Still Unsure, But Well Guided Maddy Shupe ’19

Story Written By Guest Blogger: Maddy Shupe ’19

There is only so much to be learned in a classroom. Throughout my Hope experience the most fulfilling and guiding moments have been outside of the classroom and in internships within my area of interest.

In the spring of 2018, I participated in the Washington Honors Semester through the Hope College Political Science Department. The program prepares students for careers within and outside of political science through classes, interviews with Hope grads in the D.C. area, and an internship of the students’ choosing. With an interest in law and human rights, I was blessed to intern with International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM is the largest anti-slavery organization in the world. I got to work and learn alongside people who are passionately making a difference in the world, while supporting them everyday and hearing their stories.

The most beneficial part of this experience was not the work I did daily–it was the people I did it with. My specific role within IJM was nowhere near where I could see myself working in the next 5-10 years. I almost didn’t take the position because I knew that there were other options within and outside of IJM that would be more narrowly tailored to my skills and goals. But I am so glad that I said yes. The key thing I’ve learned about internships and entry level positions is that my specific job title and tasks are insignificant compared to who I am working for and who I am working with.

My internship with IJM allowed me to grab coffee and chat with people that I want to be like in 5-10 years. I was mentored and given advice as to next steps now and after graduation. In large group interviews (similar to the ones I sat in with my Hope College peers) I got to learn about the different roles and positions that make up a large international non-profit. I learned that even though my heart is pulled toward non-profit work, I should go into corporate or government first to get well trained and gain more experience. I learned that I can have a career in law and have a family, and a social life! I learned that I can wake up and be excited to go to work as long as I enjoy the people I work with and who I am working for (i.e. firm matters, position doesn’t).

Since working at IJM, I have started an internship at a firm in Zeeland, as well as shadowed a District Court Judge in Kalamazoo through the DiscoverWork Program. Both experiences have cemented my view–in very different ways–that people matter when it comes to career discernment. The most fruitful times have been when my supervisor and I are chatting while shredding paper, or sitting in Judge Hemingway’s office talking about how she prepares to sit on the bench. I have been blessed with so many mentors that have given me advice and listen to me process next steps, and it is because of them that I am where I stand today:

Still unsure of what’s next, but well guided.

 

Ten Reasons to Come to the Internship Fair

An internship can be a great experience to launch you into a career later on and build lasting connections and skills. In short, here are 10 reasons why you should come to the internship fair this coming Wednesday:

1. Gain great work experience

This one is pretty obvious, but you have the chance to work in a field of your interest while gaining valuable skills and knowledge to discern your future career.

2. NetworkinG

You have the change to meet and connect with many companies and organizations who will be valuable additions to your network at the fair, and an internship will also broaden that network even further.

3. Build your résumé 

An internship on your resume may help you stand out among other applicants for the same position, and the fair gives you a change to get your résumé out to potential employers. Stop by the Boerigter any day Monday through Friday from 3-4:30 PM to get your résumé reviewed.

4. Great for Gap-Years

If you are looking for something short-term after graduation, an internship may be the perfect experience. If you are unsure of the next step, or are planning to start a new job or schooling after the summer, an internship could be a great transition opportunity.

5. understand potential careers and fields

An internship is a great way to see what life is like in a career or field you may be considering. If you aren’t positive about a certain career, an internship can help you discern the future. You may love the internship and decide to pursue a career in that discipline, or you may find something else within the company intriguing and have a chance to connect with people practicing in that area.

6. Get a feel for new industries

Like understanding careers, internships are also the perfect option to find out more about a specific industry you are curious or passionate about.

7. Summer plans

Some internships look for positions available only during the summer. If you don’t have summer plans, an internship may be the way to go. Maybe you’ve been a camp counselor or worked an entry level summer job for the past few summers and are ready for the next step of an internship.

8. Work with diverse and new groups of people

Build and form lasting relationships with people of different backgrounds, education, and experiences. Internships allow you to work in a more real world setting which equips you to interact with people outside of the Hope community.

9. Internships can lead to full employment

Many people are offered positions within a company after an internship experience. The time spent in an internship allows you to get to know people in the company and make a good impression and a great applicant for a full-time position. Doing this can ease the stress of senior year knowing you have a job on lock-down.

