5 Tips to Help Balance Your Responsibilities in College

It can be so easy to fall behind on your to-do list and feel like you’ll never be able to catch up or get ahead of it. Trying to balance classes, homework, jobs, internships, and everything else life throws your way can seem like a never ending cycle. But making an effort to follow these steps can help to stay ahead of those to-do lists and help to bring more balance to your schedule.

1. Set Realistic Goals
Setting goals not only helps you to visualize what you need to get done, but it helps to organize and strive to accomplish these responsibilities! However, knowing the difference from realistic goals and unrealistic goals is important. Sitting down on Sunday night and writing down 5 goals for the week is a great place to start. They can be as a small as getting the first half of that paper due next week done by Wednesday. Another goal could be to spend 2 hours working on and updating your LinkedIn profile that you have been putting off for weeks. Having goals set will help you to prioritize and accomplish them.

2. Learn to Study Effectively
Don’t be the person that puts off studying until the day before the exam. Not only does this cause more stress for you in the long run, but cramming will not help you to perform as well as you could if you had been spreading out your studying. Creating a study schedule and dedicating an hour or so each day leading up to the exam will help so much more in the long run. Figure out what style of studying best works for you and do whatever you can to achieve that.

3. Learn to Better Manage Your Time- Stop Procrastinating!
Everyone knows that procrastinating only hurts us in the long run. So why do we keep doing it? Develop a system that best works for you to help manage your time. Whether that be Google reminders set up, writing things down in a planner, making more to-do lists, you name it! Also know what is worth your time. It is important to make sure that what you are spending your time on, you are actually benefiting from. If something is taking up a large amount of your time and your aren’t reaping the benefits, then it might be time to decide if it is worth your time.

4. Set Priorities and Let Things Go
It can be so easy to become extremely overwhelmed rather than to take control and organize all of our responsibilities that we need to get done. College is filled with mistakes and learning experiences. But it is important that from our mistakes we can move forward and let things go. If we let something slip, don’t sweat it. Learn from it and move on. Start making to-do lists, even if it isn’t something you would normally do and let yourself experience how amazing it feels to cross off each item and complete the list.

5. Explore Your Options and Get Help!
It is so important to explore your options and to know what is available to you. Especially here at Hope we have so many resources right at our fingertips that we won’t always have. Feeling stressed about some of your classes? Go to the Academic Success Center or attend your class’ study session. Stressed about what your major should be? Can’t find an internship? Need help with last minute interview prep or looking over your resume? Come to the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career! There are so many resources we have all around us, it is up to us to utilize them.

Get to know Kasey Petro!

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”  — J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Kasey Petro is the Employer Relations Liaison at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. She began working at Hope College in September 2016.  We asked Kasey 10 questions to give us the chance to get to know her a little better. This is what she had to say:

  1. What is your role at the new BOERIGTER Center for Calling and Career?

I first began working at Hope in the Development and Alumni Engagement Office and this September I moved into the Employer Relations role, at the Boerigter Center. I really wanted to be in this role because I love working with students and I am in a better position to use my skills to be able to connect students to the outside world.  I oversee HandShake, work with employers to build relationships that students can later use, and meet with students for mock interviews.

  1. What is one thing that is still on your bucket list?

I would love to hike to the Base Camp of Mount Everest. I love adventures and doing things that stretch my limits!

  1. What is your FAVORITE activity to do outdoors?

I would definitely say mountain hiking and camping.

  1. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to be a lawyer. I have always enjoyed debating and love playing devil’s advocate. I remember once when I was in 6th grade, we had a mock trial in which I was the prosecutor. I kept talking and talking even after we had won because I needed to get all of my points across. To this day, I still care about justice and being able to understand both sides of any situation.

  1. What song would you burst out during karaoke?

I would just like to say unless this was a life or death situation I would probably be not singing in public. That being said, I would pick Sweet Caroline, because I know everyone would sing with me.

  1. If you could master any language, which one would you choose?

I would have to say Spanish. My husband speaks fluent Spanish and I would love to be able to use it communicate when we travel.

  1. Who would you most like to swap places with for a day?

The Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg)

  1. What is your favourite quote?

This is a hard one; there are so many amazing quotes! I really like a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. She said “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

  1. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Curry for sure. I love all of the different flavors!

  1. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?

I love all types of games! Board games, card games, sports- you name it. I love a good competition and if I lose a game I want to know why, so it doesn’t happen again.

We hope you enjoyed getting to Kasey Petro. You can head on over to Boerigter Center for Calling and Career to meet with her!

Get to know Shannon Schans!

“Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” -Seneca

Shannon Schans is the Career Counselor for assessment education and career exploration at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. Shannon began working at Hope College in August 2015. We asked Shannon to answer 10 questions to give us the opportunity to get to know her a little better. This is what she had to say:

  1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

I work with primarily first and second year students in the process of introducing and working through calling and vocation and major discernment.

  1. What was your very first job?

I worked at Dairy Queen for most of my high school years. It was the most delicious and the most disgusting job of my life. Pro tip: Do not get a dipped cone.

  1. What is the most interesting gift you have ever given someone?

I love giving personal gifts that mean something to whomever it’s going to. The gifts are never huge or expensive, but hopefully they are really meaningful. A couple of years ago, I gave my mom and my sister a necklace made from a coffee mug that belonged to my grandma. It was her trademark bright orange mug and it was always filled with coffee. When it broke, we were all pretty sad. So I sent the pieces to a jeweler on Etsy and she made necklaces for me, my mom, and my sister made from the glass.

  1. What is your favorite family tradition?

My mom hosting Thanksgiving. It’s the loudest and most insane party ever, but it’s the most fun day of the year.

  1. What is the weirdest food you have ever tried?

 I actually don’t think that any food is weird, it’s just different from your own normal. When I was in high school, I was an exchange student in Russia and I defiantly ate food that wasn’t normal to me, but was very normal to them! Probably tongue was the most unique.

  1. What was your favorite band/singer when you were growing up?

New Kids On The Block, hands down. Hangin’ Tough since 1987.

  1. Do you have any unusual phobias?

Yes. I am afraid of almost everything so if you name it, I’m probably actively avoiding it. Germs, flying, buffets…they’re all bad.

  1. What is your favorite place out of all of the places you have traveled?

I have been to some lovely places, and picking just one is hard. I think Orvieto, Italy takes it though. It’s so beautiful.

  1. What is one thing that you are better at than anyone else you know?

I am an excellent problem solver.

  1. If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Oprah, and Michelle Obama. Can the four of us hang out?

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Shannon Schans. We are excited to have you meet with her!

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching” -William W. Purkey


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.

Internships with Jena Gasworth

“The only source of knowledge is experience.”- Albert Einstein

By the time a student graduates from Hope College they will have participated in some form of experiential learning opportunity. One way is through an internship! Here at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, Jena Gasworth works with students who are searching for these types of experiences.

Jena has answered 10 questions that Hope students typically have about internships:

1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

I work with all things related to internships. I meet with students who are seeking internships whether it is local, back home, or off-campus. I also work with internship faculty teaching internship courses and employers seeking interns.

2. What is your favorite part about working with internships

The internships I had while I was in college helped me discern what I wanted to do in higher education. I love helping students connect their interests to real world experiences.

3. About how many Hope students end up getting an internship?

Annually, we have about 300 Hope students who have an internship for credit. Hope’s Graduate Survey stated that as of 2017, 96% of students were involved in some kind of experiential experience such as an internship, DiscoverWork, student-faculty research, or off-campus study.

4. What resources should students take advantage of/focus on while searching for an internship?

Handshake is a great resource for looking for opportunities. “How-to” guides on our BCCC website are very helpful for resume and cover letter help which is essential for the internship process. Also, career fairs are good for networking with employers.

5. Which year is typical for students to get an internship? What is the timeline like?

Students can do an internship any year. Sophomore, junior, and senior year are most common because you need to have declared your major if you are seeking an internship for credit. Timeline-wise, there is a big push for summer internships starting in the fall. Some companies will wrap up all of their hiring up by Christmas. There is another big wave in the spring (Jan./Feb. for summer opportunities). Usually students should look a semester or two in advance for their internship.

6. Do I get credit for an internship?

It depends on the student’s declared major. They must take a course that is tied to their major, and their faculty supervisor must sign off on it. There is typically a four credit class where they meet outside of their internship. If the internship is over the summer, there is an online course that goes along with it.

7. If I do an internship that is not related to my major/career path, should I still put it on my resume?

Yes, absolutely! It is still experience that results in building transferable skills that can be taken with you to a job or another internship. Employers like seeing internship experience and the path that led you to apply at their business.

8. Are all internships unpaid?

It depends on the organization. I would say about half are unpaid.

9. What are the benefits of getting an internship local vs. in another state/country?

If a student does an internship through an off-campus study program like Chicago Semester or The Philadelphia Center, it is usually a full-time internship. On top of that it involves navigating a new city! Local internships are usually about 10-15 hours/week while juggling other classes and projects. Both give great working experiences.

10. Overall, do you have any advice for students about internships in general?

I advise students to apply for 20+ internships. Sometimes students get so fixated on one or two internships, and if they apply for more they have a better chance of getting one. Also, if you need any individual help the BCCC is here to help! If you put in the effort, it can open up more opportunities for job search and networking.

