Studies at Hope College extend far beyond the classroom. Whitney Heneveld ’10 Rollenhagen graduated with a degree in accounting and learned the value of relationships at Hope. The dedication of her professors and the relatively small size of the Department of Economics and Business are two factors that quickly helped her build meaningful connections with students and faculty.
It was Whitney’s relationship with Professor Marty LaBarge that led to her first job. Whitney says, “Professor LaBarge had a personal connection with a partner at Beene Garter, who had indicated that the firm was looking to hire a staff accountant. Due to the size, location and culture of the firm, Professor LaBarge referred me. I submitted my resume, completed the interview process and was offered the job. I will always be grateful to Professor LaBarge for her referral. More than that, I am grateful that she took the time to get to know me well enough to know what type of firm and position would be the right fit.”
In her public accounting career, Whitney has had the opportunity to interact with many different people including business owners, corporate controllers, prospective clients, partners within the firm and co-workers with unique backgrounds and experiences. She credits her experiences at Hope with teaching her the value of investing in, and learning from, others.
Whitney’s classmate and husband, Jake, agrees. He says, “During my sophomore year, I began to realize how invaluable the atmosphere at Hope College was and how it would play into my future career path. When I declared my accounting major, I began to develop relationships with my professors. Shortly after, I attended a meeting with the Center for Faithful Leadership (CFL) at Hope. Both of these decisions would ultimately lead me to a successful start to my career at Amway.”
One of Jake’s professors shared a contact at Amway for a potential summer internship. The Career Development Center provided Jake with the necessary tools, particularly interview preparation, to help him make the most of this opportunity. That, combined with public presentation classes and experiences with CFL, landed him the internship and ultimately a full time career.
Jake reflects, “My involvement in CFL allowed me to work as a student consultant and learn from a leader in the community, Virgil Gulker. I learned how to be a self-driven leader and find solutions to problems within an organization. I specifically worked with the Allegan County Community Foundation to develop recommendations on how to more efficiently provide food for low income families. These experiences have helped me immensely in my career.”
Jake and Whitney have been in the work force for over four years and have been able to use the skills that they developed at Hope, not only through courses, but just as importantly through the experiences provided outside of the classroom.
No matter how long ago you graduated, there are Hope career resources available to you today. Make your own career connection at hope.edu/alumni/career.
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