Gap Year Fair

Whether you’re a freshman, a senior, or anyone in between, graduation will sneak up on you before you know it, and we want you to feel prepared and ready to take on the next adventure life throws at you after Hope. The only question is, what will that adventure be? The Gap Year Fair is the perfect place to explore what opportunities and careers are available to you once you graduate from Hope. Over twenty different nonprofit organizations and programs will be represented at this event, which will be held on Thursday, October 29, from 10:30AM to 3:00PM in Maas Center. This is a great event the Career Development Center hosts that really showcases a variety of options for what to do after you graduate and are looking to take the next step in your career exploration process.

What’s a gap year, you ask? A gap year is a one to two year long time period, in which students who recently graduated take some time to explore different career options and vocations by getting involved with some type of non-profit organization or program. Sometimes participating in a gap year program can lead to potential employment opportunities, but even if it doesn’t, students usually benefit from this post-grad time, as they learn more about themselves and what types of careers they want to explore and pursue.

Hope College senior and Career Advisor Hannah Cutshall writes about her personal experience with the Gap Year Fair:

Other than internships, I have begun considering post-graduation life as well, which has lead me to the Gap Year Fair!  I studied abroad during my junior year, allowing me to appreciate the beautiful cultures of the world and instilling in me a true feeling of “wanderlust.”  If you are like me and want/need to travel and explore more, than Gap Years are a great option for you.  Hosting over 16 organizations that want to give you a chance to look further than Holland and gain real experience, potentially in a field you hadn’t previously considered, this event is catered around your needs!  Although I think I know where I’m going after graduation, I attended the event last year, skyped with women in Australia about their opportunities, saw how various organizations working in the nonprofit realm, and got to communicate with various teaching abroad agencies!  If I didn’t have a plan, I know I would be returning to find a new, incredible adventure and culture with which to spend a few years after graduation! 

This is an excellent event, chocked full of exciting opportunities for any and all students to explore. No prior registration is required. All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there!

For a full list of organizations and employers, follow the link, or call the Career Development Center at (616) 395-7950. Gap Year Fair.

Seminary Day and Grand Valley State University Career Fair

What am I Going to Do After Graduation?

Thinking post-grad can be a bit frightening, but Hope has provided a number of opportunities to make your life after graduation (the one you’ve always dreamed about) a reality!  The Career Development Center (CDC) offers a variety of events for you explore different careers and post-grad options. Seminary Day and the Grand Valley State University Career Fair are two events that can help you learn about various career options in numerous areas and fields. 

Seminary Day

Seminary Day is the perfect event for anyone who is interested in exploring the world of seminary or theological studies. Thirty different seminary schools and institutions will be present at this event, including Western Theological Seminary, Duke Divinity School, and Princeton Theological Seminary, just to name a few. For a full list of the schools who will be attending the event, click here: Seminary Day Schools. Representatives from each of these impressive schools will be willing and eager to discuss their different programs and opportunities with students. This is the perfect event for students who are at all interested in the seminary field, so definitely take advantage of this special and exciting opportunity to explore your potential career path! Seminary Day is Thursday, October 22nd from 11:00AM-2:00PM in Maas Center. No prior registration is required. For more information about the event as a whole, visit the link above titled “Seminary Day Schools”, or contact the Career Development Center at (616) 395-7950.

Grand Valley State University Career Fair

The GVSU Career Fair is an excellent opportunity to network face-to-face with representatives from businesses and organizations, while exploring various career paths. There will be over 200 employers present and thousands of immediate openings and potential job opportunities for you to investigate. You can learn about potential internships and co-ops, building your professional network and developing your career exploration process. The GVSU Career Fair will take place on Thursday, October 22nd from 1:00PM-5:00PM in the Devos Place Convention Center, located on 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. No prior registration is required. The CDC is hosting a prep session for this event in our office (located on the first floor of the Anderson Werkman building) on Thursday, October 15 at 11:00AM. We’ll have pizza, so definitely stop by to eat and learn more about how you can prepare for this great event! For a list of employers who will be attending the Career Fair, please click here: Career Fair Employers. For more information about the event as a whole, please click here: GVSU Career Fair Overview. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the CDC at (616) 395-7950.

We look forward to seeing you at these two awesome events!

Meet our New Staff Members!

Here at the Hope College Career Development Center (CDC), we have a wonderful staff compiled of qualified individuals who are ready and willing to help you with any and all of your career exploration needs!

This year, we have welcomed two new staff members to our CDC team. Their names are Megan Fisher and Shannon Schans, and they each have a lot to offer in helping students with their career development and exploration processes.

