30 Day Challenge: Personal Finance

This week’s 30 Day Challenge had one session focused on Personal Finance. This session was hosted by Doug Iverson from the Department of Economics and Business as well as Amanda Root from The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. 

In our lives all of us will most likely invest in something whether it is a 401k, a downpayment for a house, your children’s education. Most individuals don’t understand these things, so it is important that we educate ourselves early on and don’t until it is too late to start investing. The first topic discussed was identifying our risk profile. What risks are you willing to take when you invest? The point of knowing our own profile is to help us decide what type of investments we would like to take, so be aware of where you are. Iverson recommends that you find more of a happy medium where you aren’t constantly stressed because you risked a lot, but you risk enough to get a return on your investment.

Opening a bank account is the foundation for our financial lives and establishes a relationship with a financial institution. Setting up a budget is the next step to organize our financial lives and when doing this it is very important to leave wiggle room for unexpected turns in our lives. Expenses for so many things need to be accounted for here like: clothes, food, bills, down payments on cars or homes, and student loan payments. Taxes consume a lot of our money and need to be accounted for when doing this. Staying disciplined and following your budget is very important and difficult. As you continue through life budgets will change and adapt and become more fit to your lifestyle specifically. 

Start saving money! If you start saving money at 20 versus 50 years old there is a difference of over four million dollars compounded. The earlier you start saving for things like retirement the better. Finance in marriage should be a discussion where you budget together and both understand what financial decisions you want to make based on each of your own risk profiles. When making financial goals think about short term, intermediate, and long term goals. Finances can be tricky to navigate so make sure to get educated on them and have help to plan, budget, and set goals so that when the time comes you have the financial resources available to feel financially secure!

Week 2 of the 30 Day Challenge: Major Discernment & DEI in the Workforce

In the second week of the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career’s 30-Day Challenge, there were two different workshops, one about Diversity and Inclusion within the workplace, and the second was about the process of major discernment. The major discernment session was hosted by three different BCCC staff members. Amy Freehafer and Yoli Vega who are both Career Advisors at the BCCC, and Katie James who is currently a senior at Hope as serves as a Career Ambassador.

The presentation started with some questions and facts about major discernment. Yoli shared the fact that the average Hope student changes their major three times throughout their time at Hope! Amy then talked about three major factors that should be at play when you are beginning to discern what your calling is. The first is figuring what you love, or what are your interests, the second is thinking about what you are good at, and the last is considering what does the world need and what can you share with the world. These three different ways of “listening to your life” all work together to help determine what you might find to be your calling. Throughout this process, it is important to remember that discernment is a big thing! Each person goes about it in their own way, maybe you will find a major you are passionate about and need to find a job, or have a job you want and need to find a major. All of these and any other ways you go about figuring out your calling are valid!

Amy then went into the Gallup StrengthsQuest assessment that each Hope student take upon the beginning of their time on campus. Amy outlined the different things that are in your StrengthsQuest assessment and the different takeaways that you can get from that document. She also mentioned some of the options that are offered at the Boerigter Center and pointed students to some links on the website. These links provide access to information about the different fields that Hope students could be considering. 

Next Katie talked about her experience at Hope and how she has used DegreeWorks on plus.hope.edu to think about her degree path. In DegreeWorks, you are able to look through a potential major, and look at the classes that you would need to take in order to get a degree in that field. 

Yoli then introduced students to the newest assessment tool that the BCCC is using, PathwayU. This tool has four different assessments that students can take, interests, personality, values, and workplace preferences. Then after taking these you are able to get feedback about potential careers or other parts of your life so you are able to better understand yourself and ways you may go forward!

To end the presentation, Yoli went through the process to schedule appointments with Boerigter Center staff on Handshake! With any of the topics addressed in the Major Discernment session of the 30-Day challenge feel free to reach out to the BCCC to set up a time to talk!

Another one of this week’s 30 Day Challenge workshops was focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace. The session was led by Rose Rodriguez and Jevon Willis. They began by defining diversity, equity, and inclusion which helped the listeners to understand the differences between each word, because they can easily be grouped together and not thought about individually. The goal of these three things is really to create equity, which meets each individual’s specific needs, and to create an environment where everyone at the table has equal access to power and offering input. It is easy to have a lot of diverse people in a room, but the goal is that everyone in that room would feel like they belong there.