10. There will be ‘H’ Cookies!

Need we say more?!

Join us Wednesday, February 27th from 3-5 PM in the Bultman Student Center to connect with employers offering internships. You can find more information and register on Handshake.

An Incredible Summer: Danny Carpenter ’19

Camping, kids, outdoors, fun, and Jesus…what more could you want? Working at a summer camp changed my life for the better and I could not be more thankful.


When I was a freshman at Hope, I stumbled across a recruiting table for Springhill Camps. I had thought about working at a summer camp before, but I really only knew about Camp Geneva here in Holland. When the recruiter, Nick, asked if I wanted to do an ‘on-the-spot-interview’ I said sure. I had no idea that this decision would change the course of my life.

After that interview, I received the job and knew my plans for the next summer: working with a group of middle school boys every week. I was intimidated and excited. I had never been to Springhill before. Part of me wished that I had just applied to Camp Geneva because it was close and comfortable. But the Lord gave me this challenge to grow and meet people outside of my comfort zone and at a place I had never been before.

After the training and orientation jitters and anxieties, I got to bond with the new staff. This was an incredible group of people from all around the country with a passion and love for Jesus and kids. The random group of people on my staff became my people and my tribe for the summer. They were a group where I could truly be myself and the person who God intended me to be. I still thank the Lord for bringing these people near and dear to my heart.

I worked at Springhill for two summers. The first summer I was a general counselor for some of the coolest middle school boys in the whole world, and my second summer I had the honor of being an inclusion counselor for some wonderful campers with special needs. Springhill is truly incredible at including every camper regardless of their physical or mental abilities within the cabins and activities which also teaches campers that God loves every single child and designed them in His image.

A week at camp can be life changing for kids. To be in a place where they are loved by “cabinmates” and counselors, and where they are shown the love of Christ can leave an impact for their whole lives. Camp is a place where kids are accepted for who they are — A place where they can take off the masks that society gives them and gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. Not only does camp change the lives of campers, but the staff see their lives change as they experience the joy of new campers every week. Hearts of the counselors change through lessons of patience and hard work.

Life can be messy and sometimes difficult, but God is steadfast. Working at a Christian summer camp taught me many life lessons and stretched me beyond my comfort zone. Life is too short to play it safe and not pursue where God calls us to be. If you are thinking about it, you should apply to change lives through Springhill or another summer camp!

To explore opportunities to work at SpringHill or another summer camp, join us at the Summer Camp & Ministry Fair today from 11AM – 2 PM in the Bultman Student Center. You can learn more on Handshake.

 

Prep Steps for the Internship Fair

“The expert at anything was once a beginner” – Helen Hayes

Did you know that Hope is hosting an Internship Fair on January 30, 2019 from 3-5 pm in the Bultman Student Center? Here are 5 quick tips that will help you prepare:

  1. Do some research

Inside Handshake you will find a list of all the companies that will be at the fair. Find the companies that you are interested in and do further research. Being able to mention a mission statement, or a goal the company is working towards  will help you stand out.

  1. Have a good resume

Your resume is your own personal advertising and marketing tool, making sure that your resume captures everything you have done and want to portray is essential. We recommend printing 10 copies of your resume to the fair. We can help you polish up your document during our drop in hours from 3:00-4:30 pm Monday-Friday at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

  1. Be ready with your elevator pitch

Having only a few minutes to sell yourself can seem intimidating, however you are capable of doing it well! Check out this blog which includes great tips on how to write a great elevator pitch.

  1. Dress the part

Not only can looking good make you feel great and increase your confidence, you may leave the employer with a lasting impression. For this fair we encourage business casual attire. You can get ideas on how to dress from our blog or Pinterest board.

  1. Follow up with the company

When you are done introducing yourself and asking questions make sure to ask for business cards before you leave. If they do not have business cards make sure you ask for the potential employers name so that you can follow up with a thank you note or possibly a LinkedIn connection.

The Internship Fair will be held in the Bultman Student Center on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  Hope to see you there.

 

My Summer at Camp Geneva: Addison Huss ’19

Thinking about my time at Camp Geneva always brings a smile to my face.  Who knew that three short months could impact your life so much?

