. I kept my curiosity and sense of community importance with me and used these key morals to navigate my time in LA. Being a graduating senior, I’ve been able to explore many spaces at UCLA and the surrounding UCLA area, while also participating as a community leader in organizations at my school. The next step to these following these steps is interning at McKinney! When accepting my position I felt immediately curious about what I could possibly learn and gain from this summer, and I knew there was huge potential to meet new people, build community, and mentorship. I’m super excited for what this summer holds!

Claire Lee, Strategy

My name is Claire Lee and I am currently studying in the master’s program in Integrated Marketing Communications and Business Intelligence at Georgetown University.

I grew up in South Korea and worked for General Motors as a marketer. Working in almost all types of integrated marketing communications at GM for eight years, I had desired to study technology and big data analytics more professionally. Therefore, to broaden my perspectives and study business intelligence further, I relocated to the States in 2019, and now I am enjoying my new journey here in the States.

This summer, I’m working with the Strategy, Data and Analytics team. I am super excited to work with brilliant and creative brains at McKinney. I cannot wait to meet colleagues and learn from all at McKinney!

Gabriella Ross, Technology

When I was a junior in high school, I realized that I was not sure what I wanted to study in college. It was my second semester, and I realized it was very important for me to decide what I wanted to study in college. I have always enjoyed problem solving when it came to my computer or phone acting up. Since I figured out that I had a love for technology, I said to myself why not study it in college. After that, I decided to sign up for a coding class that my school said they were going to offer. Unfortunately, not enough people signed up for the class, so my school cancelled the class. After the class was cancelled, I realized I needed to do some research about studying technology in college. I found out that there was a major called computer science. I looked more into it and decided that’s what I wanted to study. I didn’t really know much about coding in high school because my school only had three technology classes. The only technology class I took was a foundation of technology class that every student was required to take. As I did more research on computer science, I learned that it also required a lot of math. I also realized that computer science is based upon a lot of coding, and without coding we would not have things like websites and apps. Now if you fast forward two years, I am a computer science and business student with a concentration in computational science. It has been a rough two years. Starting college during a pandemic was very challenging and not the freshman or sophomore year I expected at all. I have had some challenging classes. Despite all of that, I passed all of my classes and have been able to keep my GPA above a 3.0. This year so far has been an okay year. I decided to get out of my comfort zone and run for Miss Junior. During the process of getting ready for campaign season, I was also applying for internships. I had applied for at least 5 internships, and I had not heard back from any of them. I got a little discouraged and talked to one of the career counselors in the career center, and they told me don’t give up. So after giving myself a pep talk, I decided to go back on handshake and apply for more internships. While I was on handshake, I came across a position to be a technology intern at McKinney. I read the description and applied. A couple weeks later I got an email about scheduling an interview. When I received the email, the first thing I did was call my parents and tell them I knew I didn’t get the internship yet, but this was my first time receiving an email about scheduling an interview. Now a month later I am a technology intern at McKinney.

Jou An Chu, Media

I am Jou An. My name means “kind” in Madeiran. My parent wishes me to be kind to everyone around me, so they gave me this name. I got my bachelor’s degree in advertising in Taiwan, and I am currently studying for my master’s in strategic marketing communication at Emerson College. Before starting my master’s journey, I worked as a media buyer in an agency. I felt frustrated at the beginning of my job because I did not familiar with analyzing data. However, I tried to find something interesting in my job and I found that I enjoy the sense of achievement when I solve problems for my clients. I also train my interpersonal skills by communicating with clients every day.

At that time, media planning is a whole new thing for me at that time, and I even did not understand the professional terms that my co-workers use in the meetings. Thus, self-education is essential and vital for a newcomer. I love to challenge new things and try my best in the field I am not good at because it is a good way to go outside of my comfort zone and meet new people from different cultures. When I get more and more information from the field that I am not familiar with, I am proud of being a professional marketer who can solve problems for clients based on their needs.

“Everything happened for a reason.” I have a strong passion for marketing, and I am ambitious and positive. I thrive on challenges and always set goals for myself. That’s the reason I decided to pursue my master’s degree in the U.S. I have an endless curiosity to explore the new world for myself even if it could be very struggling for me. I feel very excited when I know I can join McKinney and be one of Mterns this summer. I cannot wait to learn more real-world experience and work with people with various strengths.