The advantages to attaining these three components in the workplace are plentiful. It creates stronger business results/profits, a larger talent pool, a variety of perspectives, increased creativity, increased productivity, and a global impact. Customers themselves are diverse, so having a team that is diverse provides more insight into how to reach all different realms of customers. One significant statistic that was shown during the workshop was that there is a 95% higher return on equity with diverse boards than homogenous boards. Workplaces are evolving, but there is a long way to go. 

In order to make progress we need to be educated and be willing to speak up about it. As college students we’ve experienced different classes or internships during which a lot of us have probably seen or experienced being uncomfortable due to a difference in gender, age, or a belief. We should make sure we know who we can turn to in situations like this in order to make the situation right. We have the right to: Work Free of Discrimination, Work Free of Harassment, Complain about Job Discrimination without Punishment, Request Workplace Changes for Your Religion or Disability, and to Keep our Medical Information Private. Being aware of these will help to enforce them in future work settings and help to make a difference.

At Hope College the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Boerigter Diversity Resources Page, and Title IX Department are all places for students and staff to turn to for help. 

Kickoff Workshop: The 30 Day Challenge

The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is back into the swing of second semester with the kickoff of its 30 Day Challenge! The 30 Day Challenge, similar to Career Camp that was held in the Fall semester, is another opportunity put on by the BCCC that exposes students to more ways to prepare themselves for internships, jobs, graduate school, or whatever comes next in their journey. The challenge runs through February culminating in the annual Career Fair on February 24th. 

This week’s session was titled “You on Paper,” and focused on how we as students can demonstrate our personal brand and experience through resumes and CV’s. The session was hosted by Megan Scheldt, who works with for the Boerigter Center, and Keegan Aguilera `12, who is a Divisional Director at Beacon Hill Staffing. 

Megan started the session off by briefly introducing the two different ways that students may have to demonstrate their experience on paper, resumes and CV’s. She explained that a resume is a shorter, one-page document that is commonly used to demonstrate one’s work, leadership, or other experiences in a quick and efficient manner. These are generally going to be required by internships and other jobs that students will be applying for. A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is a longer document, generally, more than two pages that go in-depth on a person’s experience in things like research, experiences, education, certifications, etc. A CV is more commonly used when applying for graduate school, health-related industries, or international job. 

After explaining the two different methods, the hosts explained the importance of personal branding through these documents. The point of a resume or CV is to demonstrate to potential employers who you are, what your personality is, and what you can bring to the table. Students were encouraged to keep their own brand in mind and to let this show when they are designing their resume. If you are a design major, don’t let your resume be just text on a page! Let your talent show here!

Keegan then gave some advice on bullet point writing, and how important these are when someone is reviewing a resume. Keegan outlined three important things for bullet points, be specific, use I statements and take ownership of your work, as well as use relevant information that applies to the position that you are targeting. 

All in all, the session proved to be full of useful information for students to use when they are beginning their journey into internships, jobs, and graduate school. The 30 Day Challenge picks up next week on Tuesday with students having the opportunity to pick between two sessions. The first session is about major discernment, and the second is about diversity and inclusion within the workplace! There will be four more weeks of the 30 Day Challenge with sessions taking place each week at 11 AM! If you are interested or would like more information, reach out to careers@hope.edu!

Where Are We Going?

An official update from The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career | Fall 2020

The fall semester of 2020 has been a semester unlike any other at Hope College. It has been a season for us to adapt and find new ways to connect with students, alumni, and employers. With a lot of creativity, the Boerigter team found new ways to serve our students and live out our mission.


100% VIRTUAL OPERATIONS: In preparation for the fall semester, the college sought every opportunity to limit the number of people on campus so student learning could take the highest priority. Having seen success with video-conference 1:1 appointments and events in April, we were optimistic that we could still serve students and run events with all staff working remotely. It worked. Our appointment numbers were actually 6% higher in September and October of 2020 as compared to the same months in 2019.

