We are…The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career!

One of the most challenging things that college students have to do is choose a career path. There are lots of options out there and many feel the pressure to ensure they are making the best choice possible. Which is why choosing a major, and later on securing a job, tends to make many students anxious. Enter…The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, Hope College’s new and improved hub for all things career! 

The principal goal of the Boerigter Center is to teach students how to engage in lifelong practices of career development by emphasizing discernment, preparation and pursuit.

Students will:

(Discern) Take steps to discover their strengths, interests, and values to help them find direction.

(Prepare) Find internships, alumni connections and other skill building opportunities to explore their path on and off campus.

(Pursue) Tap into the Hope network, polish their interviewing skills and take steps toward graduate school or the world of work.

We will accomplish this by renaming and re-imagining the efforts of our Career Development Center and closely partnering with Academic Advising and Alumni & Family Engagement for new and robust programming. With this in mind, Boerigter Center services will enable every student to graduate with:

  • A rich understanding of their strengths
  • Experiences in and outside the classroom directly connected to career preparation
  • An affirmed aspiration for an eventual career with clear, immediate next steps
  • A thoughtful understanding of vocational and life goals

Led by Executive Director Shonn Colbrunn ‘94, this new center is made possible by a generous gift from SoundOff Signal in honor of Founder and Chairman George Boerigter ’61 and his wife, Sibilla.

We are so excited to be up and running and look forward to meeting with you in our new location in DeWitt which will be completed sometime this fall! Until then stop by Anderson-Werkman or call 616.395.7950 to schedule an appointment today! 

Cheers to the seniors

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

With finals week almost over, warmer weather settling in and summer plans almost commencing we want to wish everyone good luck and farewell!  We wanted to thank the Career Advisors who are graduating this May and early next fall, for all their hard work and we appreciate the time and effort you put into working at the Career Development Center.

These were their final words of advice to those who still have time here at Hope College:

Nola:

"What I love most about the CDC is the staff's interest and dedication to giving each and every student's career the best preparation possible. If you walk through our doors, you will without question walk away more prepared and confident about your career. My advice to Hope students and alumni is to get started on career development as early as possible - get an internship your freshman year! Start your resume before you move in! Work on a four year plan with our office when you decide on a major! Our office sets you up for success; there's no reason not to start that early. Above all, follow your goals, not what sounds easy. If you do this, when you get to senior year you'll still be enjoying your classes; you'll be disappointed to be leaving Hope; you'll be excited about where you're going. Don't let anyone convince you to choose a track you aren't passionate about - this is a time of exploration and discovery -- use it!!"

Sarah:

"I love the CDC because everyone is willing to help you out, whether it be with a resume, interview advice or networking to get a job, and the staff always meets you where you're at. Looking at careers can be stressful, but Career Development provides resources that provide assistance and give confidence to all students.                I highly suggest getting an internship within your field of study. This hands on experience will help direct your path after college and will guide which direction in your field of study you wish to take. Come into Career Development in order to clean up your resume and cover letter so you are ready to apply when opportunities arise!"

Rachel:

The Career Development Center is the place I started working at even before my first day of freshman year at Hope. The staff here are incredible-- their passion for students and their success is next level. This office meets people right where they’re at on their career and life path. Go to every event they offer! If I could give one piece of advice: find the mentors, professors, coaches and leaders that are willing to journey with you and sharpen you to be better tomorrow than you are today. Find the resources and services through the CDC that launch you into your calling and career. No matter what your path looks like, remember that you are an amazing individual who has been created to bring something great into the world.

