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 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.

Hope Students Participate in Data Analytics Software Certification

This summer I have had the opportunity to participate in a new skills certification program provided by the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career and the Van Wylen Library. Through a series of online training modules, I am learning how to use a software platform called Tableau

Tableau is an analytic software that focuses on interactive data visualization in order to help people see and understand data. It’s a tool to allow people and businesses to harness data to solve problems in a fast, easy, beautiful, and useful way. Unlike other software platforms, Tableau strives to be usable for anyone and everyone, which some fellow students and I were able to experience firsthand.  

Screen shot of Tableau platform

The Tableau e-learning program is set up in a very straightforward manner that makes the learning process easy to follow along and very doable. To obtain the Tableau certification, you have to pass three “Desktop” courses which go through the fundamentals of Tableau Desktop (what is used to analyze data and create visualizations as pictured above), boost your skills by building off of the fundamentals, and then dive into the advanced skills. 

Each desktop course is made up of modules, and each module has 3+ lessons: an overview graphic, a concept video, a demo video, and an activity. All of the videos are a great way to learn the software because as the person talks you through what they’re doing, you watch how they do it too, and then right after you get to do it yourself in the activity. They do a great job of explaining what’s going on, and the activities are the perfect “hands-on” experience needed to solidify what the videos taught.    

Participating in and completing this experience will be a great benefit for me and my fellow students who are getting the certification this summer.  

  • First, data analytics is an important aspect of business and can be used in so many ways to improve and better understand different companies, whether competition or clients. So knowing how to analyze data and create visualizations to tell a story through the use of a software like Tableau will definitely help students like myself stand out to employers.  
  • Second, Tableau (or a software like it) is used by a lot of organizations, so knowing the program will make learning any of the others so much easier. Plus, companies like to see previous experience with a software, as well as an understanding of it and the ability to use it effectively.
  • Finally, learning a software like Tableau is no easy task. By taking on this initiative the cohort I am a part of can showcase how teachable we are, our eagerness to learn, and our ability to work independently. Also I should note this wasn’t mandatory. We chose to participate during the summer (even amidst a global pandemic when life almost shut down), which shows we have a desire to keep growing and learning outside of the classroom, to better ourselves and to prepare for our future in the workforce. 

I am so thankful for the Boerigter Center and the Van Wylen Library for providing this opportunity! I am also extremely grateful for the generosity of the Hope alumnus, whose donation made this possible at no cost to students. I hope to see more certification programs like this available in the future. 

PathwayU: Joy, Meaning, Purpose

The path toward joy, meaning and purpose. This simple statement piqued my interest as I read an email that introduced me to PathwayU. As my senior year approaches, the reality of life after college is increasingly on my mind and is both exciting and scary to think about. So as I read about this new assessment tool, designed to help students explore and increase their self awareness as well as find career matches, my curiosity encouraged me to spend the next 20 minutes or so to give it a try…and I was not disappointed. 

As a student unsure of a career path to pursue once I graduate, I honestly was eager to see what career matches it gave me based on my interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences—the four assessments for self-discovery. I found each assessment to be straightforward and relatively quick, immediately providing results that are broken down into five sub-categories. The sub-categories are ranked based on your responses, giving you primary and secondary interest, values, workplace preferences, and a breakdown of your personality. 

Every aspect of the results are explained well, with career examples and key takeaways for further consideration, as well as worksheets for deeper exploration and understanding. 

All of the assessments did an accurate job of summarizing my interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences. The results made sense for who I am, how I think, and what my tendencies are. What I liked most about each is the step further it took to match the traits, interest, values, and preferences to general jobs and workplaces that would fit best, as well as specific work examples. It immediately got me thinking about jobs and work areas that I would thrive in based on who I am and my tendencies. 

  • The interests and values results helped me nail down what keeps me motivated and energized, and what I find most important. They reminded me that these are important elements for any job because from them my career will be more enjoyable and purposeful. 
  • The personality results even gave me a way to talk about how my traits are strengths in the workplace, giving me a clearer understanding of them and providing me with ways to leverage them when talking to others about myself. 
  • The workplace performance assessment was very different from anything I have taken before—it gives you a list of preferences that you have to filter through by picking the least important first, then the most important, than those in the middle. This made me really think about what matters most to me since all the preferences are good options and things I would want in the workplace. If I want to work for an organization that is a great fit for me, it is crucial to know the values I’d like my ideal employer to emphasize.

I was very surprised by the career matches PathwayU provides because I wasn’t expecting it to be as detailed as it was. It first gives you matches by subject, each with a general description along with a graphic that tells you how many matches it has that are ranked as very strong, strong, good, fair, or weak. 

You then can view the careers individually where you’re provided with a job description, alternative job titles, what you would do on the job, the average salary, programs available at Hope, knowledge, skills, and ability. I was very impressed with how much information it provided in a clear and non overwhelming way, as well as how it easily connected back to the results from the previous assessments. I was given enough information to consider the jobs within the different career paths without needing to do additional research elsewhere. Plus it provided a variety of options instead of the basic jobs that other assessment tools seem to default to. This was encouraging because there are so many different opportunities out there waiting to be found. 

You might be thinking this is just another personality test or career match, which was my first thought when I saw this new tool. However after using it, I have found that this tool is different from others because of how every aspect connects to career options in a genuine and applicable way. It gave me a better understanding of my personality, interests, values, and preferences as well as a way to talk about them and connect them to careers.