So Long, Farewell…The Seniors Give Their Last Remarks

College goes by in the blink of an eye, and with that, some of our beloved Career Advisors will be leaving us. Several CA’s are leaving our staff this year. Though we are sad to see them go, we wanted to give them one last chance to reflect on what the Career Development Center, now, The Boerigter Center has meant to them during their college career. Some have been here for many moons, others are new this year. Either way, grab your tissues and popcorn and hear what they have to say!

Rachel Gillespie:

Hey, friends! My name is Rachel, and I am finishing up my time as a Career Advisor for the Boerigter Center. My journey with this office began nearly four years ago in August of 2015, when I nervously (but excitedly) walked into the doors of the Career Development Center in Anderson Workmen for my first day. The people of this office have been some of the most important voices and strongest cheerleaders of my college career. They have taught me about life, discernment, calling, and what it means to give your whole heart to something. My time here has taught me about the working and professional world, how to connect with people at a deep level, and the art of meeting people right where they’re at. If I took the Boerigter Center out of my time at Hope College, something would be sorely lacking. I am so thankful that career work was a part of my story! This has been an incredible ride, and one that has changed my life. To this staff team: from the bottom of my heart, thank you for cheering for me so well. Friends, if you’ve never experienced what the place has to offer, I hope you’ll try it out. It might just be the best decision you’ll ever make.

Caitlin Lindman:

When I transferred here as a freshman, one of the first appointments I made was to meet with Amy Freehafer. I  wanted to set up my four year plan and had all these ideas about how I was going to start a bakery after college. During that appointment Amy told me about the Center for Leadership and helped me visualize all the possibilities for what my four years here would look like. She also encouraged me to fill out an application (that was closing in 2 days) for a CA position. I went home that afternoon and filled out the application and was scheduled for an interview…flash-forward three years later, and I’ve been working as a CA ever since. Honestly, I can’t talk about my time at Hope without talking about this position. Over the years, I’ve written several blogs, honed my marketing abilities, learned more about cover letters and resumes than I thought was possible, built lasting relationships with the Boerigter Center team, and loved every moment of working here. Megan Scheldt (and Amy) pours into each of us CAs and gives so much of her time to seeing us thrive. She’s given me the freedom to try new campaigns for the school, work on different projects, pushed me to grow outside my comfort zone, and cheered me on in all of my endeavors. I can’t say thank you enough to Megan, Amy, Shannon, Jena, Dale for how much you have helped me over the years. And to other students,  I can’t stress enough how much each person here wants to help you and see you succeed. Please don’t leave Hope without stopping into the office at least once– you never know if it might just change your life like it did mine.

ALLISON J DARNELL:

Throughout my first three years at Hope, I utilized the Career Development Center on a semester basis. These visits were limited to resume reviews and internship searching. Each staff member I met and every piece of insight I was presented with were immensely helpful. Leaving appointments, I felt reassured, confident, and empowered.

When the Career Development Center upgraded to the Boerigter Center, I was offered employment. As an emerging senior, I accepted this opportunity eager to more closely join this phenomenal community. Soon into the job, I began to better understand the resources readily available to students. The Boerigter Center offers so much more than resume reviews! With little time, I found myself sharing these opportunities with my classmates and friends. Working at the Boerigter has allowed me to fully utilize and share the resources available at the hands of Hope students and alumni. I am beyond thankful for this experience and the professional development it has provided me.

Isabel Bustamante

The Career Development Center was a frequent stop for me in my first few semesters at Hope. I was constantly trying to use all the resources I could to get a direction for my studies, and I am so thankful I utilized what is now the Boerigter Center. I was so grateful for how well-equipped I felt that I decided to apply to be a Career Advisor for my final year at Hope. I have learned so much from the full-time staff here whether it was through appointments or conversations in the office. They are passionate people who have so much great advice, and I would highly recommend using this irreplaceable resource. I am so excited for the next chapter in my life despite how unknown it feels. However, thanks to the Boerigter, I feel ready to take on this new and thrilling chapter.

RACHEL JENNINGS

As a freshman and sophomore, I utilized the Career Development Center a few
times each semester to get help with interviews and editing my resume. I spent my junior year and the summer going into my senior year as a student receptionist, and I learned all of the ins and outs of the office! I got to know each of the staff members very well as well as their areas of expertise. I learned more than I ever thought I could about resumes, cover letters, StrengthsQuest, and Handshake, but I am grateful for all of it!