Caitlin:

"The CDC was one of the first places I went as a Freshman at Hope. I transferred in and wanted to make sure that everything was in order for me to graduate on time. I loved how welcoming everyone was and the access they provided to alumni and jobs. I started working in the office my sophomore year, and I loved everything about it. We provide head shots for people, mock interview practice, and tons of networking experience. I love that everything is there for the students and every one at the CDC will go out of their way to make sure you can get whatever help you need. My career advice to any Hope students is to start early—it will make all the difference. Even if you don’t know what a resume or cover letter is, it is never too early to start trying to figure things out or start looking for an internship or job."
Jake:
"Over the past four years I have had a lot of involvement at the Career Development Center whether that was as a student seeking help, or as a career advisor helping students. What I have learned to appreciate is the great people who work here that are willing to go the extra mile to help you with a variety of subjects. Particularly I appreciate all the events the CDC hosts to bring alumni and recruiters on campus, so we as students can network and further our contacts for future job opportunities.  My advice to students is to take full advantage of the opportunities that CDC offers as early as you can in your college career."

Molly: 

"In my time at Hope, I have been so empowered by the work that is taking place here on campus, especially in the Career Development Center. In all transparency, I have changed my career path so many times. While this could potentially cause stress for a student, I felt both welcomed and supported in exploring all the things I was passionate about. As a freshman, I really utilized the Career Development Centers resources and figured out where I needed to be while at Hope. Because I loved the work and the full-time staff at the CDC so much, I was lucky enough to become a student employee and be apart of the mission to serve students in their vocational journey. What I love most about the Career Development Center is the way it really focuses on the student. The career counselors invest so much in the needs of every student to make sure they are equipped for Hope and beyond. Working at the CDC has also shown me how genuine this focus on the student is. As a staff, they pour into us to be able to pour into the students we get to work with. It has been such an incredible part of my time at Hope. A piece of advice I would give any student at Hope is just to take advantage of the resources here on campus. Not only the Career Development Center, but all of the other incredible offices that work on behalf of the student body. There are so many kind, helpful, and intelligent people waiting with their arms wide open to help. Never miss an opportunity because you're unsure or uncomfortable- be brave and remember that the faculty and staff are here for YOU! If it wasn't for my time with the Career Development Center, I'm not sure I would've ever understood this for myself. These four years are yours for the taking! Make the most of them and prepare yourself well for what comes next."

The Career Development Center would like to wish all the graduating seniors (and those graduating early next fall) good luck with all their future plans! You have all been great to work with and we will all miss you in the coming years.

 

Plan Ahead…. Take advantage of amazing resources

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“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” — Andrew Carnegie

My number one strength is Adaptability. The world is constantly shifting, plans change, circumstances change and life happens; being very flexible and living in the here and now is what works and makes most sense to me.

I used to think that plans and goals were limiting. It was not until sophomore year when I realized having a plan does not mean it has to be set in stone, but it is there to help you take the necessary steps towards accomplishing any goals you have. Someone who has the same goal may have completely different steps than you do but you can both end up reaching the same goal.

You can have long-term and short-term goals and they can be related to anything. These can be financial goals, career goals, college goals and so much more. The Career Development Center can help you take initial steps to help you towards your career and college goals.

Below is a list of the ways the CDC can help you achieve a few of these goals:

  1.   Four Year Plans –Aid in setting up classes for the next four years to help you make the most of your time at Hope
  2.  Major/Career Discernment –  Look at your strengths and interests and give you advice on what majors and career paths to explore
  3. Resumes and Cover Letters –  Collaborate with you to start or polish your resume and cover letter in preparation for internships and job interviews.
  4.   Mock Interviews – Prepares you for a real interview and gives you tips on what to work on before a real interview.
  5.  Networking – Give you tips and ways that you can start networking while still in college.
  6.  Internships- Assist you in your internship search, and encourage you through the process
  7.  Job Search-  Create a plan for how to best use job search tools and websites.
  8. Graduate School- Facilitate your Graduate school search and application process
  9. Handshake and LinkedIn- Teach you how to create and strengthen your profile to present your best self to employers
  10. StrengthsQuest, MBTI, Strong Interest Inventory – These are assessment tools that help interpret your strengths, interests, and personality preferences, what they mean, and how they are applied in your life

 

Grand Valley State University Career Fair is a great opportunity! It will be held at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, this coming Thursday February 22nd from 1-5 pm.

Call and make an appointment with the Career Development Center team and we are happy to help you towards your career or college goals.