Sometimes, an internship can rule out something you do not want to do, and that is okay! Your attitude about it makes such a huge difference; what you put into the internship is what you get out of it.

The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career wants to help students in their search for internships. Students can use our readily available resources along the way. Come check out our new office on the first floor of DeWitt!

Get to know Megan Scheldt!

Megan Scheldt is the Career Counselor – Networking at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career and she is going into her 4th academic year at Hope College. Megan has answered 10 questions to let us get to know a little more about her:

1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

I am the Career Counselor-Networking. For first and second year students, that means meeting with me to explore what they want to do with their major as well as getting connected to job shadowing opportunities. For upperclassmen, that could mean meeting with me to get alumni connections in a specific field to use for the future. I also oversee the DiscoverWork program and  Career Advisor team in the BCCC.

2. What is your favorite part about your hometown?

My hometown is Westminster, Maryland which is about an hour from Baltimore. Nothing beats Maryland Blue Crabs and the beautiful landscapes. Maryland is called “mini America” because there are beaches, mountains, and plains all in one state.

3. Where would you choose to live: by the ocean, in the mountains, or in the woods?

Mountains – my husband and I honeymooned in Estes Park, Colorado and we loved Rocky Mountain National Park!

4. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with Eleanor Roosevelt. I think that for the time period in which she was living she was a true advocate for many populations of people. She was not afraid to be a risk taker and I like that about her. My favorite quote by Eleanor: “No one can make you feel inferior but yourself.”

5. What is your favorite sport to watch?

Lacrosse! I am also the assistant women’s lacrosse coach here at Hope and I played in college. I started and have worked with multiple programs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

6. If you were in a talent show, what skill would you perform?

I like to think that I am funny, so maybe a comedy act! 

7. What is your favorite thing to cook?

Whatever HelloFresh sends me that week! To be honest I’m not a cook, though my father-in-law is a professional chef. 

8. Who was your childhood singer/actor crush?

The Hanson Brothers.

9. If you won $100,000 what would you spend the money on?

I currently live in an apartment, so I would definitely buy a house. I think I would also use the money for something philanthropic. 

10. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The ability to fly or teleport.

The staff members here at the Boerigter Center want to reach out to every student at Hope and get them involved in the BCCC. We hope that getting to know our staff members allows students to feel comfortable seeking help from our office no matter what stage of their college career they may be in.

Learn More About Career Counselor Amy Freehafer

Amy Freehafer is a 1989 Hope College graduate, and she has been working at Hope for 7 years. Many students have met with Amy early in their college careers to get help deciding a major, creating a four-year-plan, or discussing their assessment results. She is an excellent resource for students at all stages of their college careers.

Amy has answered 10 questions to give us a little insight into who she is:

1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

I work a lot with exploratory advising. I help students (and sometimes alumni) figure out a career path, and that includes what to major in. My philosophy is until you understand yourself, it will be hard to figure out where you will go. That leads my work to help students better understand themselves and help them understand how to make choices. I love using StrengthsQuest as a tool to help launch into that conversation.

2. What was your favorite thing to do at Hope College when you were a student here?

My favorite experience was my May-June term with faculty and 19 other students before my senior year. We went to Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Iceland. I also loved my time spent studying in Philadelphia. My freshman year, I had a really fun cluster and we would go to Pizza Hut at night and get garlic bread with mozzarella cheese for only $1.60!

3. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to hang out and play with my dogs, I have two Shih Tzus, Mia and Mugsy. I enjoy working outside like gardening and mowing the yard. I also read a lot of fiction, Nora Roberts is my favorite author. I love watching football and watching College Game Day on Saturday mornings with my husband. I also love spending time with my three grandchildren.

4. What is one thing you wish you were really good at?

Speaking Spanish. I wish I could speak Spanish, at least conversationally. Many of my neighbors are native Spanish speakers, and I wish I could meet them where they are and converse in their language.

5. What was the first concert you ever went to?

I saw the Doobie Brothers when I was in 7th grade. We were camping next to these nice ladies who had tickets and offered to take me and a campground friend. They drove us across the state but we could not find our car after the concert, and my dad freaked when we did not get home until super late – thinking the worst because we were out with strangers!

6. Where is one place you have always wanted to visit?

I have always wanted to go to Greece. I have been to quite a few countries in Europe and would also love to back to Ireland – it is so beautiful there.

7. If you could travel time, would you go to the past or the future?

I would go to the past because I would not want to know the future. I would love to see different eras and see what came before. It would help me appreciate more what we have now.

