Journey to Finding a Major – Addison Huss (’19)

The path of deciding a major is a stressful and confusing one for many, myself included. When I first came to Hope, I felt the weight of the decision in front of me. Although I knew from a fairly young age what I wanted to do when I grew up, I didn’t know what major, classes, or experiences I would need to be able to successfully reach the point of my dream job.

In high school I discovered my passion for helping others through mission trips, volunteering, and coaching. As time went on I found myself specifically interested in the public school system in our country and knew from that point on that I wanted to be a high school guidance counselor when I grew up. Because of this, I enrolled in a few education classes during my first year at Hope, assuming that I would love teaching and hoped to pursue my career in that way. After my first course was over I knew in my heart that teaching was not my calling. Through conversations with my parents, sister, advisor, and other important people in my life, I signed up to take the introduction to social work course. Within days I knew that this was what I was supposed to be doing. I loved the social work professors, the information I was learning, and I recognized the importance of what social workers do. As time went on, I did an abundance of research on what I could do with a social work degree. I learned that there are hundreds of opportunities and areas I could specialize in. Although this was exciting, I still knew that I wanted to be a school counselor, so I did more research on what steps I would have to take next to reach that goal.

As I near the end of my senior year and look back at my time at Hope College, I am so thankful for the people that encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, guided me through the decision-making process, and led to me to the place I am at today. I currently have the opportunity to intern at Hudsonville High School with both the social worker and one of the counselors. This has been the most impactful part of my education because it is giving me hands-on experience. It also has helped me discern that counseling is the route I want to continue to pursue. I am confident in my ability to be successful in my career because of my experience interning and through the education and life experiences I have received from the faculty and staff at Hope.

Although the process of picking a major is daunting, I hope others recognize the goodness found in the journey because it is an opportunity to learn about yourself and the world around you. To those struggling with this process, I encourage you to reach out to advisors, professors, friends, family members, and others and to take the time you need. This is a big decision, but I hope you find peace in knowing that you are not meant to make it on your own.

If you’re struggling with deciding a major, here are 5 steps that might be helpful to you:

  1. Enroll in introductory classes to all of the majors that sound of interest to you just so you can learn a little bit about each!
  2. Reach out to your people (parents, friends, siblings, etc.) and have serious conversations about what excites and interests you.
  3. Set up a meeting with your advisor. They can be SO helpful and knowledgeable about all that Hope has to offer.
  4. Be honest with yourself and trust your gut. You know yourself better than you may think.
  5. PRAY about it!

At the end of the day, every major offers many opportunities. Don’t be afraid to seek out different majors that interest you and take classes you aren’t sure about. The benefit of a liberal arts college is that you get a chance to take classes in various fields of study. You may find you love a subject you never even considered studying. Ask the hard questions and don’t be scared of trying something new.

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.

 

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.

 

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!

Why Consider the Insurance Industry?

Michigan is home to some of the nation’s largest insurance companies. The industry employs over 50,000 people and serves millions of policyholders in areas such as health insurance, property/casualty insurance, and life insurance. Insurance companies work to provide financial assurance products covering a diverse range of financial risks.

Many students do not have the insurance industry on their “career radar,” but here are some reasons why you should:

  • The insurance industry offers significantly higher wages. Michigan’s insurance industry average wage is $85,000, whereas average wages across all industries is $60,000
  • There is a substantial need for talent – the industry is replacing a quarter of the workforce due to retirement and broadening areas of recruiting interest
  • The insurance industry is seeking students with all backgrounds of study, which means it could be a great fit for everyone and especially those in fields with fewer job opportunities.

Alumni, Julia Mills (’18), is currently working in the insurance industry after recently graduating and shared some insight into the field.

“The insurance industry can be an excellent fit for students navigating the post-graduation transition. As most insurance companies are large scale, there are frequently many roles to fill at any given time. By working for an insurance company, you begin to get a taste of what the real world is like, which is necessary to face after college. Although it is not all glamorous, and the type of work available may not highlight your Myers-Briggs, it is an excellent place to learn what you do (or do not) love in a work environment. Hours are consistent, benefits are substantial, and interviewing is relatively easy. Another perk to the insurance industry is their commitment to training you thoroughly. Because your expertise on insurance will contribute to the greater picture of the entire company, businesses are likely to put time and effort into your training. This means that many doors are open for you, especially if you want to continue in the insurance world. If you are a learner, and taking in new information everyday excites you, the insurance industry could be perfect for you.”