Kari Martin Hollinger, Account Management

I’m Kari, and I grew up in Virginia’s beautiful, but mostly rural, Shenandoah Valley nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Art and creativity have always been in my blood, shaping who I am. My childhood dream was to become an animator for Disney — I spent many hours drawing Disney characters, particularly Winnie the Pooh and all his friends. That dream shifted, although I went on to pursue a Fine Art degree alongside Business Admin and Communications minors. A transformative internship in DC my senior year of undergrad helped me realize I wanted to pursue arts administration/marketing at the time, rather than trying to make it as a professional artist which I originally thought. This change allowed me to combine my love of the arts with my passions for relationship building, and community engagement.

In 2011, having recently graduated, I moved to the Raleigh-Durham area to break into the arts nonprofit scene and have been smitten with the Triangle ever since. After a decade of supporting classical musicians, artists and arts organizations across the state of NC, and local arts education programs for both children and adults, my dreams shifted again. I decided to pivot my career into the realm of advertising and brand management, which led me to the VCU Brandcenter master’s program in Creative Brand Management (that I’m in the midst of presently).

Branding, business, marketing strategy, and storytelling with creative problem-solving, ideation, and collaboration intermixed were always my favorite combination of the many hats I wore in my arts nonprofit roles. I also came to the realization that brands are uniquely positioned to influence more positive change in society and culture than ever before by aligning themselves with the values, causes, and social justice initiatives that consumers champion. I hope to leverage my nonprofit experience and guide brands in becoming more purpose-driven, while demonstrating how they’ll increase their bottom line and reach new audiences in the process. ;)

Since living in the Triangle, I’ve always known of and admired McKinney from afar, and feel very connected to the values that McKinney upholds. It’s an honor to begin my career in advertising by learning alongside all of the talented minds at McKinney this summer!

Kei Nicole Hon, Strategy

In the summer of 2013, a young girl waved goodbye to her mom as she stepped through the security gates at Hong Kong International Airport. She was on her way to an all-girls boarding school in Upstate New York. Fearless and passionate, the young girl adjusted to her newfound life almost immediately.

The young girl is me.

Four years later, I brought the same passion to Boston University, where I majored in Advertising. I headed towards the creative direction, wanting to learn the design skills that bring advertisements to life. But despite my initial optimism, I quickly realized my dream was unrealistic. I lacked the eye for design.

Disheartened and lost, I wandered aimlessly all the way to the next semester, where I discovered the world of strategy. That’s when my spark came back. Strategy still allowed me to be creative while using logic and reason. It’s where I shine the most.

Now, I’ve moved to New York for my Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing at New York University.

I’m excited to join the team at McKinney! I’ve seen the work done here, and I am honored to learn from and work alongside the industry professionals that make meaningful and memorable ads. I cannot wait for the next three months!

Lauren LaTulippe, Strategy

At the age of 11, I wrote my first short story – a fanfiction starring Justin Bieber. It was for a school assignment, and yes, I actually turned it in to my teacher like that, Justin Bieber’s name plastered all over the page. My love for storytelling started here and has yet to waver. It stayed constant as I got older and my passion for it led me to major in advertising and public relations. I had zero clue as to what I wanted to do within the field, but it seemed like a major that would allow me to continue to tell stories and, if I was lucky, turn storytelling into a career. In 2020, the year that everyone is all too familiar with, I was sent home from my freshman year of college. I was sitting in my childhood bedroom, feeling as if I was so behind in the career development department compared to my peers. I saw the LinkedIn posts of internships my peers were managing to get during this extremely weird time, but I still had no idea what trajectory I wanted to pursue and I wasn’t spending my summer doing anything that would get me closer to an answer. So, I did the only thing I could think to do – I started reaching out to everyone imaginable on LinkedIn to try and get some perspective about the different paths within the industry. One of my networking calls was with a strategist who worked at McKinney at the time. I didn’t even really know what strategy in advertising was, but he spoke about his job with such a passion that it was contagious. I sat, listening to him describe what strategy is and what a strategist does, thinking, “now, this is a job I could see myself doing.” I can’t help but feel like things have come full circle, joining McKinney as a strategy intern this summer. I am so excited to get started and I can’t wait to spend the summer with you all!

Leo Gilad, Production

I first became interested in journalism at the age of 14, when I wrote an opinion essay about Donald Trump that garnered the attention of my English teachers. That essay would make it into the first ever edition of The Global Guardian, a newsletter developed by me and my English teacher and created monthly by the class. I was editor of this middle school newspaper and I took the responsibility seriously. When it came time to sell the printed copies to the parents, I took up the role of the salesman with little hesitation. I sold a stack of 20 prints in less than 10 minutes. I realized that journalism was something I enjoyed doing.