USE OUR SPACE: With all staff working remotely, we made the bold decision to open up our desks and conference rooms for students. It was an instant hit. Students looking for a quiet space to study found a welcoming office, decorated with pictures of staff and instructional posters for how to get in touch with us and use our various software platforms.

CAREER CAMP: The pandemic’s impact on the economy kept us closely watching the job market. Knowing that jobs and internships might be harder to find, we launched a new initiative in September to engage students early and nudge them to be proactive in career preparation. “Career Camp” attracted 276 students (mostly juniors and seniors) to multiple virtual workshops and an intensive résumé review process. Many of our faculty members made these events required for students in their classes.

RECRUITING: We launched our first-ever virtual recruiting fair this fall and attracted 40 employers to host online meetings with our students. While we missed the energy of our typical large in-person event, we found that the virtual format attracted more out-of-state employers and allowed for more focused conversations.

STUDENT/ALUMNI EVENTS: Our Hope College Connection Live! events became virtual events as well this fall, but we found our alumni and students to be no less engaged. We held workshops on targeted topics, such as job negotiations and onboarding, and we held events featuring alumni who have followed career tracks in international relations and the arts.

INSTAGRAM: We added to our social media outreach this semester by launching an Instagram account – one of the more popular apps for our students. We started in August and just surpassed 100 posts and 283 followers. Follow us @hopecareer!

TARGETED SOFTWARE TRAINING: What started as an idea 12 months ago has now become a thriving student program. On November 30, we launched our second cohort of a certification training program in Tableau, a popular data analytics and visualization tool. Deliberately timed to coincide with the semester break, we have 50+ students who are eager to complete the required hours of online training to enhance their résumé with a Tableau Analyst badge.


CFL INTEGRATION: We are extremely excited to welcome Hope College’s Center for Leadership (CFL) to become a part of the Boerigter Center starting in January. Since 2006, CFL has a strong track record of preparing students for the future through the leadership minor, student consulting operations, and leadership development workshops. Becoming a part of the Boerigter Center will connect CFL’s unique experiential learning programs to Hope’s core career preparation initiatives. In addition, we hope to elevate the topic of leadership to be a more prominent educational track for all students.

30 DAY CHALLENGE: Following the model of our successful Career Camp program, we will be offering a new program in January and February to assist additional students in career preparation activities. New workshops and more résumé reviews will prepare our students for our next recruiting fair in late February.

EMPLOYER ADVISORY COUNCIL: Later this coming spring, we are planning to convene a group of leaders from our key recruiting partners. Our hope is to create a forum to keep Hope College in sync with industry needs and educational expectations as the job market evolves and changes.

INTERACTIVE “WHERE WILL YOU GO?” DISPLAY: A team of computer science students has been working with us this fall to design an interactive app showing alumni whereabouts, featured stories, and job openings. We plan to feature this app on a large touch-screen monitor in the lobby of the Boerigter Center by the end of the spring semester.


OFFICE SPACE EXPANSION: Earlier this year, Hope decided to designate the lower level of the DeWitt Center (the former Kletz) as an expansion space for the Boerigter Center and the new home of the Center for Leadership and the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement. Given the overlapping work of our offices, we envision many ways in which this new space can become a hub for leading, launching, and lifelong learning. We are in the early stages of design work and fundraising, and we are very excited to make this a place for students, alumni, and employers to connect.

Want to learn more about the Boerigter Center? Contact our Executive Director Shonn Colbrunn (colbrunn@hope.edu)

Five Ways to Have a Healthy and Productive Break

As we wind down after a crazy semester, which we are lucky enough to have finished in person, we know that the majority of students are excited for break. The sleeping in, the empty to-do list, and the lack of deadlines are all extremely exciting. But even as we get excited for a reprieve from college life, there are five ways we would like to encourage you to have a healthy and productive break!

