KC’s Story: Pursuing a Career in Nonprofit

KC Kirchner is a Greensboro native who is pursuing her dream to make a difference through a career in the nonprofit sector. She is a 2018 Fellow and spent her summer interning with A Simple Gesture, a nonprofit missioned to end hunger. KC is currently studying communication studies and Spanish language at UNC Charlotte. When she graduates in May 2019, she will have earned two degrees and undergraduate certificates in business Spanish and international public relations. Below is an interview with KC highlighting her interest in nonprofit work and her internship experiences.


What made you interested in a career in nonprofit?

Growing up being raised as a Catholic and volunteering from middle to high school, I was taught how important it is to bring peace, unity, and love to a world faced with conflict, division, and bitterness. Believing that Jesus came to serve and not to be served, I strive to follow His example and spread His message of love through my work. This is why I was called to a career in the nonprofit sector, because I have skills and gifts that I can use to serve others.


Tell us about your internships. How have they made an impact on your career choice and your personal development?

Last summer, as a Fellow with Campus Greensboro Greensboro in collaboration with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Non-Profit Internship Program, I interned at the local nonprofit, A Simple Gesture in Greensboro, as their Marketing and Community Relations Intern. In this role, I helped to create and implement a large marketing campaign in the fight against hunger. I also have interned at two amazing nonprofits in Charlotte: Samaritan’s Feet International and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/ALSAC. At Samaritan’s Feet International, I was the Marketing Communications Intern and worked on everything from drafting and pitching news releases, media alerts, and other stories for shoe distributions across the United States, to photography and editing various promotional materials. I interned at St. Jude with the field operations team where I assisted with event planning, logistics, recruitment, and donor relations for local and national events.

These internships have really opened my eyes to the nonprofit world and solidified my choice in career path. To be lead by supervisors who have such big hearts and see that my work truly does change lives, I know I am in the right place.


How did being a Fellow help you personally and professionally?

Being able to gain experience through an internship in the nonprofit sector while participating in ongoing professional development throughout the summer really impacted me professionally. The networking opportunities were invaluable, and I am still connected to my mentor and the other 100+ Fellows in my cohort. I know these connections will continue to have an impact on my career, even far down the road.


What are your career goals moving forward and how do you plan on accomplishing them?

After graduating in May, I plan to continue working in the nonprofit industry. My goal is to work for a nonprofit organization with an international focus or component, so that I can bring my background studying Spanish in Spain and international public relations to the table. I plan on staying in contact with the connections I made through networking while being involved with Campus Greensboro, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and my internships to accomplish these career goals. I can’t thank Lizzy and the Fellows Program enough for the impact it has made on me!