“SETTING GOALS IS THE FIRST STEP IN TURNING THE INVISIBLE INTO THE VISIBLE.” – TONY ROBBINS

The DiscoverWork Program: What Our Students Have Been Up To!

It’s early morning and a student has just shown up at their host’s office for a full day of job shadowing. The student starts the day with an amazing informational interview and quickly gets through most of the questions she came in curious about. Now the host is staring back at the student and a small look of panic comes across his face as he thinks about what to do for the next 5 hours.

Fortunately, this scenario is not one that plays out here at Hope College. In fact, our DiscoverWork job shadowing program offers a robust opportunity for students to not only connect with alumni, but live like them for a few days.

Open to all students at Hope College the DiscoverWork program gives alumni the opportunity to:

  • Make a positive and lasting impact on the career exploration process for an undergraduate student
  • 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 positions they have open
  • Increase the exposure of their company and career field/industry

Curious as to what some of our students have been doing so far? Take a look…

Student: Junior, Prescott Binder

Alumni Host: Dr. Craig Kozler, Urological Surgeon, Chief of Surgery at Fort Memorial Hospital  

“The week I spent shadowing a surgeon in Wisconsin was one of the most rewarding and educational experiences of my entire Hope College career. I am forever grateful for Dr. Kozler and his family for being so willing to host me in their home for a week and to allow me to vastly expand my knowledge as what life would be like as a future physician.”… “The picture included represents the amount of fun that doctors can have with each other. Craig and many other college friends and physicians have created an almost full size ice rink in Craig’s backyard where people come from around the country every year to play at the USA’s first and only outdoor curling club.”

Student: Senior, Justin Richardson

Alumni Host: Rachel Romero, Energy Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

“This job shadow showed me that working at a government facility has its differences from the corporate world, but they are not bad. Now, I will always consider government research as a good possibility for my future work when searching. Rachel was a great host who allowed me to tour a large part of the campus, learn as much as possible in a day of work, and meet and connect with many of the employees there.”

Student: Freshman, Anna Hagner
Alumni Host: Scott Synder, Physical Therapist, Athletico Physical Therapy

“This experience was beneficial to me as I learned so much about what the job description of a physical therapist actually entails and how my strengths of working with people and being interested in the sciences could work in this profession.”

Student: Junior, Marissa Solorzano

Alumni Host: Brad Nordan, Nurse Anesthetist, Macatawa Anesthesia, PC 

“After this shadow experience, I have a lot of interest in anesthesia and I can not wait until medical school when I can learn more and have the possibility to specialize in this field of medicine. Hearing Mr. Norden’s process of deciding that becoming a nurse anesthetist was his lifelong goal was empowering. He decided in his junior year that he wanted to earn a degree in nursing, and became one of only a few men in the department -­‐ a story I find inspiring and encouraging. I am in awe by Mr. Norden’s drive to give back to the Hope College community; a personal goal I wish to fulfill as a health provider in the future. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity and I can not wait to keep diving into the health professions’ world.”

Student: Freshman, Matthew Dickerson

Alumni Host: Evan Boote, Director Physics & Technology, Spectrum Health 

“As my job shadow continued, I realized that multiple concepts from my courses were being used in diagnostic radiology and the hospital as a whole… I will forever treasure the opportunity I received to job shadow at Spectrum Health Hospital. I know in the future, I will look back at the knowledge I gained there and apply it to not only to my career decisions but to my life decisions as well.”

The Career Development Center is so proud of this growing program and the amazing connections we are building between alumni, friends, parents and students here at Hope College!

Do you desire to connect with students through the DiscoverWork program? Want to be apart of our 2018-2019 program goal of 100 alumni hosts? Email Megan Scheldt to learn more or to volunteer!

