Born and raised in West Michigan, Kera grew up in Kalamazoo and graduated from Michigan State University (there was an automatic and proud “Go Green!” at the mention of her alma mater). She has always enjoyed being close to the Lakeshore and wanted to stay close. During her senior year at MSU, she interned for Coca-Cola as a Campus Marketing Representative and got offered a full-time position as a Marketing Development Manager after graduation. Though always wanting to live in Grand Rapids, Kera accepted a position in Lansing as there were none at the time in Grand Rapids.
After a year and a half with Coca-Cola, Kera decided to take the leap to Grand Rapids to be closer to the Lake she loved. Hearing about Rethink West Michigan through a college forum, Kera decided to attend and she began networking and making connections with local companies.
For Kera, Hello West Michigan helped her relocation experience in a big way by hosting ReThink West Michigan, our networking event on the night before Thanksgiving. “It was a great career fair with local companies which led me to job opportunities,” said Kera. “It was a very relaxed event and I had an interview 1 week after the event.”
Kera now works for Meijer as a Business Analyst where her position is much more analytical and process-driven rather than sales driven, which she enjoys. She also greatly enjoys the rewarding process of getting product into their stores. “The transition was very smooth,” said Kera. “I was able to have a month in between jobs where I could move into my new place and explore some places around my new town!”
Moving to a new city means new friends. Kera has appreciated Grand Rapids variety of fun entertainment. From trying out different breweries–Grand Rapids Brewing and Sovengard being two of her favorites–to going to country music concerts at 20 Monroe Live, Kera is trying it all. She’s also participated in the Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club, a great place to make new friends because of the multi-week leagues.
Kera also loves the Lake life and enjoys boating with her family and friends, another reason she decided to relocate. Her favorite beach spots range all along the Michigan shoreline from Grand Haven to South Haven to Ludington. Being closer to the Lake now gives her the opportunity to explore even more of West Michigan’s expansive shoreline.
When reflecting on advice for other new relocatees, Kera advises taking advantage of all the events downtown has to offer Grand Rapids is a great town to be a young professional because they have excellent bars, fun restaurants, museums and concert venues.”