Rest and Relax

We are sure this goes without saying for most of you, but take some me-time! We’ve all been stressed with a condensed semester. Sleep that extra hour (or four), binge-watch The Mandalorian, eat some good food, and just relax for a bit. It’s difficult to be productive in a stressful environment, so take advantage of the break as a way to reset yourself both mentally and physically. It’s a long break too, so we’re sure that even in the midst of any holiday cheer that may be occurring you can find some time to put your feet up and play a round of Among Us

Focus on Relationships

With this new spike in Covid-19 cases, it will be more important than ever to limit in person contact, but make sure you do not isolate yourself. Focusing on your positive relationships will be helpful for your mental health! Watch a movie with your loved ones, maybe try to learn a new game and play it with your parents (Cribbage is a good one), or find ways to connect with your friends virtually! With a long break it will be so easy to just disconnect with your Hope friends, but make sure you send that text, get conversations going in a GroupMe that has been silent due to semester stress, or set up a time to play games over Google Meet. Don’t isolate yourself, others want social interaction as much as you need it so reach out and focus on those relationships (while staying safe and socially distant)!

Catch Up On Helpful Content

Over the course of this fall semester the Boerigter Center has produced some great content! We know that in the hectic, shortened format of the semester it may have been difficult to take it all in; so, we have some great news for you! All of our Career Camp content has been recorded and can be accessed at this link! And this link has more than just recordings, it has transcripts of the sessions, a fantastic guidebook with activities, and resume examples. So if you are feeling like you have some time to work on your next best step, look through our Career Camp content!


So much of the professional world is all about connections, and so we hope that you will use part of your break to work on those! This is what The Hope College Connection is for. You can get to The Hope College Connection by going to connection.hope.edu and creating your account. Once you have been approved, you can begin looking through a database of Hope alumni from all around the world and a variety of fields who have joined to help students in some way. You can find people to give you resume advice, networking advice, career advice, and so much more! Take the time to set up an account over break. And if you don’t feel quite ready to start connecting when you first get in, bookmark alumni who you would be interested in talking with so you can come back to them later!

Gear Up for Spring

Throughout all this, remember to recharge and prep for the spring semester. We have some great opportunities that we will be offering for the spring semester and so be sure to look out for those! But more importantly, know that we recognize that being a student is a full-time commitment and that we want to support you in any way possible so feel free to reach out for an appointment if you need help finding that internship you must have to graduate, cleaning up a resume, or practicing interviewing. We want to support you and feel prepared for whatever this next semester may hold for you. 

We hope that you will stay safe and healthy so that when January hits Hope College will again echo with the sounds of students on the way to class and hanging out around campus. Stay healthy and productive!

The Hope College Connection Virtual Walk-Through

Networking is one of the most beneficial things you can do as a student while looking for an internship or entering the workforce. It allows you to discover potential careers, create bonds with people in your field, and learn about details of specific jobs from actual employees. That is why we created the Hope College Connection, a networking database where Hope College students and alumni can discuss, connect, and engage with one another. Below are a couple of videos that give an overview on how to use the different features and tabs of the website.

Introduction and Profiles
Make a Connection
Discussion Board
Extra Resources and Getting Involved

We hope you find these videos helpful, ask a ton of questions, and make many meaningful connections!

Career Camp Part 4: Preparing for the Fair

Congratulations to all of our Career Camp 2020 participants! Over the course of the last 30 days you attended professional development workshops, worked hard to build a strong resumé, learned about the process of applying to a graduate program, internship, or job, and so much more—we are so proud of you, and so should you! After a busy month of resumé revising and webinar watching, there is just one thing left to do—PREPARE FOR THE FAIR! 

First and foremost, make sure to save the date! The 2020 Virtual Fall Recruiting Fair will be hosted on Wednesday, October 7th from 2-6 p.m. on Handshake. Throughout the day, you will have the opportunity to interact with employers in one of two ways: during 30-minute group sessions or 10-minute one-on-one sessions. In order to attend these sessions you must first register for the fair on Handshake. Registration will open on Tuesday, September 30th at 8 p.m., so mark your calendars because this is something you won’t want to miss! Once you are registered for the fair, you will be able to sign up for group and individual sessions. Since space is limited, we suggest signing up early in order to secure your spot! For more information about registration visit * insert link to registration information *

Due to the virtual nature of the fair this year, there are several steps we recommend all students take in order to best prepare for the fair. First, ensure that you have the right setup to support your audio (required) and video (optional), complete your Handshake profile, and be sure to upload that well-crafted resumé to your profile as well (this will allow you to share it with an employer in the click of a button!). Next, set aside some time to research the companies and organizations that will be present at the fair. This will help you gain a better understanding of each employer, their requirements, and the missions of their company/organization. You can also create a 30-45 second elevator pitch that you can use to introduce yourself to an employer. Practice it in front of the mirror, your roommate, or one of the campus squirrels to build up your poise and confidence! Finally, dress for success! Remember, you will be networking with potential employers and want to present your best self. Be sure to dress appropriately (business casual from the waist up), be on time, and be cognizant of your video background.