Helping Your Student Succeed: Tips from Career Development

Dale Austin, Associate Dean of Career Development

Many students meet with us and report they have no idea where they should even start when it comes to networking and the job search. As a parent of three college graduates, I sincerely wanted the best for each of my children as they attended college. I hoped that they would figure out what they would major in, that they would have quality advisor relationships, and that they would have a plan for what they would want to pursue following graduation. Frankly the college years at times, were stressful, even though I had been working in a college setting. Questions about major, questions about what to do with the major, hoping that as each of my children entered their last year and last semester, that they would take the initiative and seek out viable options following graduation. There came a point in each instance with all three, that I had to trust that as adults, it was their responsibility to do, or to not do it. And sometimes part of becoming an adult is learning hard lessons, which too many times, we want to protect our children from.

Through my own experience, I saw the value in frequently serving as a sounding board to each of my “collegiate children”, empathizing with their struggles, providing encouragement and support whenever possible.

Encourage them to explore options

As my oldest considered post graduate options, I listened to her choices and pointed out pros and cons of each, with her deciding on taking a gap year before heading to the University of Michigan for graduate school. My son reconsidered pre-med after his sophomore year when he took organic chemistry. I expressed to him that the core outcome of his liberal arts education should be to think, write and communicate critically (i.e., effectively) and he decided to study History and now works as an entrepreneur. Whenever he is back in West Michigan, he reconnects with his former History advisor.

Importance of Internship Experience and Contacts

As my youngest planned for study abroad during a May term, I suggested that it would be wise to gain an internship for the summer; she also thought it made sense, and through a personal friend, was able to provide an introduction that resulted in an interview and summer intern role.

Guide Your Student to Resources

Events Coming Up:

GVSU Winter Career Fair

Out of State Teacher Fair

West Michigan Teacher Search

Technology/Online Resources:

Handshake

Spotlight on Careers (username: spotlightkey; password: lacn18)

InterviewStream

One important part of the job search that will be crucial for your student is networking! Here are four helpful tools and tips from Megan Scheldt, Career Counselor-Networking, to share with your student to help them combat the anxiousness surrounding networking.

Come meet with us!

The Career Development Center offers appointments specifically tailored to students seeking to network. During these meetings students are able to tap into the Career Resources Network. This database is a comprehensive list of alumni willing to connect with students for informational interviews!

Build a Strong LinkedIn Profile & Use the Alumni Database

Just as we review resumes, The Career Development Center is here to help students build a professional online presence. We also navigate students through the LinkedIn database of Hope College graduates.

 

Conduct Informational Interviews

No matter how a student finds a contact it is important that they conduct several informational interviews. It gives them the opportunity to hear firsthand from a working professional and be given advice to confidently move forward in the pursuit of their career. Many of our students have reported back that their contacts have helped them tweak their resume, passed along this document, as well as provided helpful tips for interviewing with their company. In addition to this, students can potentially expect to learn about jobs that are not yet posted on a company’s website.

Follow Up!

As cliche as it may be, “thank you” goes along way. It is important to encourage your student to write anyone who supports them with their job search a thank you note or email. Being able to clearly express what they learned as well as their gratitude can help them make a great impression! In addition to a thank you note, following up with contacts days, weeks, or months later is very crucial. At that time they might be hiring or be able to provide an additional introduction to another professional of value.

We asked a student!

Nursing Major, Madeleine Goodman

The process of searching for a job can be a stressful time for students, but there are some things that parents can do to help. However, there is a fine line between helping and nagging, and the trick is learning to navigate what your student wants from you and what they don’t want.

With all the help you give your student, there are still some pitfalls that parents should avoid stumbling into. A student does not want to be told what job they should do by their parent. A parent might just be trying to give a friendly suggestion when they confidently say, “You should do this job,” but a student is going to interpret that as an order. Using an “I” statement instead of a “you” statement can make sure that your student understands your suggestion is genuine. For example: “I think that you would excel in this career.” Paying attention to make sure that comments don’t come across as controlling can go a long way.

Not being controlling is key with your student. They are already worried about applying for jobs and preparing for interviews and having their parent checking up on them too frequently can aggravate them. You might want to be kept up to date on what’s happening in your student’s job search, but they might feel like you are watching to make sure they don’t mess up. As hard as it may be to be more hands off with your student, it will help reduce any friction.

