Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center
Creating Community Engagement through Events
The mission of The Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center is to provide an onsite workplace for college interns, that strategically places students in placemaking initiatives that foster best practices and create educational opportunities for practical experience in marketing, public relations, and event management. As a placemaking change agent, the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center is dedicated to the promise of connecting interns with nonprofit organizations through a consulting management network.
The Experiential Learning Center is a place where college interns work as consulting team members within the community to provide place-making events, festivals, sports marketing events, and fundraising events. As an educationally based vocational training center, interns are hired for up to a 16 week intensive work experience focused on event management, marketing, and public relations projects.
Acting as consultants, interns work directly with nonprofit clients from day one, but their offices are in the Learning Center. The interns provide community organizations the opportunity to work with interns without the responsibility of hiring, supervising, and training at their locations. Rather, at the Experiential Learning Center, interns are provided on-site vocational training, coaching, educational debriefings, and innovative capacity building analysis. The consulting experience is designed to organically empower interns to learn entrepreneurial leadership throughout their work experience.
This opportunity is designed to reward ambition and leverage academic benchmarks and key learnings, while incorporating hands-on learning experience into the physical workplace. Motivated by customer-centricity, the promise is to nourish team members with opportunities, challenges, training, career growth, and an entrepreneurial spirit to be exemplary.
I was looking for a marketing and events management internship while studying Public Relations and Event Management at Western Michigan University, and I found that with the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center (KELC)! My time as an intern improved my event planning and community relation skills, and taught me the importance of research, data and the creation of marketing kits when promoting a new event. Not only did I receive a great experience at KELC, but I made even better friendships along the way.
Public Relations Specialist
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
KELC Intern, 2017
This work is done through four core principles:
Develop and provide on-site training programs that empower interns.
Work with local nonprofits to create consulting agreements that will allow students to work on placemaking events while working physically in the Experiential Learning Center.
Work within the community to develop innovative placemaking events that capitalize on our local community assets with inspiration and potential.
Through onsite teamwork, enthusiasm, inspiration, and trust, the learning process must create a culture that instinctively rewards interns for a job well done.