The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career or as we like call it on campus the “Boerigter Center” or “BCCC” has formally been in place for just over a year, and parents may be wondering what resources are available and how students should engage the team. To help guide you through the process, I will refer to a few quotes from life and career coach Jerry Maguire and his associates.
“You had me at hello”
The first question is, “When should students visit BCCC?” The simple answer is right away, even as a freshman. First Year Seminar (FYS) classes will engage BCCC resources to help students discover their calling and develop academic advising plans. Outside of FYS, BCCC staff can meet with students individually or in small groups. We find that meeting in small groups puts students at ease to learn that many other students are undecided and seeking assistance developing academic major and career plans.
“Help me help you”
There are a number of resources within BCCC to engage in every phase of your student’s college experience, but each step involves scheduling an appointment or visiting during drop-in hours. To make this easier, we’ve added scheduling capability through the Handshake app this year. Along the way, the BCCC team can help discover and explore gifts and interests, build a resume, draft a cover letter, explore internships, perform mock interviews, and find a job or graduate school. Keep in contact with the BCCC team often, because all of these steps take time to do well.
“Play the game, play it from your heart”
Experiential learning, job shadowing, and internships give students the opportunity to obtain hands-on learning in a career field. We encourage students to get this experience early on which enables them to explore multiple options or develop an academic focus for a given field. This also provides networking opportunities and differentiated experiences that will be helpful going forward in the interview and application process for jobs and graduate school applications.
“Show me the money!”
Soon your student will graduate from Hope and move on to a job or graduate school. This is where all the preparation and experiences with the Boerigter Center at Hope pay off. Looking good on paper (or electronically) is great and necessary, but 69% of all jobs are filled through networking. We have a great network of companies, graduate schools, alumni, friends, and parents. Some tools that we use for networking include Handshake and LinkedIn. From a student’s perspective, LinkedIn is not the most exciting social media platform for showing off to your friends what you did last weekend, but it is helpful for professional networking. A good profile and many connections, even to their parents’ friends and colleagues, professors, or writers of marginally interesting blog posts, can be very helpful in obtaining soft introductions and referrals. A strong profile can also be beneficial for students wishing to conduct informational interviews or get insights into a certain company.
“You complete me”
In addition to encouraging your student to visit the Boerigter Center, there are ways that you as a parent can contribute to our joint success. We would like to have you involved in experiential learning, job shadowing, internships, and networking. Even if you’re new to the Hope College community, we encourage you to look at this as an opportunity to pay it forward for the parent or Hope alum that will help your student someday.
Be the Ambassador of Quan and get involved at www.Hope.edu/impact. We would love to talk with you more about how to get involved.
Connect with Daniel Osterbaan, Director of Development for Parent Giving at Hope College