We cannot wait to see you all at the 2020 Virtual Fall Recruiting Fair! If you have any questions regarding the fair, shoot career@hope.edu an email and we will gladly help you out!

Career Camp Part 3: THE SEARCH

On Tuesday, September 23rd, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career hosted another workshop as a part of the current Career Camp. One of the sessions students were able to attend was on the job search and how students can begin to prepare for not only the physical act of applying to jobs but also setting up a strategy on how to be on the lookout for potential work opportunities. 

This week’s session was once again hosted by BCCC staff member Dale Austin, who was joined by Morgan Seiler `15, who is a Division Lead at TekSystems, an employment agency that helps attract talent for IT jobs. 

Dale started the session off by highlighting a few key steps to beginning your own job search. The first step is to really develop a career focus, and know what you want to go into. If you are beginning the job search you shouldn’t be considering anymore than three careers at once. The second step is to take care of your support materials, that is your resume, portfolio, cover letter, and online accounts, these are important factors that need to be refined to stand out during the application process. The last step is to practice the interview, that way you will be able to demonstrate your passions, skills, and knowledge. Practice interviews can be set up with a staff member at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. 

Another part of this session that I really appreciated was the insight that Dale gave on the importance of in-person interactions. As someone who has grown up in the “digital age”, I have always assumed that most applications are dependent on online interactions and having a great resume that stands out among the pile. This session helped me to understand that while that is still very important, the most vital factor to increase your chances in the hiring process is to interact in-person with employers. This in-person interaction helps demonstrate what working with you would be like, and even if there are not many job opportunities available at that time, you can use that connection to find other openings in the field. 

After Dale’s presentation, we moved into a Q/A with Morgan where we got to hear about what Morgan’s recruiting perspectives are as a former Hope student and someone in the hiring industry. Morgan emphasized the importance of networking and how she thinks that it is the single most important thing someone can do in the hiring process. Her second priority was using your resources, not just a Google search but also taking advantage of the resources at the Boerigter Center. She also emphasized being true to yourself and your passions. And finally, being a student of your own job search. 

The job search can be difficult but as both Dale and Morgan said, use your resources! The staff at the Boerigter Center is always willing to help you with whatever step you are at in your job search, so do not hesitate to reach out!

Next week is the last Career Camp session and we will be discussing how to prepare for the upcoming career fair! Be sure to tune in to this and reach out to the Boerigter Center for any more assistance that you may need!

A Unique Summer Filled with Internship Experiences

This summer was definitely unique to say the least, but despite the crazy spin to normalcy that COVID-19 gave the world so far this year, many students at Hope were still able to participate in summer internships. Take a look!  

Rylee Thayer – Junior – Business & Communication Double Major

“I have been very fortunate to gain marketing experience this summer through a remote internship with Symposia Labs out of Grand Rapids. I am learning all about digital marketing from an agency standpoint, especially the content creation aspect of marketing. It has been very beneficial to have an internship opportunity still among the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Aubrey Wilson – Senior – Communication Major

“This summer, I am working for Downtown Holland as their marketing intern. A day on the job looks different than we first expected but I am loving it. Joining the team as they navigate uncharted waters has been interesting and insightful. Our goal is to best aid downtown businesses while keeping everybody safe and healthy. My latest project is the takeover of @downtownholland on Instagram. Go check it out!” 

Rachel Foy – Senior – Engineering & Business Double Major

“I had the privilege of interning at Consumers Energy in the Gas Metering and Regulation Department this summer. I was able to work on numerous projects, which enabled me to develop my leadership and engineering skills.” 

