Are you considering a career in business?
Wondering where you might best fit in that world? The Kemper Scholars Program can help you find your way.
The Kemper Scholars Program helps high-potential college students acquire the practical and professional skills needed to successfully launch business careers. Along the way, participants learn about the diverse career opportunities offered by the insurance industry, one of the nation’s most stable business sectors.
What Makes a Kemper Scholar
The Kemper Scholars Program is a gateway experience for students who aspire to manage and lead organizations, but who may have no previous exposure or access to the world of business.
What We’re Looking for in Candidates
The ideal candidate is smart, committed to a career in business and motivated not just to do well, but also to do good.
The Kemper Scholars Program is open to high-achieving first-year college students who are sincerely interested in pursuing a business career and who are enrolled at a Kemper Scholars Program Partner Institution.
Guiding Principles and Professional Skills
The Kemper Scholars Program encourages participants to embrace nine guiding principles as they develop leadership and professional skills.
Against this backdrop, Kemper Scholars build a portfolio of critical professional skills through hands-on work experience.
9 Guiding Principles
- Build self-confidence
- Step out of your comfort zone
- Learn to take opportunities in the face of ambiguity
- Engage with people different from yourself
- Reflect upon your experiences
- Create a “professional self”
- Take responsibility
- Belong to something bigger than yourself
- Learn about careers in the insurance industry
- Communication – both verbal and written
- Work ethic
- Critical thinking
- Deadline consciousness
- Ability to follow a job through, persist in the face of problems or discomfort – and to take pleasure in the completion of a task
- Appreciation for various occupations and the people who work in them
- Respect for diversity and the capacity to work with colleagues of differing racial and ethnic backgrounds, abilities and personality types
Over three years, the Kemper Scholars Program provides students with a combination of financial aid, internships, mentoring and professional development experiences.
Kemper Scholars receive scholarships of $3,000-$15,000 (based on demonstrated need) per academic year during sophomore, junior and senior years. These scholarships are provided on a “last dollar in” basis to enable Kemper Scholars to graduate from college with little or no debt.
- Rising juniors complete Community-Based Internships with a Chicagoland not-for-profit organization. The Foundation pays for Scholars’ housing and provides them with a $5,000 stipend.
- Rising seniors secure paid Business Internships with for-profit organizations – either at Kemper Corporation or a business of their choice. The Foundation provides these Scholars with a $5,000 stipend.
Mentoring and Coaching
Throughout the program, Kemper Scholars benefit from coaching and mentoring from internship supervisors, co-workers and Foundation staff. Coaching helps Scholars acquire specific knowledge and competencies they need to get the job done. Mentoring offers Scholars a trusting relationship that facilitates sharing of issues around work/life balance, self-confidence and self-perception.
Knowledge and skill-building are key to the Kemper Scholars experience. All Scholars attend the Kemper Scholars Annual Conference, where they can reflect on their experiences and learn from their peers. After sophomore year, Scholars engaged in Community-Based Internships also attend Wednesday Seminars featuring leading managers and strategists who share their insights into the business world.
One of the highlights of the program would be the guided independence we had…
Harry Young IV | ’20 SCHOLAR
You’re a Scholar, Now What?
The Program encourages Scholars to develop leadership and professional skills.
Each August in Chicago, Scholars reflect on their experiences; cultivate relationships with their peers and learn from each other; build their skills and confidence as emerging professionals.
The Community-Based Internship introduces Scholars to office relationships, procedures, processes and technology in a safe, supportive space.
The Business Internship allows Scholars to build upon their professional acumen while also diving into their career interests and company-oriented projects and needs.