Pretty soon after that I discovered Radiolab and Freakonomics. I became enamored with audio journalism, and for my late bar-mitzvah, I received a RODE-NT microphone. I began recording random events on my phone, interviewing people whenever I became interested in them. A couple of times I interviewed friends of mine on my computer, recording the conversations into podcast segments. Through audio journalism I discovered a passion for recording music, too.

Fast-forward a few years later, and I’m 17, almost out of high school. I made sure I was enrolled in the senior journalism class. I wrote a few politically charged articles about anti-Asian hate crimes and conservatism. Overall, my only issue was that the environment wasn’t passionate enough. I realized at this point that writing was my career of choice. I also realized, after graduating high school, that creative writing, professionally, was a gamble. Journalism was a gamble as well, but it was a more controlled gamble. I could very well become a journalist. So once I got into community college, I got into the student newspaper and started hitting Google for summer journalism opportunities.

McKinney came up, and I applied. The rest is history.

Michael Shea, Creative

I’m Michael! As a child, my hobbies included both staying inside and watching the television. As a result I developed an almost entirely useless affinity for the early aughts Cartoon Network lineup and a desire for Heelys that has been unfulfilled to this day (my mom told me if I got them I’d have to wear a helmet).

In 2015, I moved from small-town Vermont to Richmond, Virginia, where I attended VCUarts. There I completed a BFA in Kinetic Imaging, a cross-disciplinary program combining video, animation, and sound design. It was perfect for me, since I wear a lot of creative hats (but not literally, since my head is too big). I learned production and design by going entirely outside my comfort zone; like shooting dance videos, or developing and designing VR games, and even learning how to program synths. This lovely period of self-discovery and creative nerdom came to a screeching halt when I graduated in the Spring of 2020 – I don’t think I need to fill you in on the details. It was a dark time for everyone involved. I made a LOT of bread.

I’m currently an Art Direction student at VCU Brandcenter, where I learned about this thing called “advertising”. They might really be onto something!

I’m excited to join the McKinney team as an Art Director this summer. Looking forward to working with you all! 🙂

Miles Chun, McKinney Health

My story begins in my sophomore year of high school when I decided to join my school’s student government. With a reserved personality but a big heart, I revamped the election process for executive positions to incorporate the student body. Although I knew the process wouldn’t be easy, I was determined to implement the new system because I knew it would create a more engaged student body. The students didn’t have a way to communicate their concerns or suggest ideas to the student government simply because they felt disconnected from the student government as a whole. As long as the students’ voices were excluded from this process, the student government could never reach its full potential. Meeting after meeting, I advocated for the student body and argued that the representatives that were elected under the old system had no obligation to accomplish anything they were elected for. After some diligent persuasion, the administration agreed that the new system was necessary to create excitement among the students and have the essential buy-in to the student government events that boosted school spirit. It was only then I realized I had a passion for bringing people together and developed an inclusive leadership style. Although my first year was online, I constantly found myself trying to be inclusive in zoom discussions with my classmates by prompting them to speak or encouraging them to turn on their cameras to emulate a somewhat normal classroom environment. In addition, I invited my friends to watch movies over zoom or just be on a call to try and take our minds off of the fact that our first year was spent at home in our rooms. After I finally arrived on campus in my sophomore year, I found myself in a challenging yet exciting environment. However, in my Spring semester, I joined a Phi Beta Lambda – Future Business Leaders of America’s marketing committee because I heard “everyone joins clubs at Berkeley,” and I discovered that marketing was the perfect industry for me to bring people together. While learning the ins and outs of marketing, I stumbled upon Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches marketing campaign where I discovered that marketing was more than just selling a product to someone. To me, marketing connects people with brands but it’s about invoking emotions to create a sense of relatability that doesn’t seem present when referring to a customer-brand relationship. My inclusive leadership style has defined my career path and I hope to grow that inclusivity in a professional setting during the Mternship program!

Risa Bolash, People & Experience

Robin and Eric Bolash, both native to Raleigh, North Carolina, met during their time as students at UNC Chapel Hill. They married just after college. A few years into their marriage, they moved to Lubbock, Texas. They had my sister in 1998. Soon after, I entered the world, on January 2nd, 2001. A few months into my existence, my parents moved us all back to Raleigh. I have lived in Raleigh ever since! They named me “Risa” because it means “laughter” in Spanish.