Going into my summer, I expected to laugh, grow, and learn a lot, but I didn’t expect this opportunity to impact me as much as it did. I like to say that “camp showed me a little piece of heaven.” The way people encourage and love each other, laugh and play without a care in the world, and worship together is unlike anything I had ever experienced. Campers and staff alike enter into a place of pure joy when they go to Geneva.

My experience at camp was a little different than most because I worked as support staff. At times, this was very frustrating for me because I felt like I wasn’t making as much of an impact on the campers as their counselors were. 

However, this actually ended up being a huge blessing. It gave me the opportunity to pour into both campers and staff. I had the freedom to meet all of the campers, lead bible study for the cabin I was “adopting,” and encourage other support staff and counselors throughout each week.

Camp Geneva is one of the most beautiful places and getting to call it home for a whole summer was so special. The staff became a family, and the cabins became our homes. I will never forget my experience and would encourage those of you looking for an amazing summer opportunity to do the same! 

The Summer Camp and Ministry Fair will be happening in the Bultman Student Center on Wednesday January 23rd from 11AM – 2PM. You can find more information on Handshake.

 

A Critical Thinking Initiative

As you look towards graduation you will likely be challenged by professors, friends, and family to consider the value of your liberal arts degree. With any major, there is a variety of work roles that can utilize the many skills that you have acquired through Hope College’s liberal arts program. One of these important strengths is strong critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking is exercising sound judgement when we analyze and make decisions.

As a Hope College student, you have the unique opportunity to develop critical thinking skills. However, simply attending Hope College does not automatically make you a critical thinker. Being a part of the Critical Thinking Program that the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is offering would allow you to further develop these very skills and provide proof of them to future employers. Employers and graduate programs highly value candidates with strong critical thinking skills.  This six-week program includes time for reflection on a co-curricular challenge, a course application activity, and a small research-related exercise. This all culminates in a recorded interview where you will convey your critical thinking skills.

Hope College alumni Joey Williams writes about his personal experience with the Critical Thinking Program:

“The Critical Thinking Digital Badge program helped me become a valuable employee to my company. By encouraging me to challenge assumptions outside of the classroom, the Digital Badge program prepared me to become a better researcher, thinker, and analyst for the international healthcare consulting company I currently work for. Additionally, completion of the program showed my employer that I’m intentional about my work and am willing to go the extra mile. I’d recommend this program to anyone who wants to challenge themselves and learn beyond the classroom.”

The Critical Thinking Pilot Program starts on January 29th and ends March 9th. The time commitment is about 3-4 hours per week and is very flexible based on your schedule.

Read more on our website and apply soon. There are a limited number of spots and the deadline to apply is Thursday, January 21st. Students will be selected based on their application. You can find the application here. We are excited to offer this great opportunity and hope you consider applying!

Working at Summer Camp: 5 Major Take-A-Ways

You probably know at least one person who has spent their summer at camp. Likely, they’ve raved about the experience and why “IT’S THE BEST!!!” but what makes summer camp so good and why should you consider a summer spent at camp? Here are 5 reasons to consider:

1. Learn Leadership

You’re in charge of a bunch of kids, so this one is pretty understandable. Depending on the camp, you may also be a counselor all on your own. You have to be aware of the schedule, different needs of campers, and you somehow have to get some wild kids where they need to go on time. You’re not only in charge, but you’re also setting an example constantly. You’re on the clock almost 24/7, and you have to be a role model despite being exhausted. It will challenge you and teach you countless things about yourself and what it means to lead.

2. Problem Solving

What better way to learn how to problem solve than have loads of problems thrown at you 24/7? Don’t get me wrong, camp is fun and it’s totally worth it, but camp is also full of issues as well. Campers are kids with their own agendas and who are used to their own way of doing things, so sometimes the new camp environment can stir up a lot of emotions and stress resulting in a camper needing a little extra TLC while you have to think on-the-go with 10 other kiddos to worry about.

3. Patience and Hard Work

Breathe. This is a word to live by at camp, but the benefit of it is that you learn how to be patient, find balance, and take one thing at a time. You get to learn how to be patient with kids, with other counselors, and show grace in situations that require a lot of effort. The reward can’t be matched. You feel uplifted and excited every time you hit the pillow because you know you’ve brought kids joy by serving them all day long, and you know you’re making an impact in their lives by dedicating your time and energy to them.

