Networking Works

Networking works. However, we know it can also be a little intimidating. Hope has thousands of alumni, and you probably know hundreds of professionals!

How do you sort it all out?

First off, take advantage of the resources you have! Know some professionals in your potential field? Shoot them an email saying you’re interested in talking to them about their careers and asking what insight they would like to share with you. Also consider creating a LinkedIn account. The “Connections” page on LinkedIn is a helpful resource for connecting with alumni. Networking can lead to some pretty fantastic opportunities while pursuing your career exploration path.

Not sure about your own resources? Make an appointment with the Career Development Center! We’ll help you link with alumni and other resources to build your professional network. Megan Fisher is the go-to person for any and all networking questions, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment with her to get started in the networking process!

Career Advisor Hadley Roy speaks to her own personal experience with networking here at Hope:

 Last week I made an appointment with a Career Development staff member to talk about internship possibilities. That appointment got my name on an email list with the Office of Alumni Engagement, and that email list got me to a lunch with Hope alumnus who is a successful businessman in international travel. That lunch got me connected with staff in Alumni Engagement, who got me in touch with a Senior VP at a major ad agency back home. All because I made that appointment and talked to someone in Career Development about networking.

When it comes to networking and informational interviews, there’s one thing you have to remember: you can’t gain information unless you ask for it.

So get out there.

Start asking questions.

Start making connections.

You’re on your way to amazing things.

Judge a Book by its Cover.

First impressions matter. Whether you’re applying for a year long internship, a summer job, or a potential future career position, it’s essential that you make a good impression on your potential employer.

There are several factors that contribute to making a good first impression, such as having an impressive resume, strong interviewing skills, and a well-prepared outlook and overall sense of confidence. One factor that you should always take into consideration is your wardrobe. Although this may seem frivolous and insignificant, the manner through which you present yourself with your clothing says a lot about who you are and how much you value this potential position. Career Advisor Hadley Roy knows a thing or two about this topic, and has offered five tips to help you make a great impression with how you dress.

1.) Be professional.

Wear office appropriate attire. No flip flops. No jeans. Nothing torn. Nothing dirty. Make sure your hair looks nice and avoid distracting jewelry or makeup. Also avoid wearing any strong perfume or cologne, as this can be distracting for your potential employers as well.

2.) Dress for the job you want.

This is partially an extension of tip one, but there’s more to it than just looking professional. Read up on the office culture, check out LinkedIn profiles of higher-ups at the company or organization. Use your attire to mirror the values you see the company projecting. If you’re applying for an accounting or engineering position, a dark suit and conservative tie are always a good choice. If you’re applying to be a copywriter or designer, maybe consider something a bit more adventurous. My go to is a black sheath dress with a colored blazer, but always keep it professional.

3.) When in doubt, ask Human Resources.

Seriously. Ask. Don’t show up in a gray suit if you should have been wearing khakis. Don’t show up in jeans if you should have had on slacks and a blazer. Ask.

4.) Make sure your footwear is up to standards.

That means a conservative heel (if you can’t walk four blocks in them, leave them in the closet) or professional flats for women and dress shoes for men. Even the most casual of offices don’t call for sneakers at an interview.

5.) Make sure you feel good in the clothes.

If that means getting something tailored, do it. It’s a little extra expense, but it is worth it. Clothes that don’t fit don’t make a good first impression.

For more information check out these links:

Forbes “How to Dress for Your Next Job Interview”

Forbes “What to Wear for a Job Interview”

Be sure to check out our Pinterest page for even more tips! CDC Pinterest

If you’re ever in doubt about how to dress for an interview or how to make a good impression, stop by the Career Development Center. We want to help you build upon this foundation of making a good first impression by helping you with the entire interview process, so stop by today or call us at 616-395-7950 and we’d be happy to talk to you.

Getting Started with the Career Development Center!

Welcome to the Hope College Career Development Center Blog! This blog is designed to help you as a Hope College student or graduate learn more about all the Career Development Center (CDC) has to offer, from upcoming events, to tips for your career exploration process, and everything in between!

A silly picture of the CDC staff!

What am I going to do with my life?!

Some people come into college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives, and some people (maybe you) have absolutely no clue. Contrary to what you might think, that’s okay! We want to assure you that it’s normal to be a little unsure as you discern what career path you want to follow. The truth is, most people (adults included) are still trying to figure that out! The best thing to do is explore any and all possible career options. Career exploration shouldn’t be some terrifying task you want to avoid, but a rewarding adventure that will help you learn more about yourself. Be patient with the process and be patient with yourself. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

A great first step is to head over to the Career Development Center, located on the first floor of the Anderson-Werkman building. Our team consists of several student Career Advisors (CAs) and staff members who are eager to help you with this new endeavor!

Meet the Staff!

Dale Austin is the CDC director, and provides individual workshops and advising in regards to job search issues, cover letters and resumes, interview preparation, and graduate school planning.

Jena Szatkowski, the assistant director, is your go-to for any and all internship assistance. She also assists with mock interviews and resume and cover letter review.

Sarah McCoy is the CDC program director, and deals with employer relations and engagement, coordinating discipline specific programs that integrate curricular and co-curricular activities.

Amy Freehafer, a career counselor, can help you understand your personal strengths (as she oversees the StrengthsQuest program on campus) and explore the careers that might be right for you through her use of personality and career assessment tools and resources.

Shannon Schans is another career counselor who also specializes in reviewing StrengthsQuest results and helps students develop their resumes and cover letters. She also facilitates career modules for First Year Seminar classes.

Megan Fisher is a career counselor who deals with networking. She helps prepare for various career fairs and networking events, explores the use of social media in the job search process, and helps students connect with Hope alumni or other professionals for informational interviews or job shadowing.

Elizabeth Bocks is the office manager. She maintains the office’s web page, assists with on-campus recruiting and career fairs, and basically keeps the CDC office running smoothly and efficiently!

How do I start?

Schedule an appointment with the CDC! For more information about who we are, what we do, and all we have to offer, please call us at (616) 395-7950, or visit the Hope College Career Development Website. Our office is open from 8:00AM-12:00PM and 1:00PM-5:00PM Monday through Friday.

We also hold Drop-In Hours every weekday from 3:00PM-4:30PM. These hours are perfect for short, last minute appointments regarding resume and cover letter review, interview prep, networking, and any other questions you might have. There will always be several Career Advisors and at least one staff member ready to assist you.

No matter what stage you’re at in your career exploration process, you can benefit from a visit to the Career Development Center! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Our office, located in Anderson-Werkman!
Our office, located in Anderson-Werkman.