My college career was heavily influenced by the wonderful students and staff members in the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. The skills they taught me impacted the rest of my career at Hope. I was confident in my own abilities to navigate life after college; I developed new connections to offices around campus; I had opportunities to advance my own resume (ex: campus-wide presentations, leading major exploration groups, and creating a new organizational system for StrengthsQuest), and most importantly I developed a sense of mutual trust with some pretty amazing mentors.

I could not be more thankful for the opportunities this office gave me because not only are they are meaningful in a professional setting, but I learned some great life lessons along the way too! My advice is to take advantage of the BCCC early and often! This a very unique resource that Hope offers, so don’t wait until the last minute to get some guidance in your calling and career.

Christina Armbrester

My journey as a CA began at the end of my sophomore year when I was talking to Rachel Gillespie (who was currently a CA). I was telling her how I wanted an on-campus job that would help me make connections and learn while I was working. She told me about the Boerigter Center. I began working at Boerigter Center during the Fall semester of my junior year and I fell in love! I loved learning about how to create an exceptional resume, I loved the projects I worked on and I loved the people who I interacted with in the office, specifically Megan, Amy, Shannon, Jena and Dale. I am so thankful for the professional development that the Boerigter Center taught me and all the memories that were made at this phenomenal office!

Anna Gibbs

I began working as an Office Receptionist in the Alumni Office when I was a freshman at Hope College and was promoted to Career Advisor at the Boerigter Center during my senior year when the two offices merged and began working together more closely. The Alumni Office staff in particular has played an important role in shaping my time at Hope. These people anchored and supported me during moments of uncertainty, stress or homesickness, and built me up by reminding me of my talents and capabilities.

On Valentine’s Day I would find sweetly decorated cookies on the student desk with a handwritten note wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day. On my Birthday, a vase with colorful flowers would await me. Regardless of the occasion or gesture, the staff always managed to put a smile on my face. Some of my fondest memories include watching the Tulip Time Parade from the balcony of the Plaza with Jenna and her parents, serving Kate and her precious family German potato salad at the International Food Festival, and spending time with all staff members at events such as Homecoming and Alumni weekend.

Not only did these staff members provide me with the skills necessary to succeed in a professional setting, but they also prepared me for a life of constant interactions and relationship building with other people. The Boerigter Center staff continued to foster my personal and professional development. Like the Alumni Office staff, these amazing coworkers and mentors demonstrated to me the importance of listening to others and treating them with empathy and respect. I will forever be grateful for the enriching and rewarding experience of being part of the Alumni Office and Boerigter Center team.

Nicole N mutua

One of the best decisions I made at the end of my freshman year was applying for the CA job that was posted on Handshake. Prior to becoming a Career Advisor, I had never made use of any of the great services that the Boerigter Center offers. Starting out as a sophomore I was able to learn a considerable amount of new skills and got the chance to work alongside an awesome team that included CAs, receptionists, and the Boerigter staff. Megan and Amy throughout the years have been some of my biggest cheerleaders. They have made me believe I can do anything. Megan gave me the freedom to try different tasks at the Boerigter, which immensely helped in my growth here at Hope College. Furthermore, using the resources at the Boerigter have helped tremendously on my journey to my future career, giving me the necessary steps I need to take to get there. Everyone should use the Boerigter Center, and it is never too late to use their resources. I have loved my time at the Boerigter Center, I am very grateful and thankful that I got the opportunity to work here and meet such astounding people.

Addison Huss

Working with the Boerigter team has been such a joy this year! I started out my time as a student employee in the Alumni Office as a freshman and have been with them ever since. I have been given experiences and opportunities I never could have imagined. From working at the front desk, answering emails and phone calls, to planning and working events and everything in between, this job has given me deeply valued work experience. When the Boerigter Center was first starting up, I had the opportunity to join the student receptionist team for one semester and then was offered a position as a Career Advisor. As a CA I get to work in the Alumni Office again and work on special projects as needed. I have been so blessed to create relationships with the entire Boerigter and Alumni team staff and cannot thank everyone enough for their support over the last four years. To the Boerigter staff- thank you for the work you do, we all appreciate you. To the Alumni staff- thank you for being there for me through the ups and downs of college and always teaching, supporting and loving me through it all, Hope would not be the same without you all!