4. Adaptability

Camp is all about this one. You’re constantly moving and needing to adjust, which is great for those of us who like everything to be in order because it challenges us to think on our feet and not be afraid when things don’t always go as planned. This skill is highly transferable in the work field because, odds are, you’re going to need to learn to adapt at some point in time. Camp doesn’t stop for one homesick kid or another actually sick kid. You can’t predict or plan out all the mishaps in a day, but you can use each as an opportunity to learn, grow, and flourish as a person.

5. It’s FUN!

Despite the countless challenges of camp, it truly is an incredibly fun and filling summer. You get to hangout with a bunch of kids, play games, go on adventures, and just have a blast all summer. It’s tiring, sure, but the smiles and laughs will make it all worth it. You get to have a lifelong impact on kid’s lives and you get to meet incredible people along the way. You’ll likely have counselor friends who rock and you may get lucky and have some unbelievably wise bosses who want to pour into you too.

It’s safe to say you’ll have a high-energy summer and be exhausted by the end, but give it a couple of months into the school year and you’ll probably be dying to go back. The take-a-ways of camp can also look great on a résumé and will do you good when talking about your abilities to adapt, work with a team, and get things done in an orderly fashion despite chaotic situations. Sound like something you’d want to do? Come to the Summer Camp & Ministry Fair in the Bultman Student Center on January 23rd from 11 AM – 2 PM to learn more.

Parent to Parent: Helping Your Student Navigate Their Vocation and Calling

Amy Freehafer, Career Counselor, Boerigter Center for Calling and Career

So your son or daughter returned home for the holidays! You are so excited to see them only to have that dampened by mounds of dirty laundry, late night comings and goings, and an expressed lack of direction toward a major and career path. The laundry is a long but simple fix. Reminders about expectations while under your roof also easy to navigate. How to help them find direction and discern their vocation and calling… WOAH! Millions of fears and questions race through your head. What if your child ends up wandering aimlessly through life? Maybe even live in your basement while doing it? How do you help your young adults find direction to prevent this as they head back to campus?

ENCOURAGE THEM TO COME TO THE BOERIGTER CENTER FOR CALLING AND CAREER!

We are here to help them and would love your partnership. Your student is anxious about figuring out what to do with their life, especially as it relates to career. We can help both of you!

As parents we do our best to help our kids. What can sometimes happen though is we add pressure in addition to support. Here are some frequent things I hear from students:

  • “I’m afraid I will let my family down because I don’t have things figured out yet”
  • “People keep telling me I would be good at this but it just doesn’t feel like me, so should I do it anyway? Don’t they know best?”
  • “I feel like I’m the only one in the world who does not have things figured out!”

These are just a few examples. Your student may have a lot of anxiety over not knowing what major to choose and/or what career path to follow. We want to help them and you through this time. Every family is different and I don’t claim to be an expert with every situation, but as a mom to three adult children, a trained counselor, and career professional, I like to think I can offer some helpful techniques to try.

First, when I said encourage them to come to the BCCC, what I meant is ask them if they have come to meet with one of our staff. Tell them you know we help students with the discernment/figuring out process. Ask them if they think it might be helpful to talk to someone. Help them take that first step knowing we will take it from there.

Whenever possible ask questions! Open ended questions that do not allow for a simple yes or no are best. Be careful with your tone and affirm that you want them to be a happy and find a good fit. Maybe even share your own story and be sure to include how you struggled to figure things out and how your path has possibly taken you places you didn’t expect.

Share the people in your life who helped you then and help you now with your decision making process. It takes a village right? Help them understand who is in their village and how to add others who will be supportive.
One of the hardest things I had to do as a parent of a college student was to recommend they talk to someone in the Career Office on their college campus. How do I trust she will get good advice from someone else who doesn’t know her like I do? It was one of the best things I did for her as a student! She received good advice and found another person for her village. I trusted them and I’m asking you to trust us. We want to help your son and/or daughter find their calling and prepare for life after Hope and we want to partner with you to do that!

