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Parker Burrus – Kemper Scholar

Name: Parker Burrus

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Major(s): Business Administration

Opportunity and Year: Kemper Scholar Program, 2015

Project Summary: The James S. Kemper Foundation believes that undergraduate study of the liberal arts offers the best preparation for life and career; thus, the program aims to promote education in the liberal arts while providing opportunities for career exploration, practical experience, and professional growth. The Foundation hopes to foster future leaders who pursue a vigorous, broad undergraduate education while participating in community service, engaging in campus activities, and exploring their vocational calling outside the classroom.

Benefits for the Scholars

  • Kemper Scholars receive scholarship financial assistance for three years (amount depends on demonstrated need)
  • Scholars receive summer project stipends for two years.
  • They attend the annual Kemper Scholars Conference for three years.
  • Scholars are placed in an internship at a non-profit organization in Chicago during their post-sophomore year summer.
  • Scholars design and propose their own post-junior year summer projects.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? This scholarship is really geared towards focusing on liberal arts, and it encourages the development of versatility in college students. The program provides Kemper Scholars with the opportunity to work in the business side of a non-profit organization in Chicago following the sophomore year and then in a for-profit company the summer after the Junior year to ensure that scholars have as much experience as possible before graduation. My liberal arts education from Washington and Lee really equipped me with the ability to adapt to learning different subjects in different styles, which will be useful when working in different types of companies.

Why did you apply for this opportunity? I applied for this opportunity for the networking opportunities. Not only will it be an incredible experience to live in Chicago with fellow Kempers who have congruent goals and to learn and grow as a person, but also to be able to learn from past Kempers about the business world and make connections that may be beneficial for my future career path.

Post-graduation Plans: Because I am only a rising sophomore, I know that I want to do something involved with finance, but what I particularly want to do in that industry is still unclear.

How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? The networking with past Kempers will be extremely valuable for getting advice or making connections in the finance industry, as it is a very difficult field to get into.

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Student Representative to the Faculty Executive Committee
  • Public Relations board for Kappa Kappa Gamma

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