DANNY CARPENTER

During my time at the Boerigter Center, I have seen amazing opportunities come to fruition due to hard work, dedication, and courage exemplified by my fellow Hope College students. I have been able to work with and assist some truly amazing students as they chase their ambitions, dreams, and aspirations. Ranging from helping with resumes and cover letters, to setting up events like the Summer Camp Fair, the Boerigter Center has left a lasting impact on my career, and given me a deep appreciation for encouraging students to chase their dreams. One thing that I have learned during my four short years here at Hope, has been to dream big and to not be scared to jump in. At the Boerigter Center, I see Hope students do this every day. There are no boundaries within the dreams of the magnificent students of Hope and I am confident that they will bring limitless hope to this world in a variety of careers and opportunities. Dreams are beautiful, and guidance along the way is crucial. The fruit stemming from the combination of new and creative dreams of Hope students and Boerigter staff is limitless. My advice to any current or future student reading this is to not be afraid to jump deep into passions. This picture takes place moments after I bungee jumped in Tibet and I include it as a reminder to myself that without jumping in and taking risks, I would just be watching others jump without a unique and memorable experience of my own. Dream Big. Work Hard. Seek Guidance. Sometimes the only thing stopping us is ourselves.

To all our CA’s…we thank you for all your time, effort, and passion for the work  we do. Our office would not be the same without you. Best of luck on your journey.

 

Cheers to the seniors

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

With finals week almost over, warmer weather settling in and summer plans almost commencing we want to wish everyone good luck and farewell!  We wanted to thank the Career Advisors who are graduating this May and early next fall, for all their hard work and we appreciate the time and effort you put into working at the Career Development Center.

These were their final words of advice to those who still have time here at Hope College:

Nola:

"What I love most about the CDC is the staff's interest and dedication to giving each and every student's career the best preparation possible. If you walk through our doors, you will without question walk away more prepared and confident about your career. My advice to Hope students and alumni is to get started on career development as early as possible - get an internship your freshman year! Start your resume before you move in! Work on a four year plan with our office when you decide on a major! Our office sets you up for success; there's no reason not to start that early. Above all, follow your goals, not what sounds easy. If you do this, when you get to senior year you'll still be enjoying your classes; you'll be disappointed to be leaving Hope; you'll be excited about where you're going. Don't let anyone convince you to choose a track you aren't passionate about - this is a time of exploration and discovery -- use it!!"

Sarah:

"I love the CDC because everyone is willing to help you out, whether it be with a resume, interview advice or networking to get a job, and the staff always meets you where you're at. Looking at careers can be stressful, but Career Development provides resources that provide assistance and give confidence to all students.                I highly suggest getting an internship within your field of study. This hands on experience will help direct your path after college and will guide which direction in your field of study you wish to take. Come into Career Development in order to clean up your resume and cover letter so you are ready to apply when opportunities arise!"

Rachel:

The Career Development Center is the place I started working at even before my first day of freshman year at Hope. The staff here are incredible-- their passion for students and their success is next level. This office meets people right where they’re at on their career and life path. Go to every event they offer! If I could give one piece of advice: find the mentors, professors, coaches and leaders that are willing to journey with you and sharpen you to be better tomorrow than you are today. Find the resources and services through the CDC that launch you into your calling and career. No matter what your path looks like, remember that you are an amazing individual who has been created to bring something great into the world.

Caitlin:

"The CDC was one of the first places I went as a Freshman at Hope. I transferred in and wanted to make sure that everything was in order for me to graduate on time. I loved how welcoming everyone was and the access they provided to alumni and jobs. I started working in the office my sophomore year, and I loved everything about it. We provide head shots for people, mock interview practice, and tons of networking experience. I love that everything is there for the students and every one at the CDC will go out of their way to make sure you can get whatever help you need. My career advice to any Hope students is to start early—it will make all the difference. Even if you don’t know what a resume or cover letter is, it is never too early to start trying to figure things out or start looking for an internship or job."
Jake:
"Over the past four years I have had a lot of involvement at the Career Development Center whether that was as a student seeking help, or as a career advisor helping students. What I have learned to appreciate is the great people who work here that are willing to go the extra mile to help you with a variety of subjects. Particularly I appreciate all the events the CDC hosts to bring alumni and recruiters on campus, so we as students can network and further our contacts for future job opportunities.  My advice to students is to take full advantage of the opportunities that CDC offers as early as you can in your college career."

Molly: 

"In my time at Hope, I have been so empowered by the work that is taking place here on campus, especially in the Career Development Center. In all transparency, I have changed my career path so many times. While this could potentially cause stress for a student, I felt both welcomed and supported in exploring all the things I was passionate about. As a freshman, I really utilized the Career Development Centers resources and figured out where I needed to be while at Hope. Because I loved the work and the full-time staff at the CDC so much, I was lucky enough to become a student employee and be apart of the mission to serve students in their vocational journey. What I love most about the Career Development Center is the way it really focuses on the student. The career counselors invest so much in the needs of every student to make sure they are equipped for Hope and beyond. Working at the CDC has also shown me how genuine this focus on the student is. As a staff, they pour into us to be able to pour into the students we get to work with. It has been such an incredible part of my time at Hope. A piece of advice I would give any student at Hope is just to take advantage of the resources here on campus. Not only the Career Development Center, but all of the other incredible offices that work on behalf of the student body. There are so many kind, helpful, and intelligent people waiting with their arms wide open to help. Never miss an opportunity because you're unsure or uncomfortable- be brave and remember that the faculty and staff are here for YOU! If it wasn't for my time with the Career Development Center, I'm not sure I would've ever understood this for myself. These four years are yours for the taking! Make the most of them and prepare yourself well for what comes next."