8. What is one movie you have seen multiple times, but never get tired of?

I am a huge Harry Potter fan! I can’t even tell you how many times I have seen all 8 movies. My family and I have even had Harry Potter movie marathons where we watch all 8 movies in a weekend.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Probably passive-aggressive behavior. I would rather have someone be rude and direct vs. the energy it takes navigating whether someone is speaking truths. Some of my favorite clients when I worked in human service were crabby, old men because they always said what was on their mind.

10. What is one thing that most don’t know you have?

That I am a grandparent. Many people think that our grandchildren are our children.  We periodically have all 3 of our grandchildren over and we build forts in the living room and play outside. I always joke that having grandchildren is your reward for not eating your children, but I love being a grandma!

We hope that getting to know our staff members allows others to feel comfortable and encouraged to seek help in the BCCC. Stop on by DeWitt or give us a call at 616.395.7950 to schedule an appointment today!

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.


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.



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.

Get to Know Dale Austin

Meet Dale Austin!

Many of you have met with Dale Austin throughout your college career, whether it was a mock interview, job search appointment, or getting help with graduate school. He has been working with Hope College students at the Career Development Center for 37 years, and will continue to engage with students as our office transitions to the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

Dale has answered 10 questions to let us get to know a little more about him:

      1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?
    1. My role in the BCCC centers around working with students in the transition to work or grad school with advice and a range of resources. I will provide coaching on preparing for interviews, conduct mock interviews and provide feedback on personal statements. I will continue my work with employers, recruiting fairs, and on campus interviews. I will also be working with over 15 classes addressing a variety of issues with seniors who are preparing to transition after Hope. 

      2. What is your favorite part about Holland?

    2. One thing that struck me about Holland was the diversity of companies and organizations from manufacturing, to services like banking and other financial services, to the nonprofit. The Holland area is blessed with exceptional business and community leaders who are committed to Holland and its citizens.

    3. 3. What do you like the most about working with students and alumni? 
    4. Students and alumni at Hope are simply delightful people to work with. They are positive, hard working, have a great outlook, and are eager to do what they can to prepare for the future and serve their communities. The beauty about what we do is we have amazing opportunities to make working at Hope a great experience.

    5. 4. What do you like to do in your free time? 
    6. I enjoy spending time with my family (my wife, 3 grown children and their spouses, 93-year-old father, and golden retriever, Sammy.) When I’m not with family, I enjoy reading nonfiction and listening to classical music.

    7. 5. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled to?
    8. I traveled to Iceland last summer. Their natural resources, geography, and giant waterfalls are amazingly beautiful. I look forward to going back.

    9. 6. What is something you wish you knew more about? 
    10. I wish I could have a real-life crystal ball to know with confidence the new opportunities and the new career fields that would be developing within the next 10 years. Additionally, I wish I knew more clearly the impact of artificial intelligence on the workplace and the implications for preparing our students.

    11. 7. If you could meet one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
    12. Barack Obama, for whom I have great admiration.

    13. 8. What is the most memorable gift you have ever received? 
    14. Over my time at Hope College, I have received a range of gifts from grateful students, plants, hand carved wooden boxes, a colorful brass plate, to framed pictures, among others.  These are the most memorable!

    15. 9. Who inspires you the most? 
    16. That is a hard question. As I reflect on it, I have been fortunate to have a number of mentors over my life, from my college academic advisor, Stan Walters, to family members, like my 93 year old dad, Vern Austin, to other figures during my time working at Hope College. At the deepest level, it would be my faith in, and relationship to, Jesus Christ, who provides the challenge and the grace for both life and work.

    17. 10. What is the number one piece of advice you can give to Hope College students about entering into a new career/grad school?
    18. Accurately promise and over deliver”: whether in work or graduate school, you will have significant demands on your time, energy and attention. The following steps would facilitate a smooth initial transition: understanding key priorities from your supervisor or graduate school advisor, keeping communication lines open and initiating conversation when needed and protecting your time in ensure that high payoff work/projects get done.

    19. Here at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, we want to get to know our students personally and assist them in their career paths. We hope this insight into our career staff members allows students to feel comfortable coming into our office at any stage of their college career.

How do you say the name? Boerigter Center for Calling and Career!

We are a few days away from the start of the 2018-2019 school year! With that comes the launch of the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career! Over the course of the fall semester, a number of new programs and initiatives will be coming to life.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of Hope’s faculty and staff for partnering with us! From the development of our new website, to integration with Student Life and academic programs, to the renovation of our new space in DeWitt – we continued to be blessed by the overwhelming team spirit and Hope hospitality.

We are all looking forward to welcoming our students and building community at the Boerigter Center! Here we go!