I went to an arts elementary school called Douglas. Pictures of me from these years are almost exclusively populated by pink, sparkly, extravagant outfits and knick-knacks. I have always had crazy curly hair and a zest for self expression. At my public middle school, I was involved in theatre, in a program my mom co-ran with another student’s mom. My involvement in theatre was heavily influenced by my talented sister Mila’s passion for the subject. In high school, Mila was a senior while I was a freshman. I remained involved in theatre until I became a junior, when my interests pivoted to lacrosse, cross country, and student council. I became student body secretary my senior year. I was involved with my high school’s special education club from freshman to senior year. I enjoyed high school, and remain in touch with my three best friends from my years at Sanderson.

After a lacrosse game one night in the spring of my senior year, I received my acceptance letter to NC State University, entering as an exploratory studies major. I hugged my parents and cried with joy. I began my time at NC State in the fall of 2019 by studying abroad in Prague for two weeks with a class of 30 incoming freshmen. It set the tone for an invigorating first year. I declared my major of interpersonal communication in the spring of 2020, later adding minors in film studies and English. COVID invoked an early move-out after our spring break in March. I spent that summer protesting in the streets in advocacy for Black Lives Matter. My sophomore year was filled with online classes and spontaneous activities with my friend group. I spent a month of the summer of 2021 working as a back-of-house cook for a camp in Colorado. My junior year was the best one yet, due to my incredible five roommates and the return of in-person classes. I have spent the past few months applying to internships in the area, and I am thrilled to have accepted one at McKinney. My experiences working as a lifeguard in high school, catering to the student body on student council, cooking for the masses last summer, volunteering at Neighbor to Neighbor nonprofit all throughout college, and studying communications at NCSU have culminated in this opportunity of interning for the people and experience department. I am looking forward to meeting my fellow Mterns!

Risa Mori, Strategy

My name is Risa – pronounced REE-suh! My parents actually wanted to name me Lisa, but they settled on the “R” because there’s no “L” sound in the Japanese language.
A little more about me: I was born in Japan, raised in Northern California, and now attend school in Southern California! I’m pursuing a B.A. in Communication with an Asian American Studies minor and Technology Management Certificate at UC Santa Barbara, and I’ll be a Strategy Intern in the LA office this summer.
I have always been fascinated by people, the things they care about, and their weird behaviors. When I was an editor for the school newspaper in high school, I took joy in building confidence in my perspective – from starting with researching, synthesizing it into insights, and communicating it in a clear and engaging way to others. Being curious about culture and how it shapes the world around me, I would be intrigued by deep dives on random topics on Vox’s YouTube channel, or analyzing the intentions behind celebrity interviews on the show Hot Ones.
Currently at UCSB, I’m involved with Gaucho Creative, a student-run marketing strategy agency. This is the organization that showed me (1) I love collaborating with a team to understand people and create stories, and (2) I love working on creative projects with unique companies like Adobe! Especially in strategy, I have found this field to be a perfect blend of analytical skill and creative thinking: optimizing the best strategies by helping brands find creative ways to resonate with their audience.
McKinney definitely stuck out to me because the cultural norms really resonated with my beliefs. After getting to chat personally with such warm team members, I got to see why McKinney is an agency with a track record of establishing meaningful connections with value-driven ideas. One of my favorite campaigns by McKinney is SPENT, an online game launched in 2011 about surviving poverty and homelessness. I learned about SPENT through a financial literacy organization I help lead on campus, and only learned later that it was created by McKinney. I still remember the impact this campaign had on me, and I love how it gamified difficult poverty lessons to raise awareness about homelessness. My identities and experiences motivate me to not only deepen my understanding of the advertising field but also utilize the power of advertising to help cultivate a better world. I can’t wait to spend my summer at McKinney to create work that challenges our ways of thinking, encourages collaborative and innovative projects, and engages the potential of others to pursue their passions, too!

Rose D’Amato, Creative

I like being good at things. Unfortunately for a younger me who thought I would grow up to be a zoologist, math and science are not things I’m good at. But what I am good at has brought me where I am today, VCU Brandcenter’s art direction program. Throughout my life, I’ve worked as a yoga instructor, bartender, restaurant manager, and U.S. Congressional aide among other things. However, my true passion has always lied in illustrating, drawing, filming, and visual arts in general. But when applying to VCU for undergrad, I was discouraged from attending the art school for a variety of reasons. I started at the media school instead and soon began to regret not submitting an art portfolio. To my surprise, as time went on I fell more and more in love with the work I was doing in my creative advertising classes and realized the cross-section of creativity and logic that it provided was a much better fit for my brain. I value authenticity above all things and was able to use that as a guide for my work, while still having the opportunity to make fun and ridiculous pieces at times.

