Make the Most of Your Summer Job

Maybe you’re stepping into a common summer job, camp counselor position, or your first ever internship. Whatever your summer job may be, you want to get the most out of it to continue to build your experience and understanding. There’s a lot of ways to make the most of your summer job, but here are a few tips and tricks to consider.

Practice the art of saving money and budgeting

It’s likely you’ll be making some money from your summer job. It may be a lot or a little, but the summer can be a great time to practice what it looks like to set aside money for different purposes and map out a budget. There are plenty of resources you can find online to help you get started.

Treat it like an interview

Especially for those of you in an internship, treat the opportunity like an interview. Employers will be watching to see how you interact with others and how well you are able to execute certain tasks. This is a great chance to show your potential and the skills you already have. Always come with a good attitude and be willing to adapt to whatever the job may throw your way.

Make connections

Your summer job is a great place to start networking. Whatever company you’re working for, find ways to connect with various people within the company and give yourself more opportunities. You may meet someone who has a random connection somewhere outside of the company that interests you and could help launch you into the next thing. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations and connect.

Think about Transferable skills

You may not have the ideal summer job or one that has anything to do with your future studies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot out of the opportunity. Think about the day-to-day skills you use such as communication, customer service, adaptability, or whatever else it may be. These are great skills to have that you should include in your résumé as results of your work.

write a blog

Some of you may find value in documenting your experiences or writing about different things you’re learning or interested in within your field. You may not be a writer, but learning and gaining skills in writing can be incredibly beneficial. Consider taking the time to write your experiences to share with others.

Whatever you do this summer, make the most of it. Whether it’s a minimum wage summer job or big city internship, there are skills and valuable experiences you can take from your job. Consider how you can make the most of your time, and enjoy every moment of summer.

Utilizing the Boerigter Before Summer

With only a few weeks from the end of the spring semester, there may be a thing or two you should get in place before the long-awaited summer. Here at the Boerigter Center, we want you to feel confident launching into whatever is next. Some of you may be applying to summer internships, camp counseling positions, or on the full-time job hunt, but, wherever you’re headed, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career wants to help you.

Come get your Résumé Reviewed

We say it a lot, but it’s because this is so important. No matter what you’re applying to, you should always have a nice-looking résumé to give employers more insight on who you are and what you’ve done. Drop-in hours are M-F 3:00-4:30 P.M. Stop by any day to have a Career Advisor help you out.

Major Discernment

Maybe you’re still on-the-fence with your major. Set-up an appointment before the year ends to talk about your options or debrief an assessment to help steer you in the right direction before heading into the summer.

Next Steps

Still trying to figure out what’s next? Come make an appointment and we’ll set you up with someone who can help. We want you to feel comfortable going into an interview, aware of how to look for a job that’s the right fit, or whatever other job-related thing you can think of. The full-time staff here have tons of expertise, and they’re eager to share some of it with you.

Come stop by the Boerigter Center to schedule an appointment before the school year ends. You’ll feel much more confident going into the summer with things in order. No matter what your next move is, be sure to equip yourself for whatever may come about.

Miss out on an opportunity to visit us before the school year ends? Have no fear, we are open 8:00am-4:00pm in the summer months!

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.

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.

Senior Christmas Break Checklist

The holiday break is almost upon us. For some of you, this may be the first time you’re experiencing the joys of the long-awaited Christmas and New Year’s break from the busy schoolwork and extracurricular meetings. For others, this may be the final time you’ll be getting time off before launching into the next season of life. If you’re one of the people in the latter category, there’s a few things to keep on your radar for over the break. Although it’s a break from classes, this time is precious and can be used to help get some things in order as you prep for the next phase.

