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!

Life After College

Life. After. College.

These three little words hold a lot of weight for seniors, especially those who will be thrust into their reality in a few months. For some, these words are exciting, full of potential and opportunity. For others, these words are concerning, implying uncertainty and unknown territories. Some students feel a mix of the two reactions, a little anticipation swirled with a little fear. No matter what you feel when you hear the words “life after college,” we can work through it together in sharing and encouraging one another through a community of students, staff members, and Holland community members who either have dealt with these feelings before, or are currently working through them now.

This is where the Life After College series comes in.

This six week series covers a variety of topics in each two hour session. The last three sessions focus on Wisdom and the Word, Friends and Fiancés, and Financial Faithfulness. Soak in the advice our experienced leaders are willingly sharing and speak candidly about your own experiences in these areas.

Life After College is held on the first floor of the Martha Miller rotunda every Wednesday from 3:00pm-5:00pm and Thursday from 7:00pm-9:00pm.

Senior Sarah Carpenter comments on her experience with the series, saying,

“The Life After College series has opened my eyes to new ideas and perspectives for post-grad life. I’m excited to apply some of the concepts that I’ve learned into my vocational experiences after I graduate.”

Life after college is a reality we will all need to eventually face, so take advantage of this great opportunity to prepare you mind, heart, relationships, and wallet for that next step of adulthood!

The Job Search and Networking – Where to Begin?

Image result for looking for job

IF OPPORTUNITY DOESN’T KNOCK, BUILD A DOOR. —MILTON BERLE

 

As we move into the fourth week of school, and homework lingers over our heads, the question on everyone’s mind is: “What am I going to do with my life?” and especially for seniors, the main question is: “What will I do after graduation?”

Even though this is a pressing question, don’t worry! The Career Development Center has a number of steps and resources that will help you get ready for life after graduation.

Steps to Preparing for the Job Search

  1. The first step to making sure you are ready for after graduation is to make sure that your resume is polished and professionalThere are a number of staff members that can help you with your resume, curriculum vitae or cover letter, so schedule an appointment today! If you need some quick tips, drop ins at the CDC are from 3:00-4:30 p.m. You can also visit the Career Development website to get the gist of where you want to start.
  2. After you have your resume completed, it’s time to schedule a mock interview with Dale. Mock interviews are valuable in the sense that they give you important practice with certain interview questions and how to answer them. In addition to mock interviews for jobs, there are also mock interviews for grad schools and internships. Click here for an overview of how to prepare for mock interviews, otherwise, schedule an appointment with Dale!
  3. In addition to resumes and mock interviews, another important step is networking. Megan Fisher is definitely the person to schedule an appointment with to learn about the ins and outs of this valuable skill. When networking, you can connect with Hope alumni and others that have majored in your field or are doing a career you are interested in. This can help open multiple doors that you might not have known were a possibility. You also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of social media and the positive or negative impact it can have in your job search process.

We talked to Megan about Networking and her experience with it and she had some valuable comments. When asked how Networking could help students in their job search, she stated,

“Networking can help students during their job search in multiple ways. Information interviewing is a piece of the networking process. An information interview allows you to explore your field of interest through a structured, longer conversation with someone already working in that field. It also helps students learn from the wins (and mistakes) of others. This process is FREE career advice!

There is also formal networking, for example connecting with people at a company you want to work for, [which] helps students get their foot in the door as well as create an awesome first impression.”

She also noted that,

“Employers want to do business primarily with people they know. Resumes alone are often too impersonal especially when there are many applicants. Networking helps your resume come to the top of the pile during intense competition.”

Megan has personal experience with this, as she recalls,

“When I was first looking for a Graduate Assistant position (coaching lacrosse and getting my masters degree) I attended the US Lacrosse Convention. I created business cards and printed out copies of my resume. During my time at the convention I gave out the materials I brought and networked with other coaches. I ended up connecting with a new lacrosse program that was looking for a G.A. After following up after the convention I found myself interviewing for the position and got the job. I was later told that my “go-getter” attitude and my unique business cards/resume made be stand out in the networking process.”

As you can see, networking is a valuable skill when it comes to the job seeking process. Networking, combined with the other job seeking skills mentioned above, will help you be prepared to get a job that you love. Schedule an appointment today to see how the Career Development Center can help you!

Finding Your Fit

“The expert at anything was once a beginner.”

― Helen Hayes

We all know at least one person who has known what they wanted to do since the second grade. Those who, even then, had a straight forward answer to the very cliche question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and followed it through until they graduated college. Did you ever envy them? Of course you did! Especially if you are like the majority of college students and don’t know what you want your career path to be, let alone your major. If you happen to be one of these people, do not worry at all. The CDC has great services to give you a start in the right direction.

Start Simple

If you are wondering where to begin in your major discernment or career search, your first step is to make an appointment with Amy Freehafer. She is a Career Counselor here at the CDC and is the main administrator for StrengthsQuest through Gallup. StrengthsQuest is a useful tool in which the person answers a series of questions to find their top five strengths out of the 34 that they identify with the most.

When asked what a good first step would be for those looking for direction, Amy has some good advice:

“If you have not taken StrengthsQuest that should be the first thing on your agenda.  After taking the StrengthsQuest, coming in for coaching is important. This will give you an understanding of your results and how to apply them. StrengthsQuest will help you figure out who you are and this can the be applied to the different courses or career paths that your strengths fit into best. If by the end of this [process] you do end up finding your career, then there are further ways that I can assist.”

There are also two more assessments that are career related that Amy can work with you through – the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Like StrengthsQuest, these assessments are personality based and can help you figure out more of who you are as a person to help in your major/career search.

Another way to figure out what direction you want to go is to find an internship. Internships are great for when students want to get a feel for the field they are thinking about going into. They are also useful for connecting what you have learned in the classroom to the real world, and networking. If you are unsure that the field you want to go into is the right one for you, an internship would be most helpful for you. Jena Szatkowski is your go to person if you want help setting up internships.

When asked how internships help students, Jena had some encouraging words:

“Internships are a great idea because it can affirm or redirect you onto a certain path. JobStop has about 200 different internships you can look at to get a feel of the different things that are offered. There are programs that you can do, some examples are The Philadelphia Center, New York Arts, Washington Honors, Chicago Semester and IES internships. Remember, an internship can either affirm or redirect you to a certain path.”

One of the Career Advisors that works in the CDC Office, Hadley Roy, commented on how both Amy and Jena helped her make progress in her career path:

“Coming into Hope as a Junior with an Econ major and Management minor, Amy helped me see if the idea of double majoring in both of those areas was feasible. Jena also played a big role in my career planning, as she (combined with Sarah McCoy) helped to get me my internship last summer with Commonwealth//McCann. This was a good affirmation that I was in the right field!”

As you can see, the CDC has many ways to help you figure out the next step in your major or career planning. Stop in soon or call us at 616-395-7950 to make an appointment today!