MUDEC Alum Kelsey Hopper's Journey to Small Business

By Hannah Straub, Junior Editor of the MUDEC Méinden Newsletter

Here at MUDEC, there are many internship opportunities working with businesses and start-ups in the Luxembourg area, and it’s not uncommon to have MUDEC students working for people who have been in their shoes! Kelsey Hopper, MUDEC alumni and small business owner, has enlisted students, Clare Quinn, Kevin Hansbauer, and Maddy Stanger, as interns helping her with promotion and content creation for her independent yoga and music businesses.

As a MUDEC alum, Hopper participated in the Luxembourg program for an entire year, compiling a multitude of courses for herself and made it her own. She studied music at the Columbia College Chicago and the Conservatory of Luxembourg.

“My parents graciously offered to have me live with them in Europe even though I was two years into my B.A.” adds Hopper. “After I came with them, I knew I needed to figure out how I was going to finish the next 2 years of university, and that’s where MUDEC came in.”

Since earning her Music Performance degree, she now owns her own independent company, including teaching corporate yoga classes through KelseyHopperYoga and private music lessons at The International School of Luxembourg through KelseyHopperMusic.

“I find that I am very self-motivated and always learning to be more organized, which both translate into the day to day function of my company. Learning how to run a business came from the problem solving I learned at school,” Hopper adds.

Hopper eventually reconnected with MUDEC through a fellow alumni and recipient of the Ruth and Leeland Dutton Award, Carli Williams, who was the student coordinator who spearheaded the MUDEC internship program. The two were able to get in touch again while Hopper was working on her yoga and music business, and Williams was able to organize an intern for the project. After being thoroughly impressed with the work of MUDEC interns Clare Quinn and Kevin Hansbauer, Hopper enthusiastically decided to take on another with the addition of Maddy Stanger. She then reconnected with another alum and fellow dual citizen Andy Adams who had taken over the internship program and was expanding and developing the program to its full potential.


“I needed someone to help me out with media marketing and business, things I wasn’t trained in. Maddy is the 3rd intern working for me. With the framework that Clare Quinn made for my social media and the marketing research Kevin did for me, Maddy is now able to create promotional content for my businesses” Hopper says.

Stanger is currently helping to finetune work done from past interns as well as building an online presence for both of Hopper’s businesses. They mostly work remotely through either WhatsApp or email, and once a week they meet either on Skype or in person to clear up confusion that can’t be figured out remotely.

“It’s ideal to meet in person, especially at a cute vegan cafe, to support the community, but also to connect with Maddy and try to understand her strengths. I’m very flexible with people’s learning styles, and it’s so important to support someone else’s working style so you can help them create their best work,” Hopper says.

Hopper remarks that once her business starts to expand and her online presence grows she will need more interns to aid with more business and creative skills. Some possible projects include creation of an app, a YouTube yoga and music studio, blogs or even expanding to a whole school. Her brand is consistently growing and with that comes more internship opportunities.

“What I’ve loved about all my Miami interns was that they bring things I would have never thought of to the table. They really bring a fresh perspective, and are enthusiastic and excited to implement their own ideas. It’s not a good idea to micromanage them, because they do so much on their own and if you were to limit them, you’d miss out on the benefits that they bring to your company. With a Miami intern, you won’t be disappointed,” Hopper adds.

The MUDEC internship program connects students of all academic backgrounds with local companies and startups, and it’s been a continued tradition for many years.

“It’s been a very positive experience so far working with interns. I think that it’s great that Miami does a program like this where everyone can contribute and everyone can gain. The “everybody wins” attitude Miami takes towards a partnership and internship program is how everyone should do it,” concludes Hopper.

To learn more about Kelsey Hopper’s businesses, visit her web pages, KelseyHopperYoga and KelseyHopperMusic or follow her on Instagram.

To find out more about how MUDEC is expanding internship opportunities, read about the launch of the upcoming Luxembourg Digital Innovation Center.