Growing in the Real World with an Internship: Student Experiences

Looking for ways to build your resume and gain professional experience? An internship might be the best choice for you! Internships can prepare you for your career and life after college by letting you explore your interests. Many Hope students participate in experiential learning opportunities during the summer and during the school year. If you want to hear some of their stories, keep reading!

Jason Gomory is a senior majoring in Business and minoring in Leadership and Mathematics. He interned at Steelcase this summer and said about his experience that

“One of the most impactful learning experiences since being at Steelcase is, you must be passionate about the work that you are doing. This passion will help you in solving problems you don’t yet know how to solve. This passion will help to calm the nerves before walking into a meeting with senior leaders, and this passion will flow into your work and will lead you to excel as a member of any team you are apart of.”


Another senior who had a summer internship was Daniel Foy. He is majoring in Communications and interned at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. When asking about his experiences, Daniel responded saying

“My internship at BCBSM was challenging, rewarding, and fun. It was incredible to work collaboratively with other interns and professionals in the Corporate Communications Department. Throughout my time, I participated in projects and wrote blogs to share with others inside and outside of the corporation. It was great to be able to apply the concepts I have learned in my classes here at Hope to Corporate America. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity!”

With an internship you will not only build your resume, but also, like Jason and Daniel, you will be able to develop your skills, put class theory into practice, and grow professionally. If you have any further questions about internships or need help with the search process, please explore the Boerigter Center for Calling Career’s website and click on the “prepare” section and/or stop by the Boerigter Center’s office located in DeWitt.


Get to Know Dale Austin

Meet Dale Austin!

Many of you have met with Dale Austin throughout your college career, whether it was a mock interview, job search appointment, or getting help with graduate school. He has been working with Hope College students at the Career Development Center for 37 years, and will continue to engage with students as our office transitions to the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

Dale has answered 10 questions to let us get to know a little more about him:

      1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?
    1. My role in the BCCC centers around working with students in the transition to work or grad school with advice and a range of resources. I will provide coaching on preparing for interviews, conduct mock interviews and provide feedback on personal statements. I will continue my work with employers, recruiting fairs, and on campus interviews. I will also be working with over 15 classes addressing a variety of issues with seniors who are preparing to transition after Hope. 

      2. What is your favorite part about Holland?

    2. One thing that struck me about Holland was the diversity of companies and organizations from manufacturing, to services like banking and other financial services, to the nonprofit. The Holland area is blessed with exceptional business and community leaders who are committed to Holland and its citizens.

    3. 3. What do you like the most about working with students and alumni? 
    4. Students and alumni at Hope are simply delightful people to work with. They are positive, hard working, have a great outlook, and are eager to do what they can to prepare for the future and serve their communities. The beauty about what we do is we have amazing opportunities to make working at Hope a great experience.

    5. 4. What do you like to do in your free time? 
    6. I enjoy spending time with my family (my wife, 3 grown children and their spouses, 93-year-old father, and golden retriever, Sammy.) When I’m not with family, I enjoy reading nonfiction and listening to classical music.

    7. 5. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled to?
    8. I traveled to Iceland last summer. Their natural resources, geography, and giant waterfalls are amazingly beautiful. I look forward to going back.

    9. 6. What is something you wish you knew more about? 
    10. I wish I could have a real-life crystal ball to know with confidence the new opportunities and the new career fields that would be developing within the next 10 years. Additionally, I wish I knew more clearly the impact of artificial intelligence on the workplace and the implications for preparing our students.

    11. 7. If you could meet one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
    12. Barack Obama, for whom I have great admiration.

    13. 8. What is the most memorable gift you have ever received? 
    14. Over my time at Hope College, I have received a range of gifts from grateful students, plants, hand carved wooden boxes, a colorful brass plate, to framed pictures, among others.  These are the most memorable!

    15. 9. Who inspires you the most? 
    16. That is a hard question. As I reflect on it, I have been fortunate to have a number of mentors over my life, from my college academic advisor, Stan Walters, to family members, like my 93 year old dad, Vern Austin, to other figures during my time working at Hope College. At the deepest level, it would be my faith in, and relationship to, Jesus Christ, who provides the challenge and the grace for both life and work.

    17. 10. What is the number one piece of advice you can give to Hope College students about entering into a new career/grad school?
    18. Accurately promise and over deliver”: whether in work or graduate school, you will have significant demands on your time, energy and attention. The following steps would facilitate a smooth initial transition: understanding key priorities from your supervisor or graduate school advisor, keeping communication lines open and initiating conversation when needed and protecting your time in ensure that high payoff work/projects get done.