After studying advertising and cinema at VCU, I started classes at the Brandcenter. I have learned more in the past year about branding, design, and media than I ever could have imagined, and for the first time feel like I fit into a strong creative community. I’m excited to experience a new community of people at McKinney and to be surrounded by different creative minds!

I have never lived outside of Virginia, so I am pretty stoked to be driving myself, my lizard, and my cat across the country to California for the summer to attend my internship in the Los Angeles office!

Ryan King, Creative

Wish I could say I saw this one coming… but after a 2020 YouTube commencement, a year in Dad’s basement, and an election judge stint — I’ve realized that any “plan” is really a guideline at best.

I’m Minnesota born-and-raised. I spent my days reading Agatha Christie with my Gram, watching 30 Rock, and hiding from packs of roving yetis who jockey with Target for control of the frozen waste. Eager for a change, it was on to sunny Nebraska for college at Creighton University. I fell into journalism/PR and learned that a student newspaper will give the title of Sports Editor to just about anybody.

Everything changed when I checked my email on March 12, 2020 at the Taco Bell Cantina in downtown Phoenix. We all know the gruesome details, so I’ll stick to the positive. It was in quarantine that I fell in love with biking, watched RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12 over vodka-soda-cucumbers with my parents, and realized copywriting was the path for me to follow. This realization took me to VCU Brandcenter last fall, and now McKinney! I can’t wait to get started.

Sekou Jackson, Creative

To start my story with McKinney I would need to start at the start of my creative career which I feel has always been in me but I recently started taking serious. As a kid I always did creative things such as draw, make comic books and short stories too on top of playing football. Around middle school I started taking football and sports more serious so I didn’t dedicate that much time to being creative and it was like that until my freshman year of college. I started at Arizona State University as an aerospace engineer and after going to a maker space in the library that’s when I realized that I wanted to do something creative, even though I didn’t know what that was. I then transferred schools and switched my major to graphic design. The first thing I realized when I transferred to NCAT was that it felt like everyone had big time internships or was doing big things at such a young age and it inspired me to try to get an internship but everywhere I applied to I got denied because my portfolio was not up to par, partly due to the fact that I had high dreams without putting in the work and I did not fully know what I wanted to do after college so I was bouncing around different creative careers so it was a very frustrating time period for me. It wasn’t until the pandemic that I started to take my work serious as all I had was time now to play catch up on everything. Though the pandemic helped what really helped me grow as a creative was the passing of my brother Tarik Jackson later that year in 2020 due to suicide. He was an aspiring director and he really believed in me and what I could do and his passing really affected me in a lot of ways. I felt the best way to honor him was to really become a better designer in all aspects and work hard in all aspects of my life as he was such a creative and hardworking man. This led me down a path of finding careers I can see myself in such as advertising and during a career fair the company Mckinney grabbed my interests as being a A list advertising agency. After speaking to people on the team I knew that I wanted to work here and in advertising and applied for the Creative Design internship. I am excited that I was able to get the internship and even more excited to learn about the industry and other tips about being a creative designer.

Seylon Edmundson, Production

Hello! My name is Seylon (Say-lon) Edmundson. I am from the DMV area, specifically PG County Maryland. I am a recent graduate from the illustrious North Carolina Central University with a B.A. in Mass Communications. I am also a Capricorn (Dec.22) who loves to watch sports and play games. I’m a bit competitive, so if you want to win during game night you should definitely pick me.

My journey with communications started at a very young age. As a child, my mother used to give me prompts and allow me to write stories at only seven years old LOL. I went on for years writing before I discovered another passion, radio. I learned that I would love to be a radio personality as I matriculated through high school. I watched different celebrities be interviewed by talents such as Angie Martinez, the Breakfast Club, Sway in the Morning, and Big Boy from Big Boy’s neighborhood. I would also listen to the morning shows on the way to school with my father and sister. When I arrived at college, I wanted to invest in all my passions. I worked with my school’s news station, radio station, and volunteered with the public station WNCU 90.7 FM. Unexpectedly, I also discovered a new passion; social media marketing! I was lucky enough to land a multimedia internship that eventually landed me here. I’ve worked on editing and shooting content for apps like Instagram and have been perfecting my TikTok skills. I also created strategy plans to confirm the content my team and myself wanted to release. I am very excited to work with everyone and can’t wait to meet you all. A cup of coffee and a little breakfast snack is the way to my heart. By the way, if anyone ever wants to go get lunch, I’m the perfect lunch buddy 😉 -if it wasn’t obvious, I like to eat a lot too lol-.

