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Grandmother Among List of Mentors for One LVC Grad

Lebanon Valley College English student Huntre Keip interns at La Torre Communications

Huntre Keip ’20 has a long list of people who have inspired and mentored her throughout her life. At the top of the list is her grandmother. 

“I always had a knack for English and interests in politics and communications, for which I give all credit to my grandmother,” said Keip, a dual major in English and political science. “She was actively involved in local politics, staying well-informed, and she even wrote for our local newspaper, the Times News, where I interned with this past summer. I fondly remember her correcting my grammar when speaking, reading aloud, and reading any paper I wrote. She passed away in 2017, so extending my knowledge in the communications/public relations world is my tribute to her.”

Keip, along with Raeann Walquist ’20, joined La Torre Communications in Harrisburg, Pa., as interns for the spring semester. The pair reported to Jill Gingrich ’01, an LVC alumnae and La Torre’s director of strategic communications. Gingrich said the firm’s long-standing internship program included multiple LVC students the past few years and will welcome Megan Finlan ’21 in the fall. Gingrich appreciates the opportunity to give her time, experience, and knowledge to LVC students.

“The experiences I had as an intern helped shape the professional I am today so being able to guide current LVC students is one of my greatest joys at the firm,” said Gingrich. “They teach me as much as I teach them during the course of their internship.”

Under Gingrich’s guidance, Keip was assigned clients including non-profit organizations, state organizations, and businesses that she assisted with social media, press releases, and media clips. As COVID-19 impacted businesses, Keip appreciated La Torre’s willingness to pivot her internship to a remote opportunity and allow her more time to hone her skills.

“Each client is extremely different, so I quickly learned what tone to use and what audience the client was trying to reach,” said Keip. “I needed to wear multiple thinking hats, which really expanded my thoughts as a writer. I’m representing a brand and the mission it is trying to achieve. The client is accomplishing these amazing things, but it became my job to verbally explain it on multiple social platforms—that was my favorite part. I became their voice.”

Keip is currently working for the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® as the political field representative for the south-central region of the state. She monitors local issues, community engagement, provides legislative updates, grassroots efforts, fundraising, and media communications. 

"The real estate industry is more than buying and selling homes," said Keip. "Realtors® want to be actively involved with their communities and be knowledgeable about the issues occurring in Harrisburg. This position is the perfect combination of the materials and courses I learned from my double major at LVC."

Keip credits multiple experiences with preparing her for success: coursework and material from professors, her role as editor of the College’s newspaper, La Vie Collegienne, and last summer’s internship with the Times News. She learned the importance of deadlines, asking the right questions, and writing a clear story. 

Keip offers this advice for other students: “Ask questions! I wish I knew the answers to everything, but I learned early on that to succeed, you must ask questions. I asked multiple questions in class and during my internships to successfully get the job done. This has helped me tremendously. Don’t be afraid. Your professors and supervisors want to hear them because they know you want to perform your responsibilities correctly.”