    19. Here at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, we want to get to know our students personally and assist them in their career paths. We hope this insight into our career staff members allows students to feel comfortable coming into our office at any stage of their college career.

How do you say the name? Boerigter Center for Calling and Career!

We are a few days away from the start of the 2018-2019 school year! With that comes the launch of the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career! Over the course of the fall semester, a number of new programs and initiatives will be coming to life.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of Hope’s faculty and staff for partnering with us! From the development of our new website, to integration with Student Life and academic programs, to the renovation of our new space in DeWitt – we continued to be blessed by the overwhelming team spirit and Hope hospitality.

We are all looking forward to welcoming our students and building community at the Boerigter Center! Here we go!

Q & A with our new leader Shonn Colbrunn ’94

Meet our new Executive Director, Shonn Colbrunn!

If you have not already heard the news the Career Development Center is no more! We have combined our efforts with Alumni and Family Engagement as well as Academic Advising to form the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

Shonn Colbrunn ’94 is leading the charge as the first Executive Director of the Boerigter Center and he is thrilled to be back at Hope College!

Shonn answers 10 questions to help us all learn more about him:

  1. Why did you want to apply for this position at Hope College?

    “It seemed like an opportunity to make a lasting impact at an institution that is close to my heart. I would not have applied for this position if it were at any other college.”

  2. What do you like to do in your free time?

    “I enjoy spending time with my family, boating and water sports, playing competitive beach volleyball and playing the bass guitar.”

  3. What is your favorite part about Hope College/Holland?

    “My favorite part about Holland is living in an area where people vacation in the summer; I love being close to Lake Michigan and the beautiful summers here.”

  4. One Shonn Colbrunn fun fact:

    “I am a father of sixteen-year-old triplets: two boys and one girl.”

  5. If you could have dinner with one person in history, who would it be and why?

    “I have always been really fascinated by genealogy and family research. I would love to sit down and talk to my great-great-great-grandfather who came from Germany in 1848 and moved to Ohio.”

  6. What is your favorite quote?

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ Leonardo da Vinci.    So many things can become complex and complicated, and I like to take complicated things and make them easier.

  7. If you could travel to any country on earth, where would you go?

    “There are so many places I would like to go.  I really enjoy historical sites, so I think it would be fun to explore Greece, Rome, and other interesting places in that area.”

  8. You are a contestant on American Idol – which song do you sing?

    “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling’ by the Righteous Brothers. When I was a student at Hope College, my buddy Durwood and I sang that song at a karaoke night!”

  9. Who do you admire the most and why?

    “My dad. I have learned so much from him, and he has so many great qualities. He is very patient, positive and can fix anything!”

  10. What are you looking forward to the most about working at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?

    “I am looking forward to helping all students become more successful and building stronger connections as we begin our new chapter at the Boerigter Center.”

Here at the Boerigter Center, we truly care about getting to know the students that we work with. We hope this little bit of insight into our new leader  encourages students throughout campus to come check out the BCCC for themselves!

We are…The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career!

One of the most challenging things that college students have to do is choose a career path. There are lots of options out there and many feel the pressure to ensure they are making the best choice possible. Which is why choosing a major, and later on securing a job, tends to make many students anxious. Enter…The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, Hope College’s new and improved hub for all things career! 

The principal goal of the Boerigter Center is to teach students how to engage in lifelong practices of career development by emphasizing discernment, preparation and pursuit.

Students will:

(Discern) Take steps to discover their strengths, interests, and values to help them find direction.

(Prepare) Find internships, alumni connections and other skill building opportunities to explore their path on and off campus.

(Pursue) Tap into the Hope network, polish their interviewing skills and take steps toward graduate school or the world of work.

We will accomplish this by renaming and re-imagining the efforts of our Career Development Center and closely partnering with Academic Advising and Alumni & Family Engagement for new and robust programming. With this in mind, Boerigter Center services will enable every student to graduate with:

  • A rich understanding of their strengths
  • Experiences in and outside the classroom directly connected to career preparation
  • An affirmed aspiration for an eventual career with clear, immediate next steps
  • A thoughtful understanding of vocational and life goals

Led by Executive Director Shonn Colbrunn ‘94, this new center is made possible by a generous gift from SoundOff Signal in honor of Founder and Chairman George Boerigter ’61 and his wife, Sibilla.

We are so excited to be up and running and look forward to meeting with you in our new location in DeWitt which will be completed sometime this fall! Until then stop by Anderson-Werkman or call 616.395.7950 to schedule an appointment today!