Get Involved! Host a Hope Student Through DiscoverWork

Are you an alum that has been discerning ways to give back to Hope College? Have you ever thought your job would be an interesting to shadow? Do you feel called to help current undergrads explore their major? We have the program for you!

The DiscoverWork program run by the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career connects students with alumni, friends or employer partners of Hope College who share their career experiences, lessons learned and professional tips for landing a job or internship in their industries. Different from an internship, DiscoverWork opportunities are short-term, unpaid opportunities to meet with or shadow a professional and gain a first-hand perspective of his or her day-to-day work life.

Alumni will have an opportunity to…
• Make a positive and lasting impact on the career exploration process for an undergraduate student
• Aid in informing students about the helpful and required skills needed to enter the workforce
• Develop personal connections with current students in a coaching/mentoring capacity
• Meet potential new talent for future summer interns and full-time employees and increase the exposure of your company and career field/industry.

Host registration is open for the 2019-2020 cycle and we want you! 

Need more information or ideas for hosting a shadow? Check out our Host Guide.

Ready to register? Click here for the registration form.

*Not ready to host but willing to have a student stay in your home if they are shadowing in your area? We want you! Click the registration from above and indicate that you would like to be a “Housing Host”

We hope you will consider being a host this year and look forward to connecting you with our awesome students this Fall! Have questions? Please contact Megan Scheldt, Networking Coach & Program Manager at

The DiscoverWork Program: What Our Students Have Been Up To!

It’s early morning and a student has just shown up at their host’s office for a full day of job shadowing. The student starts the day with an amazing informational interview and quickly gets through most of the questions she came in curious about. Now the host is staring back at the student and a small look of panic comes across his face as he thinks about what to do for the next 5 hours.

Fortunately, this scenario is not one that plays out here at Hope College. In fact, our DiscoverWork job shadowing program offers a robust opportunity for students to not only connect with alumni, but live like them for a few days.

Open to all students at Hope College the DiscoverWork program gives alumni the opportunity to:

  • Make a positive and lasting impact on the career exploration process for an undergraduate student
  • Aid in informing students about the helpful and required skills needed to enter the workforce
  • Develop personal connections with current students in a coaching/mentoring capacity
  • Have a chance to meet potential new talent for positions they have open
  • Increase the exposure of their company and career field/industry

Curious as to what some of our students have been doing so far? Take a look…

Student: Junior, Prescott Binder

Alumni Host: Dr. Craig Kozler, Urological Surgeon, Chief of Surgery at Fort Memorial Hospital  

“The week I spent shadowing a surgeon in Wisconsin was one of the most rewarding and educational experiences of my entire Hope College career. I am forever grateful for Dr. Kozler and his family for being so willing to host me in their home for a week and to allow me to vastly expand my knowledge as what life would be like as a future physician.”… “The picture included represents the amount of fun that doctors can have with each other. Craig and many other college friends and physicians have created an almost full size ice rink in Craig’s backyard where people come from around the country every year to play at the USA’s first and only outdoor curling club.”

Student: Senior, Justin Richardson

Alumni Host: Rachel Romero, Energy Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

“This job shadow showed me that working at a government facility has its differences from the corporate world, but they are not bad. Now, I will always consider government research as a good possibility for my future work when searching. Rachel was a great host who allowed me to tour a large part of the campus, learn as much as possible in a day of work, and meet and connect with many of the employees there.”

Student: Freshman, Anna Hagner
Alumni Host: Scott Synder, Physical Therapist, Athletico Physical Therapy

“This experience was beneficial to me as I learned so much about what the job description of a physical therapist actually entails and how my strengths of working with people and being interested in the sciences could work in this profession.”

Student: Junior, Marissa Solorzano

Alumni Host: Brad Nordan, Nurse Anesthetist, Macatawa Anesthesia, PC 

“After this shadow experience, I have a lot of interest in anesthesia and I can not wait until medical school when I can learn more and have the possibility to specialize in this field of medicine. Hearing Mr. Norden’s process of deciding that becoming a nurse anesthetist was his lifelong goal was empowering. He decided in his junior year that he wanted to earn a degree in nursing, and became one of only a few men in the department -­‐ a story I find inspiring and encouraging. I am in awe by Mr. Norden’s drive to give back to the Hope College community; a personal goal I wish to fulfill as a health provider in the future. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity and I can not wait to keep diving into the health professions’ world.”

Student: Freshman, Matthew Dickerson

Alumni Host: Evan Boote, Director Physics & Technology, Spectrum Health 

“As my job shadow continued, I realized that multiple concepts from my courses were being used in diagnostic radiology and the hospital as a whole… I will forever treasure the opportunity I received to job shadow at Spectrum Health Hospital. I know in the future, I will look back at the knowledge I gained there and apply it to not only to my career decisions but to my life decisions as well.”

The Career Development Center is so proud of this growing program and the amazing connections we are building between alumni, friends, parents and students here at Hope College!

Do you desire to connect with students through the DiscoverWork program? Want to be apart of our 2018-2019 program goal of 100 alumni hosts? Email Megan Scheldt to learn more or to volunteer!

Networking with Alumni


Image result for networking

Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for. – Christine Comaford-Lynch


Research has found that in today’s workforce, 60-80% of the people found their jobs through networking. This fact alone should motivate all job-hunters to start making and utilizing their connections – they could help you land a job!

There are over 32,000 Hope College alumni across United States and 80 countries. As a Hope College student you have the amazing opportunity to network and connect with a number of alumni who have different backgrounds, experiences and are very willing to help you.

Connecting with the alum is a great way to learn more about the real world. You may have the opportunity to speak to people who are working in the fields you are interested in, connect with people personally who may be a stepping stone towards a potential job after you graduate.

So how does one go about networking? Here are some useful tips from the Career Development Center’s website to help you get started:

  1. When you’re networking, always look for the next step in gaining information about your field. When casually networking, ask for an informational interview.
    Most networking begins through casual conversation. Strike up a conversation with the people you meet in your normal routine — you never know who may have an aunt or a brother or a colleague in your field.
  2. Remember to use the informational interview as an opportunity to gather information and seek advice, not to ask outright for an internship or employment opportunity. It is often appropriate, however, to ask the person you speak with for advice on ways you might pursue employment or internship opportunities in your field of interest and give specifics about your search.
  3. Before you jump into this valuable exercise, you will need to have a solid understanding of who you are (self-assessment) and a basic understanding of your fields of interest (career exploration) in order to answer questions from the professionals you meet.


Megan Fisher is who you want to talk to at the Career Development Center if you are interested in networking. We asked why she thinks networking with alumni is important and this is what she had to say:

I have 3 key points for why networking with alumni is important:

  1. The majority of jobs within companies are not posted. Networking helps open doors to new opportunities.
  2. Networking helps you get insight into a specific job, company and industry.
  3. Networking with alumni helps you get your foot into the door as you tackle the job interview process.

Now that you know the importance of networking and a few ways to go about it, you can book an appointment with Megan Fisher and get started.