  1. Résumé. Brush off the dust and update it if necessary. If you haven’t created a résumé yet, you should begin. Click here to see a good template to get you started. If you’ve already done so, update your résumé to make it more current, make several versions catered to different jobs if you have a lot of various experiences, and give it a thorough proofread.
  2. LinkedIn. Start or update your LinkedIn portfolio. There’s a whole series of blogs on how-to use LinkedIn. The first one is catered towards the basics of your LinkedIn portfolio. Basically, you want your LinkedIn to be your professional Facebook. Have activity on your account and make sure that you’ve filled out your profile page.
  3. Job Applications. Once we all return back from break, the months will fly by. If you haven’t started applying and locking-down a job for post-grad, it’s a great time to start seeking out and applying for different opportunities. Keep your options open and apply to plenty to give yourself the best chances and choices.
  4. Portfolio. Some majors may benefit from having a solid portfolio. Art, writing, and education majors are some examples of people who may want to exemplify their work via a different platform. It’s always a good idea to have another way to showcase your hard work, and sites like Wix and Weebly are highly beneficial to helping you get started.
  5. Cover Letter. You’re going to want to have a solid cover letter to go along with a résumé and application. It’s always a nice idea to have a letter on file that can be edited and tweaked for various jobs. You can have a couple of samples that range from more professional and direct to more creative. Here you can find a basis for writing a cover letter.
  6. Interview Prep. Take common interview questions and write out answers. When you’re thinking about answering questions keep in mind the S.T.A.R. method. This acronym stands for situation, task, action, and result. Keep in mind how your experiences can showcase how you’ve handled situations, specifies your skills, shows the ways in which you’ve demonstrated those things tangibly, and what were the overall results and takeaways.
  7. Get the Garb. Dressing the part is an essential aspect of the interview process. You may already have interview and job-appropriate clothing options, but, if not, the holiday season is a great time to invest in some new garb. For ideas of what is appropriate, check out our Pinterest page. Your garb is a great way to display your professionalism as well as to showcase your unique style and personality.
  8. Know Your Options. You have plenty of resources to utilize here at Hope to help make the next stage of life feel a bit easier. The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career offers plenty of choices for various sessions and appointments. Be sure to check out our offerings on our website. For any further questions or to schedule an appointment, feel free to give us a call at 616-395-7950, or stop by the office in Dewitt.
  9. Do Your Research. When interviewing with a company, it’s essential to have a basic grasp on who the company is. Be sure to check out their website and also look into the benefits and other perks of the company. Things like pay structures, stock options, travel allowances, and especially benefits like insurance and retirement can end up being big factors in what makes you choose one job over another.

Whatever you spend your break doing, make sure to take some time to rest and rejuvenate. With graduation coming in a few short months, it’s important to refocus and re-energize to prepare yourself for the next steps in life. If you want to learn more about practices in self-care, this article is one that will hopefully challenge you to grow as you prepare for another busy season of life.

LinkedIn How-To: What Recruiters Look For

LinkedIn has become the more prominent way that many people are seeking jobs and finding people to recruit. It is a platform that heightens the concept of a traditional résumé by constantly being updated and interacted with. Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the how-to of the basics of your profile as well as networking and job search. In this blog, we’ll touch on what exactly stands out to recruiters.

With how many people are on LinkedIn, it’s vital that you are able to be set apart enough so that employers and recruiters see how you could be a good addition to their company. That being said, LinkedIn isn’t much different from your résumé in terms of how little time is spent going from one person to the next.

Just like a traditional résumé, recruiters are sorting through potentially hundreds of potential candidates. With this in mind, you have to catch the eye of an employer. By having a brand and tone to your profile, you create consistency. Each company and employer is going to be looking for something different, but if you have a brand that matches who you are, you’re more likely to find a good fit.

One of the most important elements to your profile is your photo. Statistics have shown that around one-fifth of the time someone views your profile is spent looking at the photo. Seeing your face allows someone to feel more personally connected to you, and you want your face to come with your name and brand, so having a solid profile photo matters. Don’t have too distracting of a photo. You want it to be just a portrait of you, and the background should have minimal going on. If the background is busier, it should match who you are and you should be what’s in focus.

Recruiters will see that your profile is complete and that you are engaged with it. The more you post and interact, the more frequently people will see your profile. Once on your profile, you want words, phrases, and other things that show you are well-accomplished. You want your accomplishments and experience to match what you’re interested in and applying for. Ultimately, showing that you are passionate and excited will bode well with potential future employers.