Following these guidelines should help you help your student, but remember, you can never go wrong with simply asking your student what they would like from you during this big change.

 

 

We are hiring

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The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. -Steve Jobs

 

January is almost over and we hope that you have found a good rhythm for the rest of the semester.

Hiring season is here! We are super excited to let you know that the Career Development Center will be hiring for next fall.  You will have the opportunity to join our amazing team and become a Career Advisor, helping around the office in a variety of manners.

Here’s a mini checklist which can be used if you are interested in becoming a Career Advisor, looking for an internship in the summer, or any other job opportunity.

1.Resume

  • You should have a resume and it should be updated. Feel free to bring it to our drop-in hours to get yours looked over.
  • If you know where you are going to apply to, use keywords for that certain field. (Most of this can be found in the job description)
  • If you are applying to different places, always tweak your resume to suit each place and personalize your skills.

2. Cover letter

  • Think of cover letter and resume as a marriage. Your cover letter should highlight you beyond what’s on your resume, and give you the opportunity to expand on a few things that are on your resume.
  • Include information about the organization you are applying to. This shows them that you are intentional and care enough to do thorough research.
  • Make sure the font and header match the style of your resume (remember marriage!).

3. LinkedIn

  • Create a LinkedIn profile
  • Be active in your online presence, especially if you are interested in a company. Like what they post, comment on it and re-post it onto your page with an insightful comment
  • Have a good profile and concise bio that captures who you are, your interests and reflects the work you would want to do

4. Interview practice and networking

  • Networking is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door of an organization that you might be interested in. Knowing someone on the inside may give you a better chance than someone who does not
  • Interview practice is important. Getting more detailed information about the company and doing a mock interview can make you much more prepared and confident. This will show during your interview!

 

If you have not started on your resume, cover letter, have any work experience, or have any idea on where to start, no need to stress about it. All you have to do is walk down to the Career Development Center during drop-in hours, which are between 3:00-4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. You can have a 10 minute sit-down with a Career Advisor to get you started in the right direction.

If you are interested in becoming a Career Advisor, be on the lookout for the posting on Handshake for more information!

A Quick Yearly Handshake Checkup

 

Handshake can seem very intimidating and can be tough to navigate around. Here is a brief breakdown of what you can do each year at Hope to ensure you stay on top of your Handshake account!

 Freshman-

Get your Handshake profile started as a Freshman, it will make it so much easier in the coming years. Do not be worried that you might not have a ton of information to put on your profile right now, you will gain that over the coming years! With your profile ready to go, you can now begin to get familiar with Handshake and see events happening on campus, register for meetings with employers, or even discover other career paths.

 

Sophomore-

Sophomore year is the time to start considering internships or work experience if you have not already. Your Handshake profile should have an updated copy of your resume and potentially any relevant classes you have taken in relation to your area of study. In addition to this, make sure to browse your Handshake feed as there are constantly new opportunities posted on there. The more that you put into Handshake, the more that you get out of it!

 

Junior-

Time really goes by fast, and before you know it you will be a junior. Once you reach this stage you may want to consider more internship experience or maybe even start looking at future job opportunities. What this may mean for your Handshake profile is a more updated bio, more added interests, or even some uploading of projects or papers you have completed in relevant classes. Adding these things to your profile can help employers, know more about you and if you are the type of student they are looking for.

 

Senior-

Finally, there is Senior year. This can be a very scary and exciting year as most people are trying to figure out what to do after graduation. Thankfully, Handshake can help make this process much easier for you not only as a graduate, but post-graduation as well! Nearing graduation you will want to make sure you have the most updated profile as you associate with employers and search for jobs on Handshake, In addition, make sure you are checking for any events posted by Hope that may involve your future career plans. As you do all this, you can hopefully have a smooth transition into post grad life as you begin a new job and transition into an alumni!

We hope that you can see Handshake is a useful tool to have, and we hope you take advantage of such a great resource! If you have any questions about Handshake, or need any help with it you can book an appointment with us.