If you are curious or interested in learning and discovering more about a career in the insurance industry, we invite you to attend The Michigan Colleges Alliance Insurance Industry Recruiting & Informational Event on November 15th from 1:00- 4:00PM. The event is being held at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West (925 S. Creyts Rd, Lansing, MI 48917).

The event’s agenda will include small-group roundtable networking sessions with each company. These sessions will have overviews of current and future recruiting needs.

A special drawing for multiple $500 Scholarships will be held at the conclusion of the event. All students graduating in May 2019 or later will be eligible. You must be present to win.

International students are encouraged to review individual positions and attend. Select companies offer sponsorship opportunities. Below you can find a link to register as well as learn more about the companies that will be in attendance.

Please register here to attend: https://mcainsurance18.eventbrite.com

Review each company’s positions currently posted via https://tinyurl.com/mcainsuranceevent.

As always, the Boerigter Center would love to help you prepare as well as answer any further questions. Feel free to give us a call (616-395-7950) or stop by the office located in Dewitt.

Get in a Group: Sessions to Help You Navigate Calling and Career

Centered in connecting, Boerigter strives to meet with every student across campus. In this mindset, we are now offering group sessions. This opportunity will allow you to meet in a setting of around 5-10 students to engage in learning and asking questions in a variety of topics. Whether you are in your first year as a Hope student or have a few years under your belt, there are sessions that can likely cater to some of those common questions about resumes, interviewing, and more.

EXPLORATORY ADVISING

Calling all freshman discerning majors and careers — in an exploratory advising session we will assist you in the process of figuring out what to study and how to explore your areas of interest. If you are thinking of off-campus study or have no clue how to narrow in on a potential major, this session can help you get started with what it means to find and pursue your passions and interests in life.

 

Internship Overview

Thinking about applying for an internship? Whether you are thinking of summer options or future semesters, it’s important to feel confident about the basics of internship, how to find work specific to your goals, and how an internship can prepare and launch you into your future career. This session is a great start to get you putting your best foot forward and to set you apart from others.

 

INTERVIEW PREPARATION

Along with seeking employment comes interviewing, which can be a daunting notion to both those with little and those with plenty of experience in the world of interviews. However, with more knowledge and techniques of how to interview well, you can feel more confident in utilizing your personality and skills in order to feel calm, cool, and collected in your next interview. This session will provide you with an understanding of what it means to display who you are, demonstrate what makes you an excellent candidate, and answer the tough questions with ease.

 

Networking & LinkedIn

If you are seeking summer employment or looking into future careers, it’s helpful to get your name and face out there for employers to see. This group session will allow you to understand the general process of networking and provide access to alumni in your areas of interest. Additionally, the session will equip you with the tools to use LinkedIn successfully and help you to understand the process of informational interviewing in order to stand out in the networking process.

 

Personal Statement Preparation

Thinking about graduate school? This workshop will help you get started on one of the first things on the checklist to applications. Personal statements are a way that a graduate school can get to know you, and this session will provide you with an understanding of how to best compose this statement. What to showcase and how to present yourself to a school can be explored within this group process.

 

Resume & Cover Letter

One of the most basic steps to securing a job is having a solid resume and cover letter. From never making a resume before and having no idea where to start, to trying to hone-in on what can make your cover letter stand out, this group will help point you in the right direction. Resume and cover letter sessions will involve how to properly format each and what information to include. Plus, you will be able to better grasp how to gear your resume and cover letter to the specifc job you’re seeking.

Group sessions will be starting this September. For more information or to schedule yourself into one of these hour-long sessions, please call us at 616.395.7000, or stop by our new location on the first floor of Dewitt.

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! 

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!

Welcome!

“A smile is the universal welcome.” Max Eastman

The Career Development Center would like to say hello and welcome! We hope that the first two weeks has been good to everyone, and that everyone has found a good rhythm for the rest of the semester.

The Career Development Center (CDC) has a lot of great services to offer. Some of these services are cover letter reviewing, building a resume, networking, interview preparation and making a four year plan. These services are beneficial to you whether you are a freshman or senior; it does not matter at what stage you are in in your life.

You can find out more about the CDC, what we offer and also make an appointment by calling us at (616) 395-7950, or visiting the Hope College Career Development website. The CDC is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm.

The CDC office is located on the first floor of the Anderson-Werkman building. Our team consists of student Career Advisors (CAs) and staff members who are all eager to help and cannot wait to meet you!