Q & A with our new leader Shonn Colbrunn ’94

Meet our new Executive Director, Shonn Colbrunn!

If you have not already heard the news the Career Development Center is no more! We have combined our efforts with Alumni and Family Engagement as well as Academic Advising to form the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

Shonn Colbrunn ’94 is leading the charge as the first Executive Director of the Boerigter Center and he is thrilled to be back at Hope College!

Shonn answers 10 questions to help us all learn more about him:

  1. Why did you want to apply for this position at Hope College?

    “It seemed like an opportunity to make a lasting impact at an institution that is close to my heart. I would not have applied for this position if it were at any other college.”

  2. What do you like to do in your free time?

    “I enjoy spending time with my family, boating and water sports, playing competitive beach volleyball and playing the bass guitar.”

  3. What is your favorite part about Hope College/Holland?

    “My favorite part about Holland is living in an area where people vacation in the summer; I love being close to Lake Michigan and the beautiful summers here.”

  4. One Shonn Colbrunn fun fact:

    “I am a father of sixteen-year-old triplets: two boys and one girl.”

  5. If you could have dinner with one person in history, who would it be and why?

    “I have always been really fascinated by genealogy and family research. I would love to sit down and talk to my great-great-great-grandfather who came from Germany in 1848 and moved to Ohio.”

  6. What is your favorite quote?

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ Leonardo da Vinci.    So many things can become complex and complicated, and I like to take complicated things and make them easier.

  7. If you could travel to any country on earth, where would you go?

    “There are so many places I would like to go.  I really enjoy historical sites, so I think it would be fun to explore Greece, Rome, and other interesting places in that area.”

  8. You are a contestant on American Idol – which song do you sing?

    “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling’ by the Righteous Brothers. When I was a student at Hope College, my buddy Durwood and I sang that song at a karaoke night!”

  9. Who do you admire the most and why?

    “My dad. I have learned so much from him, and he has so many great qualities. He is very patient, positive and can fix anything!”

  10. What are you looking forward to the most about working at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

    “I am looking forward to helping all students become more successful and building stronger connections as we begin our new chapter at the Boerigter Center.”

Here at the Boerigter Center, we truly care about getting to know the students that we work with. We hope this little bit of insight into our new leader  encourages students throughout campus to come check out the BCCC for themselves!

Open Office Design: a new reality for the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career

The new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, launching this fall, is making a bold statement about the intentional design of work space on Hope’s campus. We’re adopting a work-space model that is not very common on college campuses today, but is known to foster greater collaboration and innovation. The staff and students of the new Boerigter Center will be working in an open-plan office rather than in private offices. The new space in DeWitt, currently under construction and opening in September, will combine a spacious, welcoming lobby with different types of seating for study, conversation and small 4-6 person meetings, with 6 small meeting rooms for private conversations, and an open-plan work area for about 10-15 staff and students. No one working in the Boerigter Center will have their own office, but everyone will have access to quiet, private spaces for deep thinking, conversations and meetings, when needed. Why are we moving to an open-plan office?

  1. The space of work has changed

Open-plan offices have been around for decades and have been adopted by many leading companies including Google and Facebook because this office plan provides faster flow of information, leading to more collaboration, enhanced innovation and more efficient use of space. Many Hope graduates land jobs at employers that have adapted the open-plan office, and yet, students have primarily experienced a campus environment where faculty and staff work in private offices. We’ve intentionally designed the new Boerigter Center to be an on-campus model of a work-space that students may experience when they land their first job.

  1. Collaborating more to serve students better

The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is bringing together staff from the former Career Development Center together with Advising, and Alumni and Family Engagement staff, to work together in more connected and integrated ways. We plan to use the open office space to host alumni and employers for information panels, interviews and other sessions designed to help students be better prepared for work. The center will have moveable furniture in the open lobby that we can reconfigure for a reception or panel discussion with alumni, as well as many small meeting rooms for interviews.

  1. Flexible spaces serve students better

Students will come to the Boerigter Center for many reasons: to talk with a staff member about their strengths, their major, their resume, landing an internship, networking, interviewing and so much more. Students may come to meet 1-on-1, or they may come to a group session or workshop. We’re designing spaces with lots of flexibility to accommodate many types of conversations and explorations. Come have a cup of coffee at one of our high-top tables to review your resume, or to prepare for an upcoming interview, or to meet with an employer about an internship. We’re going to have many places for students, faculty, staff, alumni and employers to study, mingle, talk and learn so once those construction walls are down and the space is open, make a point to stop by for a visit.

Come September, we’ll be eager to show off the new space as we work with students to help them discern their calling and prepare for their careers. Helping students experience the cycle of  discern, prepare, pursue is how we’re hoping to engage with and serve students. And, when you stop by for a visit, ask us what we’ve learned about working together in the new open-office space, I’m sure we’ll have lots to share.

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

Image result for reaching for dreams

“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.