Another Great Year of DiscoverWork

In 2014 when the DiscoverWork Program (then called Externships) first started we sent 14 students out into the greater Hope community to shadow our alumni. Did you know that this year we had 56 students participate, 28 of which traveled outside the state of Michigan reaching our alumni afar?

The DiscoverWork Program is designed for students to explore fields and careers that they are interested in. Read on to here a few students take-aways!

Kate Kay, Junior, Geology Major

Host: JP Buckingham: COO | Principal Geologist | Triterra

Kate onsite with her host JP

“Seeing all the maps of sites that Triterra is working on currently really put things into perspective for me. I realized that I enjoyed interpreting historical maps and creating a risk assessment of potential contaminants that could be in the area. In fact, I briefly learned about this particular topic in one of my classes so I was excited to be able to understand the order of necessary data collection in Phase 1.

The reason I want to pursue a Geology degree is because of my passion for protecting the environment and being involved in the solution and not being part of the problem. During my time at Triterra I was able to connect with many employees. One in particular has never questioned what she does as a career because to her she was protecting the environment every day she came into work and that sealed the deal for me!”

Murphy Stadelmaier, Senior, Biology Major

Host: Heather Brake |Associate Director of Communication for the National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry | Center for Disease Control & Prevention

Murphy outside the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia

“It was great to see concepts I am learning in Public Relations applied in the workplace. I could see myself someday working in a field like what I observed at the CDC. I enjoy the link between science and communication. It is very important to inform the public about the sciences in ways that are applicable and understandable. The collaboration in this department between the individuals in different positions was great to see. People with all different backgrounds and skills came together to work toward common goals. I really enjoyed my DiscoverWork opportunity at the CDC in the NCEH/ATSDR. I got a taste of the organization and the field and I know I will remember this experience forever.”

Marketea Abbott, Freshman, Undeclared

Host: Lindsay Allward-Theimer |Director of Volunteer Partnerships | Junior Achievement of Georgia

Marketea (left) with her host Lindsay (right) in Atlanta.

“My host, Lindsay, her husband, and their dog Nika welcomed me with open arms. My shadowing days were filled with new networking connections and helpful insight into the nonprofit world. My DiscoverWork opportunity was one of a lifetime, especially as freshman at Hope who arrived and was still adjusting to culture shock and being away from home. Lindsay and I had a ton of conversation regarding my options as far as deciding on a major.  This experience made me much more open and excited to start my journey. I now understand the value of having a background in business if I wish to start my own nonprofit one day. I was allowed to really plan out my future and make my dreams more realistic.”

Sam Click, Senior, Engineering Major

Host: Rachel Romero | Energy Engineer & Project Leader | National Renewable Energy Laboratory 

“This opportunity has been invaluable to me. I gained knowledge of my field, saw how departments promote confluence, made a handful of professional contacts, increased my confidence in the workplace and in my elevator pitch, and came out with a better sense of where I want to direct my career. All this I owe to the Discoverwork Program for making this possible and to Rachel Romero for hosting me and providing me with ample opportunity to develop my career.”

Tsega Tefera, Freshman, Undeclared & Grace McConaghie, Sophomore, Undeclared

Host: Tom Becker | EFCA ReachGlobal | Missionary-Church Mobilizer 

Tsega (second from left) next to Grace (third from right) with their hosts.

“Throughout my stay, I saw how God was working through the Becker’s.
I was able to recognize the importance of working together and the empathy required to understand the hurt experienced by the populations missionaries serve. I learned that it is a big commitment to leave everything and go to a different country to help the marginalized.  I also came away knowing that whatever major I choose it does not decide my future. God can use anything I have for the benefit of others. I came away encouraged to learn more and pursue this field.”

Want to learn more about the DiscoverWork program or volunteer to be a host? Get in touch with us at to join our next cycle launching this fall! 

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