Megan Fisher is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Megan loved her time at Saint Vincent, which is located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and happens to be the oldest monastery in the United States, headed by Benedictine monks. An east coast native, Megan has always been passionate about women’s lacrosse, and was captain of the Saint Vincent’s women’s lacrosse team. Megan says that the monks of Saint Vincent encouraged the idea of serving others, which developed Megan’s love of community service.

Megan Fisher

After attending Saint Vincent, Megan went on to graduate school at Lourdes University, a small Catholic school headed by nuns and located in Sylvania, Ohio. She became the graduate assistant of the women’s lacrosse program, which she actually helped form and create. During her time at Lourdes, Megan realized her passion for coaching and mentoring the girls on her team; she loved helping these girls find their strengths, acting as a guiding figure in their lives during their transitional college years. This was one factor that encouraged her to receive a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

Soon after graduating from Lourdes University, Megan found her way to Hope College. She is the CDC’s Career Counselor for Networking, mainly helping students connect with alumni for job shadowing and informational interviews, as well as assisting students with their LinkedIn profiles. She also helps organize and plan networking events such as the Gap Year Fair, Seminary Day, and the Arts and Humanities Speed Networking event, just to name a few. Megan loves Holland, and says she is “truly blessed by all means” to work at Hope College and call West Michigan her home.

Shannon Schans is a graduate of Trinity Christian College (located in Palos Heights, Illinois) with a degree in Business and Economics, and holds a master’s degree in Higher Education from Geneva College (located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania).  Shannon SchansShannon’s career has always involved working with students in the higher education field. She is  passionate about working closely with students, and implements that passion wherever she goes.

Shannon worked at Trinity Christian College for five years as the Coordinator for First Year Experiences before taking the position of Freshmen and Sophomore Program Coordinator at University of Minnesota. At Trinity Christian, her position revolved around students’ satisfaction and retention during their first years at the college. At Minnesota, Shannon helped create different mentoring relationships, as she worked with students and faculty to help first-year students get plugged in and involved in their new home. She also helped students who were going through key transitional periods in their lives, and also worked with at risk students, which included anyone from first generation students to students who were at risk academically.

Shannon is a Career Counselor at the CDC who mainly focuses on the StrengthsQuest assessment. She administers and interprets career and personality assessments and tools, and also evaluates and develops students’ resumes and and cover letters. She cooperatively supports StrengthsQuest programming on Hope’s campus, and facilitates career modules for First Year Seminar Classes.

After moving all over the country with her family for several years, Shannon is so happy to be working in Holland. She says that Hope feels like “a dream school to work at” and says she feels like she “won the job lottery!”  She believes Hope really celebrates people, and that any and every student has the ability to thrive and succeed in this environment. Needless to say, Shannon is excited to be working at the Career Development Center!

We are overjoyed to have Megan and Shannon join our CDC team! They are great, experienced staff members who can offer so much valuable assistance to students. Visit the CDC today and introduce yourself to these two amazing and helpful individuals!

Living and Working in Grand Rapids and Chicago: Networking 101

Living & Working in Grand Rapids!Living and Working in Chicago!


As you may know, two of the Career Development Center’s major events coming up–Living and Working in Grand Rapids (4/1) and Chicago (4/15)–networking is something that you should feel comfortable with. Well you are in luck because we have some networking tips just for you!

First, it is important to know that networking is a continual life long process. When you are networking, always look for the next step in gaining information about your field. Also, networking is not only limited to professionals in your field. You never know when a position you are interested in may come available at a company you might not have expected! Networking is the best way to find a job or internship!

Here are a list of some do’s and don’ts for networking:


  • Wear something with pockets, or carry a small bag so you have a place to stow business cards
  • Jot notes in a small notebook
  • Keep one hand free at all times to shake hands with people you meet
  • Dress professional, sharp and modest
  • Thank your network partners and keep in touch with them
  • Develop lasting relationships, not just contacts
  • Look for ways to help the people in your network
  • Ask two important questions: “What is your story?” and “What advice would you have for me as I consider entering this field?”


  • Brag or exaggerate the truth in your conversations
  • Spend too much time in unfocused conversation; respect and appreciate their time
  • Gossip or share inappropriately; stay professional and relevant
  • Allow your networking relationship to become one-sided
  • Ask personal questions or about money/salary
  • Ask for a job

We hope that these tips will help to make you feel comfortable in moving forward with expanding your network. Make a connection between yourself and the other person and follow up with them. Be sure to be genuine and sincere in your interactions and always thank your contacts for their time!

Lastly, there is still time to sign up for Living and Working in Chicago! This event is always well-attended and fun for students! Email to register!


If you would like to explore appropriate networking further or would like to possibly find some contacts who you may connect with in your field, call our office (616-395-7950) to make an Networking appointment with Joelle Fundaro! Be sure to keep in touch with your contacts!