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!

Career Camp Part 2: Grad School and Résumé Prep

On Tuesday, September 8th, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career hosted two more sessions as a part of the ongoing Career Camp. If you have not heard about Career Camp yet, it is an initiative designed to help prepare Hope students for their next steps, whether that be an internship, fellowship, entering the workforce post-graduation, or getting ready to apply to graduate school. This past Tuesday there were two sessions, one on résumé creation, and the other on getting ready to apply for graduate and professional schools.

The graduate school session was hosted by Boerigter Center staff member Dale Austin who was joined by Jung Koral `04 who is a recruiting coordinator for the University of Michigan’s School of Environment and Sustainability. Jung was able to help lend his expertise in the application process to the discussion, and help inform students of the best processes and steps in getting ready to apply.

During the session, Dale and Jung talked about why someone should consider going to graduate or professional school, and the specificity that comes with a graduate degree. They also spoke to the process of finding the right school for each person, through looking at the curriculum, the faculty teaching, and also what the alumni are doing and how they have succeeded with their degree. They also discussed the characteristics of a strong candidate for graduate school and some of the steps to make sure that you take to get in like securing strong recommendations.

Financial aid and scholarships are of course something that most students worry about while looking for post-graduate programs, Mr. Koral was able to speak on some tips to getting more money out of your experience and also how money can play a role in the decision process. Lastly, the two quickly went over some available resources to students when considering applying and tools to use while applying for graduate or professional programs.

“On average, a Recruiter only spends 10-20 seconds reviewing resumes. Therefore, you have a short amount of time to make a good impression on paper – to tell the story of who you are & why you should be considered for the role over the hundreds of other applicants who have applied.” –Charlotte Korson ‘15

Charlotte Korson—Talent Acquisition Advisor at the Kellogg Company and a proud Hope College alumna—made a guest appearance at our Career Camp Résumé Prep workshop. Working as a Recruiter supporting Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Global Engineering across the United States and Canada, Korson has extensive knowledge in the area of résumé building and evaluation. In conjunction with Megan Scheldt and Matt Atkins, two of our wonderful Boerigter Center staff, the purpose of this workshop was to familiarize students with professional résumés and equip them with the skills needed to construct their own résumé.

In the early stages, building a résumé appears to be a very daunting task. How could you possibly present your best self on a single sheet of paper and, more importantly, stand out amongst hundreds of these one-pagers that belong to your competitors? Fortunately, with a tactical approach and some résumé basics, this feat is absolutely possible.

So where exactly should you begin? Believe it or not, the first step is as simple as reviewing examples of well-written résumés to get a feel for some formatting and content ideas. Once you have looked through several examples, the next step is to make a list of your experiences. What counts as an experience? Anything that has made you grow as a person—think internships, volunteering, jobs, academic projects, and campus and community involvement! If you are interested in applying for a particular job or internship, make sure to thoroughly review the job/internship description. While you do this, highlight key skills, experiences, and traits the employer is seeking. Why is this important? Résumés are best when tailored for a specific position! So molding your résumé to reflect an employer’s mission statement and visions will make you a much stronger applicant. Once you understand the position and have identified which experiences are most relevant, you can begin to organize your résumé content. Last but not least, be patient and take your time! Building a strong résumé is no easy task that can be rushed. It will take effort and time to make it feel like and best represent you as an individual.

To some, this process can be very stressful and overwhelming. If this is true, know that you are not alone! No matter how far along you are in your professional career, whether that be polishing your résumé or starting it from scratch, the Boerigter Center for Career and Calling is here to support and guide you. In fact, all students have the opportunity to submit a first draft of their résumé in preparation for our Career Fair. Once your résumé has been reviewed, we will touch base with you and share some updates.

All of this information and more can be found by reaching out to the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career by scheduling an appointment in Handshake. Next week the BCCC will be holding a session on online profiles, we hope you will tune in for another week of Career Camp!

Career Camp Part 1: Kickoff!

On Tuesday, September 1 at 11:00am, the Boerigter Center for Career and Calling eagerly LAUNCHED Career Camp—a 30-day initiative designed to help Hope students navigate their career path and prepare for the “next step” that lays ahead of them. No matter where you are on this path, whether that be figuring out your interests or looking for a job or internship, Career Camp offers a plethora of opportunities and resources that will help sharpen your skills and stand out as an individual. 

Over the course of the next 30 days, you will have the chance to discover your capabilities, expand your horizons, sharpen your professional skills, build a strong résumé, establish an online presence, and so much more. A series of virtual workshops will be hosted throughout the month. Each workshop will focus on a specific topic and give participants plenty of information and opportunities to grow in that area. Trust me, you will not want to miss out on these virtual meetings! A description of all the workshops and their respective dates can be found on Handshake. Signing up for these events is quick and easy, just login to your Handshake account and register for the sessions of your choosing. 

If you missed the Launch session. Head to the Google Drive to find the recording, slide deck, and transcription.

Can’t make a workshop? No worries! All workshops will be recorded and made available to Hope students via a Google Drive link.The Career Camp team wants this experience to be as accessible and beneficial as possible to all students, so most everything can be personalized to best fit your individual needs! 

Looking for an easy way to customize your Career Camp experience? Look no further than the Career Camp Guidebook! This interactive guide lets you choose your own adventure as you explore Career Camp this month. So mark it up, take notes, skip irrelevant pages, and most importantly make it your own! If you don’t already have a copy but would like one, you can find some printed copies by the front desk of the Boerigter Center (while supplies last) or download the PDF version to your laptop or tablet.

We are so excited for all that is to come this month, and so should you! These next 30 days are for you—to learn, to grow, to network, to figure out your next step—so give it a try, put your best foot forward, and I promise you will be so grateful that you did. 

To stay up to date on all of our events this month and beyond, make sure to connect with us on social media! (Instagram| Twitter| Facebook )

Join us for our next virtual workshop on September 8 at 11am on Resumes!

Career Camp: Navigating Your Path

30 day challenges are about trying something new, different, fun, or even a little outside of the box every day for 30 days. Ironically, it only takes 30 days to form a new habit. The Boerigter Center seeks to empower students for their next best step and has put together a 30 day program to do just that. We invite you to participate in Career Camp.

Every student who opts in will be given a Career Camp book that guides you through different activities, reflections, and checklists in order to kick start you internship or job search. Supplemented with various online workshops, you can take the next month to get ahead of the competition and build new habits for success.

Bottom Line: Fun workshops, a student guide book, and a team of experts will help you…

  • Discover your capabilities and expand your horizons
  • Sharpen your job or internship search skills
  • Get ahead of the competition with a well polished résumé that will be shared directly with employers
  • Establish your online presence by completing three online profiles
  • Feel confident engaging with employers

Opt in with a friend by heading to Handshake.