Timmy Jones, Account Management

To an eight-year-old, the remaining ten minutes of the school day felt like hours. As I watched the hands on the clock move in slow motion every Friday, all I could think about was the “Footlong Friday” I was about to have with my grandfather.
“Footlong Fridays” with my Pop became more than dinners at the local Subway restaurant – they became a tradition rooted in a mutual passion for human connection.
While I sat and ate my “Number 7” sandwich with pickles, banana peppers, and just about every other topping imaginable, I watched my Pop engage in conversations with as many Subway patrons as possible
My Pop’s passion for people came naturally, and from a young age, I aspired to be as genuine and caring as he. One Friday while chatting, he gave me advice that has since become a part of my identity. My Pop looked at me, footlong sub in-hand, and said, “The key is to find connections with people. Try to make someone’s day a little better one conversation at a time.”
Eight-year-old me put the advice to use immediately that particular Friday when a Dallas Cowboys fan walked into the restaurant. I jumped from my chair and asked the stranger his opinion on the Cowboy’s star player, Tony Romo. Conversation flowed easily, and a new friend was made despite our age, cultural, and sports team differences. From that moment on, I began to understand the importance of communication skills and developing interpersonal relationships.
When looking for an opportunity for this summer, I could not imagine myself sitting behind a desk plugging in numbers for a company I was not passionate about. I knew I wanted a position that would put me face to face with people. When I saw the opportunity for the Account Management Mternship it had everything I wanted. Acting as a liaison between the client and the creative team, I could put my skills to the test communicating back and forth between each of the two.
This summer, I will continue to use the skills my Pop taught me on our “Footlong Friday” outings and actively understand different perspectives, gain knowledge, and build relationships. I have faith that he carries on through me in my love for seeking deeper connections with those that enter my life, both personally and professionally. I am confident my talent and passion for effective and meaningful communication will be of great use as I participate in the Account Management Mternship program this summer with McKinney.

Manuhe Abebe, Marketing

As a first-generation student, the importance of hard work and resilience has forever been ingrained in me at a young age. An important lesson that I have learned throughout life is finding the voice within yourself. The intersectionality of identity and confidence has been vital to my personal development and has given me the courage to pursue the many opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to have.

My parents taught me the lessons and values to set me apart from others. Coming to NCCU, I’ve treated every opportunity like it’s my last. What I’ve been able to take advantage of here at NCCU is what I believe every student has the potential to do. NCCU has done amazing at providing students with the resources and opportunities to become successful. Through the career center on campus, I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to apply to be an intern with McKinney.

Through a series of experiences, I built a network and made a difference by providing resources and connecting people within my community and abroad and, at the same time, being part of various programs and organizations on campus, such as the Aspiring Eagles Academy, serving as the 80th Student Body President for Student Government Association. As well as being a student of the Honors College has allowed me to thrive academically and socially to thrive become the person I aspire to be.

I learned that everything happens for a reason, and my time here at McKinney is for a reason; that’s why I will take advantage of the opportunity to connect, learn, and grow alongside the Mckinney team. Opportunities like this don’t come around often, and I’m glad I was fortunate to be selected to be part of McKinney.

Avani Shah, Media

My name is Avani Shah, and I am a student at DePaul University studying Information Systems. This summer, I will be working with and learning from the Media team at McKinney! My journey starts with my passion for people and data. Growing up, I was always a helper and a problem solver. I spent a lot of time in high school organizing fundraisers and starting new clubs so that everyone felt like they had a place for them. In this journey, I found my own place in live events. Covid-19 has put a slight damper on my fun, but I spent a lot of time pre-lockdown and post-lockdown working live concerts, musicals, and plays. Along with this new exposure to people, my studies showed me the passion I have for data organizing and analyzing. I love idea of resolving problems and creating specific outcomes by using data. My sister was actually the first person to tell me about McKinney and their amazing enthusiasm and environment. At first, I was very hesitant about applying since I’ve never really had the opportunity to work at an office or firm before. I was so worried I would feel out of place and do poorly. However, after doing my interview and getting the chance to talk to some of the folks from McKinney, I have never felt more at ease or comfortable with the idea of starting somewhere new. I am so excited to work at McKinney this summer and learn all of the amazing things they will teach!