The Career Development Center would like to wish all the graduating seniors (and those graduating early next fall) good luck with all their future plans! You have all been great to work with and we will all miss you in the coming years.

 

Final Senior Thoughts

As the academic year draws to a close, the Career Development Office is getting ready for summer, and the Career Advisors are getting ready for finals week or graduation. This year, the CDC will be sending off ten of the fifteen Career Advisors that currently work in the office. That number is the most graduates the CDC has sent off at one time!
The CDC will miss the graduating seniors, but before they leave, each senior made one final statement about why they loved working at the CDC.
Senior Jessica White commented:
Jessica White

I loved working at the CDC because I was surrounded by a supportive community that was all about saying “yes” and helping you find practical ways of achieving your goals. The CDC was and continues to be a family that challenges people to grow. It was there there to lift me up through the tough times and as sad as I am to leave the office behind, I know it’s a place I can always return. It has truly become a second home.

 Senior Sophia Bouma-Prediger said:
Sophia Bouma-Prediger

I loved working at the CDC because I got to interact with other students and help them achieve their career goals, while learning more about how to achieve my own.

When asked this question, Hadley Roy stated:

Hadley Roy

My favorite thing about working at the CDC was the way it allowed me to connect with other students, faculty, and staff. My work at the CDC has helped me reach out and bring amazing stories to thousands of students every week through Facebook campaigns and has given me the privilege of meeting one-on-one with members of the Hope community who are willing to share their knowledge and passion with our office. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have engaged with so many different people that are a part of this amazing place!

Spencer Westley

Spencer Westley, a graduating Management major, commented:

I liked working at the CDC because it was fun to be in a family of like-minded people who cared about professional development as much as I did.

Sarah Carpenter exclaimed:

Sarah Carpenter

I loved working at the CDC because the individuals who work there have shown me what living into my vocation looks like in a professional sense. Through excellent relational skills, this office has demonstrated how professionalism fits into one’s life as a whole, how passions align with careers, and how living out these gifts aids oneself and ultimately one’s community. I have loved working in the CDC and I’m so grateful for all they’ve taught me!

Stephanie Eiler remarked:

Stephanie Eiler

Working at the Career Development Center has been a great way to further my development both personally and professionally. The staff members in the office have become mentors to me throughout my time at Hope. The other CAs are a fun group of students that have also been supportive throughout my junior and senior year. I couldn’t imagine my college experience without working and being able to schedule meetings with everyone (and I do mean everyone) in the office. This office will always hold a special place in my heart and an office that every student on campus should utilize! 10/10 would recommend the CDC services.

Senior Gabriela Vazquez stated:

Gabriela Vazquez

I have worked at the CDC for two years now and I have loved my experience here. My role has changed from working in the events group, to working as Dale’s assistant; one thing that has remained constant however is my love for working here. I liked working here because I felt like a part of  a group and although we all worked on different projects and specialized in different aspects, we all came together to serve the Hope College student population.

Tyler Dunifin declared:

Tyler Dunifin

I enjoyed working at the Career Development Center because it allowed me to use my existing skill set while also cultivating new skills through personal and professional development. I have loved working with an amazing team of people, and this opportunity has opened many career doors for me as I near graduation. Working alongside staff as well as fellow students from various backgrounds in a professional environment has been a very rewarding experience, as it has shown me the results that can come about from having diverse input on projects. Overall, being a Career Advisor was one of the more rewarding experiences that I had as a Hope College student.

Finally, Nancy Benda expressed:

Nancy Benda

Working at the CDC gave me an abundance of opportunities to grow professionally and personally. I developed strong relationships with the Career Counselors which has been invaluable in my own development, and in turn I have used my knowledge to educate my peers for the future. It’s been a unique experience to be a Career Advisor, and I know I will always reflect fondly upon my work at the CDC.

The Career Development Center would like to wish all the graduating seniors luck with their future endevors. Their hard work and service to our office has been helpful and enjoyable, and we will miss them next year!