Judge a Book by its Cover.

First impressions matter. Whether you’re applying for a year long internship, a summer job, or a potential future career position, it’s essential that you make a good impression on your potential employer.

There are several factors that contribute to making a good first impression, such as having an impressive resume, strong interviewing skills, and a well-prepared outlook and overall sense of confidence. One factor that you should always take into consideration is your wardrobe. Although this may seem frivolous and insignificant, the manner through which you present yourself with your clothing says a lot about who you are and how much you value this potential position. Career Advisor Hadley Roy knows a thing or two about this topic, and has offered five tips to help you make a great impression with how you dress.

1.) Be professional.

Wear office appropriate attire. No flip flops. No jeans. Nothing torn. Nothing dirty. Make sure your hair looks nice and avoid distracting jewelry or makeup. Also avoid wearing any strong perfume or cologne, as this can be distracting for your potential employers as well.

2.) Dress for the job you want.

This is partially an extension of tip one, but there’s more to it than just looking professional. Read up on the office culture, check out LinkedIn profiles of higher-ups at the company or organization. Use your attire to mirror the values you see the company projecting. If you’re applying for an accounting or engineering position, a dark suit and conservative tie are always a good choice. If you’re applying to be a copywriter or designer, maybe consider something a bit more adventurous. My go to is a black sheath dress with a colored blazer, but always keep it professional.

3.) When in doubt, ask Human Resources.

Seriously. Ask. Don’t show up in a gray suit if you should have been wearing khakis. Don’t show up in jeans if you should have had on slacks and a blazer. Ask.

4.) Make sure your footwear is up to standards.

That means a conservative heel (if you can’t walk four blocks in them, leave them in the closet) or professional flats for women and dress shoes for men. Even the most casual of offices don’t call for sneakers at an interview.

5.) Make sure you feel good in the clothes.

If that means getting something tailored, do it. It’s a little extra expense, but it is worth it. Clothes that don’t fit don’t make a good first impression.

For more information check out these links:

Forbes “How to Dress for Your Next Job Interview”

Forbes “What to Wear for a Job Interview”

Be sure to check out our Pinterest page for even more tips! CDC Pinterest

If you’re ever in doubt about how to dress for an interview or how to make a good impression, stop by the Career Development Center. We want to help you build upon this foundation of making a good first impression by helping you with the entire interview process, so stop by today or call us at 616-395-7950 and we’d be happy to talk to you.

Gap Year Fair

Whether you’re a freshman, a senior, or anyone in between, graduation will sneak up on you before you know it, and we want you to feel prepared and ready to take on the next adventure life throws at you after Hope. The only question is, what will that adventure be? The Gap Year Fair is the perfect place to explore what opportunities and careers are available to you once you graduate from Hope. Over twenty different nonprofit organizations and programs will be represented at this event, which will be held on Thursday, October 29, from 10:30AM to 3:00PM in Maas Center. This is a great event the Career Development Center hosts that really showcases a variety of options for what to do after you graduate and are looking to take the next step in your career exploration process.

What’s a gap year, you ask? A gap year is a one to two year long time period, in which students who recently graduated take some time to explore different career options and vocations by getting involved with some type of non-profit organization or program. Sometimes participating in a gap year program can lead to potential employment opportunities, but even if it doesn’t, students usually benefit from this post-grad time, as they learn more about themselves and what types of careers they want to explore and pursue.

Hope College senior and Career Advisor Hannah Cutshall writes about her personal experience with the Gap Year Fair:

Other than internships, I have begun considering post-graduation life as well, which has lead me to the Gap Year Fair!  I studied abroad during my junior year, allowing me to appreciate the beautiful cultures of the world and instilling in me a true feeling of “wanderlust.”  If you are like me and want/need to travel and explore more, than Gap Years are a great option for you.  Hosting over 16 organizations that want to give you a chance to look further than Holland and gain real experience, potentially in a field you hadn’t previously considered, this event is catered around your needs!  Although I think I know where I’m going after graduation, I attended the event last year, skyped with women in Australia about their opportunities, saw how various organizations working in the nonprofit realm, and got to communicate with various teaching abroad agencies!  If I didn’t have a plan, I know I would be returning to find a new, incredible adventure and culture with which to spend a few years after graduation! 

This is an excellent event, chocked full of exciting opportunities for any and all students to explore. No prior registration is required. All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there!

For a full list of organizations and employers, follow the link, or call the Career Development Center at (616) 395-7950. Gap Year Fair.

Seminary Day and Grand Valley State University Career Fair

What am I Going to Do After Graduation?