LinkedIn How-To: Networking and Job Search

As a continuation to a series of blogs about LinkedIn, let’s dive in with what it looks like to utilize LinkedIn. Once you have set-up your profile, your next step is learning to navigate the site. There are plenty of ways to connect with employers and find potential jobs to apply for. This short post will help lay some of the foundation of ways to get started with this process.

||It’s Never Too Early To Start||

Building a network is important, but it isn’t necessarily easy. It takes time to meet people, get your name out there, and feel like you have several connection. Start the process early. Take time to connect with professors, even if they are not necessarily in your specific career, they often have contacts with former students as well as plenty of employers or people who can connect you further. Additionally, don’t be afraid to talk about your career goals with family or in other circles of people in the workforce. Just expressing your interests can often go a long ways.

||Connect||

Don’t be shy. Add people to your network. Even if you don’t know someone super well, it doesn’t hurt to connect with them on LinkedIn. The more connections you have, the wider your pool of potential is. With more people on your network, you have more people who will see your posts, interact with your profile, and get your name circulating.

||Be Bold||

Reach out to people on LinkedIn. Send personal messages to people letting them know you’re job searching and if they have any connections to help you out. You should never simply ask someone for a job, but reaching out to people is always a good idea to build your network. Customize each message you send to show that you value the person you’re speaking with. Better yet, reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn. Confidence shows initiative. After applying to a job, let the recruiter know and ask a question or engage with them. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there. The boldness may just land you the job.

||Browse Around||

Use LinkedIn as a resource to find potential companies you’re interested in. Plenty of employers use LinkedIn and frequently make posts about their companies projects and initiatives. You can get a pretty great sense about employers based off of their profile pages. Follow different companies and people that interest you. You can then share those posts and interact even more with companies that you would want to work for.

||Search||

Lastly, you can always search for jobs. You can narrow down filters to make it more applicable to you, and then you can often apply straight from LinkedIn to different opportunities. Try and follow-up and make a connection within the company in order to have a more personal relationship to the job you’re applying for.

There are so many ways that LinkedIn can help you find a job. The more you interact with the site, the more comfortable and easy it will be to understand how to use the site to its full potential.

LinkedIn How-To: The Basics of Your Profile

LinkedIn has become a vital tool in getting your face out there for employers to see. Additionally, the site serves as a way for you to seek out job opportunities and connect with employers after an interview or career fair.

The first step to making your LinkedIn account worthwhile is understanding how to set up your profile. While there are many things you can do over time to embellish your profile, let’s start with some basics.

||Headline and Photo||

You want to grab the viewers attention by using a short statement as your headline outlining who you are and what you’re looking for. For example, say your major (i.e. Business major) followed by what kind of job you’re looking for (i.e. seeking a position in public relations). You also want to make sure you’re well-represented in your photo. This photo should either be a professional head shot or resemble one. You want to be well-dressed and have a background that isn’t distracting.

||Give a good summary||

When you edit the summary section of your profile, utilize this space to quickly showcase your goals and career aspirations. The paragraph should be concise, give some information about your studies, and also showcase your unique self. Think of this as the start of your best cover letter.

||Fill it in||

Take some time to fill out your profile. Put in all of your education experience as well as extracurricular activities. Possibly most important is that you add in your work experience and volunteer work as well. The descriptions of your work should be similar to the bullet points of your résumé, but you want to make them more personable and put those skills and experience in paragraph form.

||Be active||

Treat this like your professional social media. This means you should interact with posts, share blogs you’ve written or articles you’ve read, and update people on new positions and professional moves. Engaging on LinkedIn gets your name surfacing more and allows employers to see your interests. This is also a great way to let people see the projects you’ve done that you’re passionate about and have spent time working hard on.

||Be Yourself||

Finally, it goes without saying, but it’s important to showcase who you are on your profile. You still want to keep things professional, but share things that you’re genuinely interested in and not just what will “make you look good.” Make your abilities and skills as well as your personality evident to employers.