Casey Doolittle – Junior – Engineering Major

“Working at Medallion Instrumentation Systems this summer has been a great experience for me!  My engineering team has been very supportive, and allowed me to work on a variety of projects.”

Samuel Vega – Senior – English Major with a writing emphasis

“I have the incredible privilege of working remotely for the Holland Museum as an Interpretive Specialist Intern. The position acts as a bridge between the Archives and Family Engagement divisions of the Museum, and also acts as a delicate balance between logical research and creative planning. From learning about the more eccentric pieces of Dutch History, planning an exhibit about the LAUP program, and even collaborating with a team member on a children’s book, this experience remains an incredibly well-rounded one. Whether with team members, networking connections, or my wonderful boss, some manner of growth is always taking place.” 

Garett Shrode – Junior – Engineering Major

“Have you ever wondered what those rubber tubes over the road are for? They’re collecting traffic data! This summer, I have had the privilege to intern with the Traffic Department at the City of Wyoming collecting traffic data. Not only do these counts collect volume data, but they also provide data on the speed and class of vehicles using that particular segment of road. We analyze the data using JAMAR Technologies’ STARNEXT software and then upload it to the Grand Valley Metro Council database to help inform traffic decisions in the greater metro area.”

Nicolle Malson – Sophomore – Undeclared Major

“This summer I have been working as the marketing assistant for the Hope Hockey club team. I am currently working on their social media and advertising strategies for the upcoming season. It has been a really exciting opportunity, and I am looking forward to working this season!”

Kameron Miller – Senior – Business Major

“This summer I have had the privilege to work for Haworth as a Product Line Management Private Office and Tables Intern! PLM is a very cross functional role, allowing me to develop a variety of skill sets throughout the business environment. Haworth is a world class organization with an elite internship program!”

Abbey Woodruff – Senior – Sociology Major

“Over the summer, I had the privilege to work on the Special Events Team at National Heritage Academies. I had the opportunity to convert a large in-person event to a virtual event in just a matter of months. From this, I learned how crucial time-management, communication, and adaptability is in the event coordinating career. I was very fortunate to experience this first-hand how adaptable we can be when we set our minds to it!”

Would you like to find a unique internship? Our next Career Camp session is for you! Head to Handshake and find the “Internship Search” session in the events section. Tuesday September 22, 2020 from 11-11:50 via Google Meet.

3 Platforms for Success

The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career has many useful resources available to students to help them answer the tough questions that every student (and distant relatives on holidays) asks at one point in their career: What is my major? How/When should I apply for an internship? How do I find a job after college? Where can I find connections in my field?

A great place to begin is PathwayU, a site full of questionnaires, personality tests, and personal value assessments that can find numerous majors/careers that fit your character. The picture on the right shows the four main assessments used to categorize your interests and beliefs: Interests, Values, Personality, and Workplace Preferences. Under each category, you can see the factors that you would most enjoy in a major/career. Once you take the assessments, you are able to see subjects and careers that match your interests in the “Careers” tab. Check out a previous blog for more in depth insight into this tool.

Handshake is another great resource for students to find jobs/internships both around West Michigan and internationally. When you login and create your student account, you gain access to the over 13,000 employers and their job postings, allowing you to filter through them based on field of study, location, part-time/full-time employment, industry, and job function.

In addition, this platform is also used to schedule advising meetings with our staff that can help you answer some of those questions that seem too big to handle on your own. Advising meetings can cover anything from major discernment, internship preparation/location, mock interviews, grad school preparation, resume construction, and any other questions you may have! Finally, information on networking events, synchronous webinars, and job/internship fairs put on by our office can be found under the “Events” tab, all of which are open to students of all majors.

If you want to grow your network and connections even further, then head on over to one of our newest resources “The Hope College Connection”, which provides current Hope students and alumni with connections to 2200+ Hope alumni around the globe. This is a great place to ask questions about life after college to people who have experienced it: “What kind of job can I get with a major in ____?”, “What type of industry does a _____ work in?’, “What advice would you give me as I enter the workforce?”. With the map feature, you can easily see where in the world Hope alumni are working and what they are doing, and start a conversation with them.

Hopefully, this gives you a good overview of the different services we offer and all of the different ways we can help you find and achieve your career goals, one step at a time!