Thinking post-grad can be a bit frightening, but Hope has provided a number of opportunities to make your life after graduation (the one you’ve always dreamed about) a reality!  The Career Development Center (CDC) offers a variety of events for you explore different careers and post-grad options. Seminary Day and the Grand Valley State University Career Fair are two events that can help you learn about various career options in numerous areas and fields. 

Seminary Day

Seminary Day is the perfect event for anyone who is interested in exploring the world of seminary or theological studies. Thirty different seminary schools and institutions will be present at this event, including Western Theological Seminary, Duke Divinity School, and Princeton Theological Seminary, just to name a few. For a full list of the schools who will be attending the event, click here: Seminary Day Schools. Representatives from each of these impressive schools will be willing and eager to discuss their different programs and opportunities with students. This is the perfect event for students who are at all interested in the seminary field, so definitely take advantage of this special and exciting opportunity to explore your potential career path! Seminary Day is Thursday, October 22nd from 11:00AM-2:00PM in Maas Center. No prior registration is required. For more information about the event as a whole, visit the link above titled “Seminary Day Schools”, or contact the Career Development Center at (616) 395-7950.

Grand Valley State University Career Fair

The GVSU Career Fair is an excellent opportunity to network face-to-face with representatives from businesses and organizations, while exploring various career paths. There will be over 200 employers present and thousands of immediate openings and potential job opportunities for you to investigate. You can learn about potential internships and co-ops, building your professional network and developing your career exploration process. The GVSU Career Fair will take place on Thursday, October 22nd from 1:00PM-5:00PM in the Devos Place Convention Center, located on 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. No prior registration is required. The CDC is hosting a prep session for this event in our office (located on the first floor of the Anderson Werkman building) on Thursday, October 15 at 11:00AM. We’ll have pizza, so definitely stop by to eat and learn more about how you can prepare for this great event! For a list of employers who will be attending the Career Fair, please click here: Career Fair Employers. For more information about the event as a whole, please click here: GVSU Career Fair Overview. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the CDC at (616) 395-7950.

We look forward to seeing you at these two awesome events!

Meet our New Staff Members!

Here at the Hope College Career Development Center (CDC), we have a wonderful staff compiled of qualified individuals who are ready and willing to help you with any and all of your career exploration needs!

This year, we have welcomed two new staff members to our CDC team. Their names are Megan Fisher and Shannon Schans, and they each have a lot to offer in helping students with their career development and exploration processes.

Megan Fisher is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Megan loved her time at Saint Vincent, which is located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and happens to be the oldest monastery in the United States, headed by Benedictine monks. An east coast native, Megan has always been passionate about women’s lacrosse, and was captain of the Saint Vincent’s women’s lacrosse team. Megan says that the monks of Saint Vincent encouraged the idea of serving others, which developed Megan’s love of community service.

Megan Fisher

After attending Saint Vincent, Megan went on to graduate school at Lourdes University, a small Catholic school headed by nuns and located in Sylvania, Ohio. She became the graduate assistant of the women’s lacrosse program, which she actually helped form and create. During her time at Lourdes, Megan realized her passion for coaching and mentoring the girls on her team; she loved helping these girls find their strengths, acting as a guiding figure in their lives during their transitional college years. This was one factor that encouraged her to receive a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

Soon after graduating from Lourdes University, Megan found her way to Hope College. She is the CDC’s Career Counselor for Networking, mainly helping students connect with alumni for job shadowing and informational interviews, as well as assisting students with their LinkedIn profiles. She also helps organize and plan networking events such as the Gap Year Fair, Seminary Day, and the Arts and Humanities Speed Networking event, just to name a few. Megan loves Holland, and says she is “truly blessed by all means” to work at Hope College and call West Michigan her home.

Shannon Schans is a graduate of Trinity Christian College (located in Palos Heights, Illinois) with a degree in Business and Economics, and holds a master’s degree in Higher Education from Geneva College (located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania).  Shannon SchansShannon’s career has always involved working with students in the higher education field. She is  passionate about working closely with students, and implements that passion wherever she goes.

Shannon worked at Trinity Christian College for five years as the Coordinator for First Year Experiences before taking the position of Freshmen and Sophomore Program Coordinator at University of Minnesota. At Trinity Christian, her position revolved around students’ satisfaction and retention during their first years at the college. At Minnesota, Shannon helped create different mentoring relationships, as she worked with students and faculty to help first-year students get plugged in and involved in their new home. She also helped students who were going through key transitional periods in their lives, and also worked with at risk students, which included anyone from first generation students to students who were at risk academically.