If you ever have questions about your LinkedIn profile, you are always welcome to stop in at the Boerigter Center to ask questions or get feedback. Drop-in hours run from 3:00-4:30 PM every weekday. Stay tuned for a post about how to use LinkedIn to network and job search coming soon!

Your Best Foot Forward: Navigating a Career Fair

Career fair season is knocking on our door and we want to help you feel more confident and prepared! First impressions are essential when you are trying to make an impact on recruiters who are encountering tons of faces within a few hours. Here are some tips to help navigate the room:

RÉSUMÉ, RÉSUMÉ, RÉSUMÉ

Bring copies of your résumé — lots of them. You may go in thinking you are only going to talk to a couple of employees, but before you know it, you may be talking with a few more employers and recruiters who catch your eye. You want to make sure you do not run out of copies before talking to the employers you had intended to target, so a safe bet is to bring about 15 copies.

KNOW YOUR STUFF

Before heading to the career fair, try and get an idea of potential employers that will be there. You can head over to Handshake to get a list of career fairs that the Boerigter Center is advertising and see a list of companies there. Know the people you would potentially like to talk to, and take the time to check out their websites and have some talking points. Knowing details about the company shows initiative and can help you standout.

DRESS THE PART

Dressing business professional is always a safe bet. Keep your color palette neutral. When it comes to dressing the part, you’re always better to be slightly overdressed than under dressed. Need ideas? Check out our Pinterest page!

SELL YOUR PITCH

Work on an elevator pitch. This is basically a quick rundown about yourself and giving the recruiter some information that sets you apart. You can read the blog on elevator pitches here for more information: https://blogs.hope.edu/boerigter-center/internships/elevator-pitch-engaging-an-employer-in-less-than-a-minute/

ASK FOR A BUSINESS CARD

After you have a conversation, be bold and ask for a business card or a way to be in contact with the employer. Some employers will use LinkedIn and will want you to reach out via that platform whereas others may be more apt to a traditional business card. Either way, you should try and have a LinkedIn profile setup and you will want to reach out to the employer to follow-up shortly after the career fair. Send an email or a message thanking them for their time and expressing further interest in being in contact.

ENGAGE WITH THE MATERIAL

Do not just walk up to an employer’s booth and take all of the brochures and pamphlets. Instead, have a conversation with the recruiter and then follow-up by asking them what materials would be most suitable for you to take. This will help show the employer that you care about knowing more and that you are proactively observing what is around you. Additionally, taking small notes as the employer talks is not a bad idea. This shows you want to remember the conversation and makes your follow-up more personal.

Ultimately, show your best side and be confident. Confidence is key when it comes to the job search process. The more you know, the more confident you will feel, and do not forget to be courteous, respectful, and engaged. Even if the employer you are talking to is not your first pick, be sure to be present and show your best side. You may be surprised how much you will like a company if you give the recruiter time to give their pitch.

 

 

The Boerigter is Officially Open for Business

H Cookies get a face-lift for the Boerigter Center’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

It’s official! The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is now up and running in full swing after this past Friday’s Ribbon Cutting. Students, faculty, and staff all gathered for the celebratory event as the Boerigter’s were paraded in on golf carts. Trygve Johnson started the ceremony off with a time of prayer to bless the center. Fellowship ensued shortly after the ribbon was cut inviting students in to utilize the new space.

The Boerigter’s spent some time socializing and greeting people who were there to celebrate. After a brief conversation with Sibilla Boerigter, it is apparent that they are excited to give back to the college in this way. They were both so impressed with how quickly and efficiently the college got the project up and running. When the idea was first proposed, they were sure it would take several years to see the dream fully come to life. However, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is now excitedly welcoming students into the space.

The Voskuil’s (left) engage in a lively conversation with George Boerigter.

Thanks to the generous donation of George Boerigter from his company SoundOff Signal, Hope College is now able to cater to an even wider student population. The open-layout concept and central campus location were both highly intentional choices in order to make students feel comfortable and welcome in the new space. Whether you are a first-year student, transfer, or senior, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career can help get you on the right path for a blossoming future.