Meet Claire Timmer, a Senior at Aquinas College majoring in Business and Communication and minoring in Community Leadership. Claire spent both semesters of her Senior year interning at Kennari Consulting before graduating in May.

What were you looking for in an internship?

When I began my search for a Senior year internship, I was looking for a place where I could further my knowledge in the nonprofit sector. Additionally, I was seeking to learn the ways in which the business sector (my major field of study) intersects with the nonprofit sector (my minor field of study). Working with the team at Kennari Consulting, coming into work each time has been exciting, as I am learning new things every day I am here. No one day is the same as the next when you are an intern at Kennari Consulting, and I thoroughly enjoyed that.

What did you learn from your internship at Kennari Consulting?

Over the course of my internship at Kennari Consulting, one overarching lesson I learned time and time again, was that I had a passion for fundraising and I wanted to turn that into a career after graduation. I learned that there are a multitude of opportunities in the philanthropic world, specifically in Grand Rapids. At Kennari Consulting, I had a behind the scenes look at the day to day tasks and operations of both a consultant and a fund development professional. Kennari Consulting gave me the opportunity to shadow their team of consultants each week. I sat in on meetings with numerous clients, shadowing the consultants and learning a wealth of information as it pertains to philanthropy and fund development. I also had the opportunity to work in the office at Kennari Consulting where I learned the day to day office tasks and operations of the business side of a consulting firm.

What projects did you work on over the course of your internship?

During my internship at Kennari Consulting, I also had numerous opportunities to work closely with our clients. For example, in the fall semester, I worked closely with the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan to plan their Entre Amigos table hosted luncheon. During the fall semester, I also spent time researching data that Kennari Consulting regularly provides their clients with. For example, I read and studied the Burk Donor Survey and then I presented the information from the Survey to one of our clients. The information I collected from the Burk Donor Survey was highlighted in a Kennari Consulting newsletter as well. During spring semester, I worked with Holland Museum on their first ever Trivia Night table hosted event. I also gained marketing experience working with Our Hope Association to promote their role in the Art Van Charity Challenge. It is evident that Kennari Consulting gave me the opportunity to work hands on with our clients, which is a benefit that an intern elsewhere typically does not experience.

How will this internship help you in school and/or your career?

As a result of interning at Kennari Consulting, I learned that I want to work in fund development in the nonprofit sector post graduation. Kennari Consulting provided me with the opportunity to work hands on, directly with their clients, from which I learned so much. Another huge benefit of interning at Kennari Consulting is that you make great connections within the community! I met numerous individuals over the course of my internship and I am so grateful that I made connections with so many of them.

I am so grateful to have interned at Kennari Consulting and I will be forever grateful for all the knowledge and experience their amazing team provided me!

Claire has been an invaluable asset to our team during her two semesters at Kennari Consulting. We are so grateful for her hard work and willingness to step up and tackle every project sent her way. While we will miss having her in the office, we are so glad we’ll have the opportunity to see her in the future as she begins her career in the nonprofit sector.

To learn more about Kennari Consulting’s internship program, please email Kim Kvorka at