Shannon is a Career Counselor at the CDC who mainly focuses on the StrengthsQuest assessment. She administers and interprets career and personality assessments and tools, and also evaluates and develops students’ resumes and and cover letters. She cooperatively supports StrengthsQuest programming on Hope’s campus, and facilitates career modules for First Year Seminar Classes.

After moving all over the country with her family for several years, Shannon is so happy to be working in Holland. She says that Hope feels like “a dream school to work at” and says she feels like she “won the job lottery!”  She believes Hope really celebrates people, and that any and every student has the ability to thrive and succeed in this environment. Needless to say, Shannon is excited to be working at the Career Development Center!

We are overjoyed to have Megan and Shannon join our CDC team! They are great, experienced staff members who can offer so much valuable assistance to students. Visit the CDC today and introduce yourself to these two amazing and helpful individuals!

Meaningful Work – Why Start Now?

The average American will spend about 23,000 hours of his or her life working.  That’s over 11 years.  It seems natural to turn to hobbies and activities outside of work to find a sense of purpose or meaning, but when so much of our lives will likely be spent in the workplace, it makes even more sense to pursue work we find meaningful.

Why it Matters

Meaningful work looks different for everyone.  We’re all created with unique skills, gifts, and passions, and we find meaning in the spaces or opportunities where those parts of ourselves intersect.  It’s that intersection – or “sweet spot” – where we operate at our very best, make the greatest contribution, and are the most satisfied.  

Choosing to forgo the pursuit of meaningful work has two important consequences: missing out on the opportunity to do the work that will be most satisfying to you, and failing to be a responsible steward of the potential you have been created with to contribute to society with the work you uniquely do best.  The pursuit of meaningful work, or work within that unique “sweet spot”, matters for your own life and for the good of those around you, but it won’t happen by accident.  You have to own your career by making the conscious decision to discover your sweet spot and then actively pursue work within it.

Getting Started

There are different avenues one can take on the pursuit of meaningful work, and the Career Development Center is here to help you sort out which avenue is best for you.  The most important piece is simply to start now.  The earlier you start, the sooner you will discover where your skills and gifts intersect your passions, and the sooner you can start to learn about the work that exists in that intersection, which then allows you to start gaining the experience you’ll need to eventually do that kind of work.  

Starting early is your best chance to ultimately have a career doing work that is meaningful to you.  Which, you’ll recall, translates into the 11 years of your life spent in your workplace made more meaningful.

So start preparing and planning now, whether you’re a first year student or approaching graduation.  Start networking and thinking about internships.  Consider the resources that exist around you, and take full advantage of them now.  

The Career Development Center (CDC) offers a plethora of resources to help you get started in pursuing meaningful work.  For students still trying to discern their skills, gifts, and passions, the CDC offers access to strengths and interests testing.  For students who have an idea of what kind of topics they find meaningful, but are unsure of how to translate that into a career, the CDC offers a “What can I do with this Hope College major” page on its website.  For students who know the exact career they’re aiming for, the CDC’s various handouts and guides as well as an online resume review service and employment listings through JobStop are excellent resources to explore. These sources can help with building a professional network and securing internship experience to prepare for full-time work in such a career.  All of these resources, and many, many more are available for you to take advantage of now, whatever year or stage you’re currently in.

Stop by the office in the Anderson Werkman Financial Center, or call to make an appointment with a CDC staff member today, to start now in preparing for a lifetime of meaningful work.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Getting Started with the Career Development Center!

Welcome to the Hope College Career Development Center Blog! This blog is designed to help you as a Hope College student or graduate learn more about all the Career Development Center (CDC) has to offer, from upcoming events, to tips for your career exploration process, and everything in between!

A silly picture of the CDC staff!

What am I going to do with my life?!

Some people come into college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives, and some people (maybe you) have absolutely no clue. Contrary to what you might think, that’s okay! We want to assure you that it’s normal to be a little unsure as you discern what career path you want to follow. The truth is, most people (adults included) are still trying to figure that out! The best thing to do is explore any and all possible career options. Career exploration shouldn’t be some terrifying task you want to avoid, but a rewarding adventure that will help you learn more about yourself. Be patient with the process and be patient with yourself. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

A great first step is to head over to the Career Development Center, located on the first floor of the Anderson-Werkman building. Our team consists of several student Career Advisors (CAs) and staff members who are eager to help you with this new endeavor!

Meet the Staff!

Dale Austin is the CDC director, and provides individual workshops and advising in regards to job search issues, cover letters and resumes, interview preparation, and graduate school planning.