5 Tips to Help Balance Your Responsibilities in College

It can be so easy to fall behind on your to-do list and feel like you’ll never be able to catch up or get ahead of it. Trying to balance classes, homework, jobs, internships, and everything else life throws your way can seem like a never ending cycle. But making an effort to follow these steps can help to stay ahead of those to-do lists and help to bring more balance to your schedule.

1. Set Realistic Goals
Setting goals not only helps you to visualize what you need to get done, but it helps to organize and strive to accomplish these responsibilities! However, knowing the difference from realistic goals and unrealistic goals is important. Sitting down on Sunday night and writing down 5 goals for the week is a great place to start. They can be as a small as getting the first half of that paper due next week done by Wednesday. Another goal could be to spend 2 hours working on and updating your LinkedIn profile that you have been putting off for weeks. Having goals set will help you to prioritize and accomplish them.

2. Learn to Study Effectively
Don’t be the person that puts off studying until the day before the exam. Not only does this cause more stress for you in the long run, but cramming will not help you to perform as well as you could if you had been spreading out your studying. Creating a study schedule and dedicating an hour or so each day leading up to the exam will help so much more in the long run. Figure out what style of studying best works for you and do whatever you can to achieve that.

3. Learn to Better Manage Your Time- Stop Procrastinating!
Everyone knows that procrastinating only hurts us in the long run. So why do we keep doing it? Develop a system that best works for you to help manage your time. Whether that be Google reminders set up, writing things down in a planner, making more to-do lists, you name it! Also know what is worth your time. It is important to make sure that what you are spending your time on, you are actually benefiting from. If something is taking up a large amount of your time and your aren’t reaping the benefits, then it might be time to decide if it is worth your time.

4. Set Priorities and Let Things Go
It can be so easy to become extremely overwhelmed rather than to take control and organize all of our responsibilities that we need to get done. College is filled with mistakes and learning experiences. But it is important that from our mistakes we can move forward and let things go. If we let something slip, don’t sweat it. Learn from it and move on. Start making to-do lists, even if it isn’t something you would normally do and let yourself experience how amazing it feels to cross off each item and complete the list.

5. Explore Your Options and Get Help!
It is so important to explore your options and to know what is available to you. Especially here at Hope we have so many resources right at our fingertips that we won’t always have. Feeling stressed about some of your classes? Go to the Academic Success Center or attend your class’ study session. Stressed about what your major should be? Can’t find an internship? Need help with last minute interview prep or looking over your resume? Come to the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career! There are so many resources we have all around us, it is up to us to utilize them.

Save the Dates: Spring Events Coming Your Way

With the spring semester right around the corner, there are plenty of events to put on your radar and in your calendar. A wide range of events will be offered this spring that you could attend. These events are catered towards different career paths and opportunities.

In January there will be two opportunities near the end of the month. The Summer Camp & Ministry Fair at Hope will host different organizations that you could potentially work for either this summer or for a career geared towards ministry. Giving one of your summers to work at a camp can be an incredibly fulfilling and life-changing time. Even if you’re unsure, this is a great chance to get some more insight into the world of summer camps and ministry.

The other event in January is the Internship Fair. For those of you seeking out a semester or summer internship, this is an amazing chance to meet various employers and make a face-to-face connection. The fair will feature different companies in a range of fields making it a great event to attend for all types of majors.

In February, there will also be a pre-health networking night. This is a perfect chance for those intending to pursue a job in the health field to connect with current people employed in healthcare. This is also a chance to learn more about if pre-health is the best track for you.

Another fantastic series of opportunities are the Living and Working In events that occur in different regions. The first in the series will be focused in healthcare, but the following two events will be open to more types of alumni who can offer advice and tools. The healthcare event is Living and Working In: Royal Oak. This social event will allow a more casual chance to connect and learn more about opportunities in healthcare in Royal Oak, MI. This will be in February.

The second and third Living and Working In events are in West Michigan and Chicago, respectively. Both events will be networking-styled events where students can connect with alumni in order to get advice and gain tips about living and working in whatever region the event is located in. The West Michigan event will take place in March and the Chicago one will be in April.

You can always check out Handshake or the Hope calendar to keep updated about events that are coming up. Keep these events in mind when planning for your spring semester and future career exploration. These are all events that will help you launch into the next chapter of life, so be sure to check them out as they get closer.