In the second week of the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career’s 30-Day Challenge, there were two different workshops, one about Diversity and Inclusion within the workplace, and the second was about the process of major discernment. The major discernment session was hosted by three different BCCC staff members. Amy Freehafer and Yoli Vega who are both Career Advisors at the BCCC, and Katie James who is currently a senior at Hope as serves as a Career Ambassador.

The presentation started with some questions and facts about major discernment. Yoli shared the fact that the average Hope student changes their major three times throughout their time at Hope! Amy then talked about three major factors that should be at play when you are beginning to discern what your calling is. The first is figuring what you love, or what are your interests, the second is thinking about what you are good at, and the last is considering what does the world need and what can you share with the world. These three different ways of “listening to your life” all work together to help determine what you might find to be your calling. Throughout this process, it is important to remember that discernment is a big thing! Each person goes about it in their own way, maybe you will find a major you are passionate about and need to find a job, or have a job you want and need to find a major. All of these and any other ways you go about figuring out your calling are valid!

Amy then went into the Gallup StrengthsQuest assessment that each Hope student take upon the beginning of their time on campus. Amy outlined the different things that are in your StrengthsQuest assessment and the different takeaways that you can get from that document. She also mentioned some of the options that are offered at the Boerigter Center and pointed students to some links on the website. These links provide access to information about the different fields that Hope students could be considering. 

Next Katie talked about her experience at Hope and how she has used DegreeWorks on to think about her degree path. In DegreeWorks, you are able to look through a potential major, and look at the classes that you would need to take in order to get a degree in that field. 

Yoli then introduced students to the newest assessment tool that the BCCC is using, PathwayU. This tool has four different assessments that students can take, interests, personality, values, and workplace preferences. Then after taking these you are able to get feedback about potential careers or other parts of your life so you are able to better understand yourself and ways you may go forward!

To end the presentation, Yoli went through the process to schedule appointments with Boerigter Center staff on Handshake! With any of the topics addressed in the Major Discernment session of the 30-Day challenge feel free to reach out to the BCCC to set up a time to talk!

Another one of this week’s 30 Day Challenge workshops was focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace. The session was led by Rose Rodriguez and Jevon Willis. They began by defining diversity, equity, and inclusion which helped the listeners to understand the differences between each word, because they can easily be grouped together and not thought about individually. The goal of these three things is really to create equity, which meets each individual’s specific needs, and to create an environment where everyone at the table has equal access to power and offering input. It is easy to have a lot of diverse people in a room, but the goal is that everyone in that room would feel like they belong there.

The advantages to attaining these three components in the workplace are plentiful. It creates stronger business results/profits, a larger talent pool, a variety of perspectives, increased creativity, increased productivity, and a global impact. Customers themselves are diverse, so having a team that is diverse provides more insight into how to reach all different realms of customers. One significant statistic that was shown during the workshop was that there is a 95% higher return on equity with diverse boards than homogenous boards. Workplaces are evolving, but there is a long way to go. 

In order to make progress we need to be educated and be willing to speak up about it. As college students we’ve experienced different classes or internships during which a lot of us have probably seen or experienced being uncomfortable due to a difference in gender, age, or a belief. We should make sure we know who we can turn to in situations like this in order to make the situation right. We have the right to: Work Free of Discrimination, Work Free of Harassment, Complain about Job Discrimination without Punishment, Request Workplace Changes for Your Religion or Disability, and to Keep our Medical Information Private. Being aware of these will help to enforce them in future work settings and help to make a difference.

At Hope College the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Boerigter Diversity Resources Page, and Title IX Department are all places for students and staff to turn to for help. 

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