Jena Szatkowski, the assistant director, is your go-to for any and all internship assistance. She also assists with mock interviews and resume and cover letter review.

Sarah McCoy is the CDC program director, and deals with employer relations and engagement, coordinating discipline specific programs that integrate curricular and co-curricular activities.

Amy Freehafer, a career counselor, can help you understand your personal strengths (as she oversees the StrengthsQuest program on campus) and explore the careers that might be right for you through her use of personality and career assessment tools and resources.

Shannon Schans is another career counselor who also specializes in reviewing StrengthsQuest results and helps students develop their resumes and cover letters. She also facilitates career modules for First Year Seminar classes.

Megan Fisher is a career counselor who deals with networking. She helps prepare for various career fairs and networking events, explores the use of social media in the job search process, and helps students connect with Hope alumni or other professionals for informational interviews or job shadowing.

Elizabeth Bocks is the office manager. She maintains the office’s web page, assists with on-campus recruiting and career fairs, and basically keeps the CDC office running smoothly and efficiently!

How do I start?

Schedule an appointment with the CDC! For more information about who we are, what we do, and all we have to offer, please call us at (616) 395-7950, or visit the Hope College Career Development Website. Our office is open from 8:00AM-12:00PM and 1:00PM-5:00PM Monday through Friday.

We also hold Drop-In Hours every weekday from 3:00PM-4:30PM. These hours are perfect for short, last minute appointments regarding resume and cover letter review, interview prep, networking, and any other questions you might have. There will always be several Career Advisors and at least one staff member ready to assist you.

No matter what stage you’re at in your career exploration process, you can benefit from a visit to the Career Development Center! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Our office, located in Anderson-Werkman!
Our office, located in Anderson-Werkman.

Summer Farewell

Congratulations!

The time has come to wrap up the 2014-2015 academic school year at Hope College. Everyone has already packed up their belongings and taken their final exams…Some students have taken their final exam EVER! Well the Career Development Center wants to say–Congratulations! You have made it! 

Congrats Seniors

For the students who will be studying abroad, returning home, working summer jobs, having internships, and doing a whole slew of other things this summer, enjoy it! Whatever you do, do it well! There are always new things to learn and ways to grow, so we hope that you make the most of whatever you are doing this summer. We look forward to seeing you next year and having you at some of our great events!

For our seniors, whichever direction life is taking you, we wish you well! We believe that you will go on to do all sorts of great things. Remember, our office is still available to alumni (yes, that’s YOU as of Sunday!), so if you are in the area, feel free to make an appointment.

We are proud of all of your accomplishments. Do great things this summer and beyond! Keep an eye out for our blog next school year as we will have big things coming!

From the staff and students of the Career Development Center, have a fantastic summer!

Our 2014-2015 Career Development Center Staff and Students!

 

Living and Working in Grand Rapids and Chicago: Networking 101

Living & Working in Grand Rapids!Living and Working in Chicago!

 

As you may know, two of the Career Development Center’s major events coming up–Living and Working in Grand Rapids (4/1) and Chicago (4/15)–networking is something that you should feel comfortable with. Well you are in luck because we have some networking tips just for you!

First, it is important to know that networking is a continual life long process. When you are networking, always look for the next step in gaining information about your field. Also, networking is not only limited to professionals in your field. You never know when a position you are interested in may come available at a company you might not have expected! Networking is the best way to find a job or internship!

Here are a list of some do’s and don’ts for networking:

DO:

  • Wear something with pockets, or carry a small bag so you have a place to stow business cards
  • Jot notes in a small notebook
  • Keep one hand free at all times to shake hands with people you meet
  • Dress professional, sharp and modest
  • Thank your network partners and keep in touch with them
  • Develop lasting relationships, not just contacts
  • Look for ways to help the people in your network
  • Ask two important questions: “What is your story?” and “What advice would you have for me as I consider entering this field?”

DON’T:

  • Brag or exaggerate the truth in your conversations
  • Spend too much time in unfocused conversation; respect and appreciate their time
  • Gossip or share inappropriately; stay professional and relevant
  • Allow your networking relationship to become one-sided
  • Ask personal questions or about money/salary
  • Ask for a job

We hope that these tips will help to make you feel comfortable in moving forward with expanding your network. Make a connection between yourself and the other person and follow up with them. Be sure to be genuine and sincere in your interactions and always thank your contacts for their time!

Lastly, there is still time to sign up for Living and Working in Chicago! This event is always well-attended and fun for students! Email fundaro@hope.edu to register!

