DiscoverWork Is Back!

After a short break, a successful DiscoverWork cycle happened this past spring!

Unlike an internship, DiscoverWork opportunities are short-term, unpaid opportunities to meet with and shadow a professional to gain a first-hand perspective of his or her day-to-day work life. This job shadowing experience allows undergraduates to explore different industries as well as gain a better understanding of the connections between academics and the world of work. Shadow experiences can span from a few hours to a few days and can be in person or virtual.

Students and hosts who have participated in the past have overwhelmingly expressed how valuable the experience was for them.


Kayla Carpenter ’24 and Dr. John Donkersloot ’11

One match this past spring was Dr. John Donkersloot ’11 (pictured on the right), Trauma Surgery Fellow at Hurley Medical Center, and Kayla Carpenter ’24 (left), a current Hope student.

John’s reflections on the DiscoverWork program: “Going through the DiscoverWork program with Kayla was an incredibly rich and rewarding experience. The various hurdles of medical school, residency, and afterward are things I wished I knew while studying for Organic Chemistry, and sharing these experiences with someone in the midst of premedical studies was very satisfying. The connections made by DiscoverWork were very meaningful, and I look forward to continuing to invest in mentoring Hope College students through the program for years to come!”

Kayla also had positive reviews about her experience: “Getting connected with Dr. Donkersloot through the DiscoverWork program is an experience for which I’m immensely grateful. Not only was I given the unique opportunity to shadow Dr. Donkersloot in the Intensive Care Unit at Hurley Medical Center and see a robot surgery, leg amputation, and several other procedures, but I also got a glimpse into his life as a physician outside of the hospital. Seeing where Dr. Donkersloot is today and knowing that not too long ago, he was in the same classrooms and labs that I’m currently in was an encouraging experience. His advice and insights into the medical field gave me more confidence not only in what I’m doing at Hope but also in the simple fact that I am at Hope and getting exceptional preparation for a future in medicine.”


Jazmin Martinez ’23, Rob Bradford ’02 and Marketea Abbott ’22

Another match this past spring was Rob Bradford ’02 (center), Head of the Middle School at Sheridan School, and Hope students Marketea Abbott ’22 (right) and Jazmin Martinez ’23 (left).

Rob’s reflections: “The DiscoverWork Program is an absolute delight. I had the opportunity to host two Hope College students this year and it was the perfect choice. Marketea and Jazmin were stellar students who fully integrated themselves into our family as well as into my school. They asked tough questions, challenged my professional thinking, and brought joy to our week. We loved having them with us and we love hosting Hope students!!”

Marketea’s reflections: “While at Sheridan School, I was able to learn about both the benefits and drawbacks of independent schools. Rob and his coworkers were so open, honest and genuine when connecting with me. I will always love the time spent with the Bradford family! From Sheridan School to the Bradford home: I laughed, learned and truly enjoyed myself.”


Hosts have an opportunity to:

  • Make a positive and lasting impact on the career exploration process for an undergraduate student(s)
  • Aid in informing students about the helpful and required skills needed to enter the workforce
  • Develop personal connections with current students in a coaching/mentoring capacity
  • Have a chance to meet potential new talent for future summer interns or full-time employees
  • Increase the exposure of your company and career field/industry

Check out our HOST GUIDE to learn more about:

  • Program Structure & Timeline
  • Virtual & In Person Considerations
  • Examples of Experiences
  • General Advice


  1. Create an account on The Hope College Connection.
  2. Click “DiscoverWork” on the blue navigation bar and follow the registration prompts.


Please reach out to Amanda Root at

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