 


If you would like to explore appropriate networking further or would like to possibly find some contacts who you may connect with in your field, call our office (616-395-7950) to make an Networking appointment with Joelle Fundaro! Be sure to keep in touch with your contacts!

 

Welcome to the Career Development Center!

Welcome to the Career Development Center’s blog!

The purpose for this blog is to showcase the services of our office, as well as to give our readers a look into a different professional development topics every week. Our hope is that you will be connected to our office in new ways. We want to shed light on a variety of topics related to your success as a professional in the working world.

Meet our team/the writers:

Career Advisor Kaysee!

 

 

Kaysee Stevenson is a senior from Three Rivers, MI and is finishing up her degree in Psychology with a Sociology minor. She plans to continue her education next year, pursuing a Master’s of Education in the College Student Affairs Leadership program. Kaysee enjoys Vienna and everything about it, hammocking, long chats with friends, not running (haha!), and finding deals/bargains! Her top 5 Strengths are: Adaptability, Empathy, Woo, Positivity, and Developer. This is her second year as a Career Advisor.

 

 

 

Career Advisor Steph!

 

 


Stephanie Herder
is a senior from Portage, MI, studying Accounting with the plans of working as an auditor at a public accounting firm in Grand Rapids after she graduates. Steph enjoys baking (and eating), camping, running, ultimate frisbee, and a good book. Her top 5 Strengths are: Harmony, Positivity, Restorative, Input, Includer. This is her third year as a Career Advisor.

 

 

 

 

Career Advisor Sara!

 

 


Sara Yockey
 is a senior from Farmington Hills MI, studying Business Management, with the hopes of pursuing a career in marketing or account management. Sara enjoys skiing, reading, pinterest-ing, baking, traveling, running, and a really good meal! Her top 5 Strengths are: Adaptability, Belief, Input, Developer, & Positivity. This is her first year as a Career Advisor.

 

 

 

 

 

Joelle Fundaro is the staff supervisor for the blog and her primary role is to help students developing a networking strategy to explore careers. This may include identifying Hope alumni or other professionals to connect with for informational interviews and job shadowing. She attended Western Michigan University with a Degree in Special Education (EI and LD) and received her Master’s degree in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State University. As a career counselor, she enjoys helping students articulate their skills, values, and interests as related to their future careers.

Info about our office:

The Career Development Center (CDC) has a team of seven career staff members and an office manager. A team of 10 Peer Career Advisors also works within our office.

Dale Austin is the director of our office and has been working in this office for over 30 years. He is the person you would want to talk to about life after Hope and the job search, mock interviews and elevator pitches, as well as personal statement assistance and other graduate school help.

Jena Szatkowski is the assistant director of the office and is in her third year working at Hope College. She primarily focuses on internships: planning and research, off-campus internship programs, registering for an internship course, etc. However, Jena also does mock interviews and will review your cover letter and resume.

Sara McCoy is the program director of the office and is in her fourth year with the Career Development Center. She currently works out of the Department of Economics and Business as a way to connect their office with the Career Development Center. She assists the office with employer relations and engagement, coordinating discipline specific programs that integrate curricular and co-curricular activities.

Amy Freehafer is in her third year as a Career Counselor in our office. She is a Hope College alumna, and she would be the person you would want to talk to about our different assessment tools (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory, and StrengthsQuest), career exploration and planning, resume and cover letter review, among other things. She also co-supervises the Career Advisor team.

Carolyn Clayton is one of the newest members, as this is her first year at Hope College. You would also talk with Carolyn about different assessment tools, developing resumes and cover letters, and she has done a lot of outreach on campus, especially regarding StrengthsQuest and processing with groups and teams.

Libby Bocks is the office manager for the Career Development Center and has served that role for over 20 years. She manages our office’s webpage and calendar of events, providing support for on-campus recruiting and career fairs, and handles all the other little details, so that the office runs smoothly.

Come See Us!

We offer many services to our Hope College students and alumni. Drop-in hours are very beneficial and effective; they are from 3:00-4:30pm and we have one staff person and a Career Advisor available to talk with you about resumes and cover letters, interview preparation tips, networking strategies and other questions.

Our office is located in Anderson-Werkman on the first floor and we are open from 8:00am-noon and 1:00-5:00pm. Come see us!

Your feedback and comments are welcome! Let us know about your personal experiences with our office, what you think of the blog, and we may even ask YOU to be a guest writer! We hope you will subscribe to our blog and continue looking for posts in the future that help you grow personally and professionally!