Finding Your Fit

“The expert at anything was once a beginner.”

― Helen Hayes

We all know at least one person who has known what they wanted to do since the second grade. Those who, even then, had a straight forward answer to the very cliche question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and followed it through until they graduated college. Did you ever envy them? Of course you did! Especially if you are like the majority of college students and don’t know what you want your career path to be, let alone your major. If you happen to be one of these people, do not worry at all. The CDC has great services to give you a start in the right direction.

Start Simple

If you are wondering where to begin in your major discernment or career search, your first step is to make an appointment with Amy Freehafer. She is a Career Counselor here at the CDC and is the main administrator for StrengthsQuest through Gallup. StrengthsQuest is a useful tool in which the person answers a series of questions to find their top five strengths out of the 34 that they identify with the most.

When asked what a good first step would be for those looking for direction, Amy has some good advice:

“If you have not taken StrengthsQuest that should be the first thing on your agenda.  After taking the StrengthsQuest, coming in for coaching is important. This will give you an understanding of your results and how to apply them. StrengthsQuest will help you figure out who you are and this can the be applied to the different courses or career paths that your strengths fit into best. If by the end of this [process] you do end up finding your career, then there are further ways that I can assist.”

There are also two more assessments that are career related that Amy can work with you through – the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Like StrengthsQuest, these assessments are personality based and can help you figure out more of who you are as a person to help in your major/career search.

Another way to figure out what direction you want to go is to find an internship. Internships are great for when students want to get a feel for the field they are thinking about going into. They are also useful for connecting what you have learned in the classroom to the real world, and networking. If you are unsure that the field you want to go into is the right one for you, an internship would be most helpful for you. Jena Szatkowski is your go to person if you want help setting up internships.

When asked how internships help students, Jena had some encouraging words:

“Internships are a great idea because it can affirm or redirect you onto a certain path. JobStop has about 200 different internships you can look at to get a feel of the different things that are offered. There are programs that you can do, some examples are The Philadelphia Center, New York Arts, Washington Honors, Chicago Semester and IES internships. Remember, an internship can either affirm or redirect you to a certain path.”

One of the Career Advisors that works in the CDC Office, Hadley Roy, commented on how both Amy and Jena helped her make progress in her career path:

“Coming into Hope as a Junior with an Econ major and Management minor, Amy helped me see if the idea of double majoring in both of those areas was feasible. Jena also played a big role in my career planning, as she (combined with Sarah McCoy) helped to get me my internship last summer with Commonwealth//McCann. This was a good affirmation that I was in the right field!”

As you can see, the CDC has many ways to help you figure out the next step in your major or career planning. Stop in soon or call us at 616-395-7950 to make an appointment today!

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!

Welcome to the Career Development Center!

Welcome to the Career Development Center’s blog!

The purpose for this blog is to showcase the services of our office, as well as to give our readers a look into a different professional development topics every week. Our hope is that you will be connected to our office in new ways. We want to shed light on a variety of topics related to your success as a professional in the working world.

Meet our team/the writers:

Career Advisor Kaysee!

 

 

Kaysee Stevenson is a senior from Three Rivers, MI and is finishing up her degree in Psychology with a Sociology minor. She plans to continue her education next year, pursuing a Master’s of Education in the College Student Affairs Leadership program. Kaysee enjoys Vienna and everything about it, hammocking, long chats with friends, not running (haha!), and finding deals/bargains! Her top 5 Strengths are: Adaptability, Empathy, Woo, Positivity, and Developer. This is her second year as a Career Advisor.

 

 

 

Career Advisor Steph!

 

 


Stephanie Herder
is a senior from Portage, MI, studying Accounting with the plans of working as an auditor at a public accounting firm in Grand Rapids after she graduates. Steph enjoys baking (and eating), camping, running, ultimate frisbee, and a good book. Her top 5 Strengths are: Harmony, Positivity, Restorative, Input, Includer. This is her third year as a Career Advisor.

 

 

 

 

Career Advisor Sara!

 

 


Sara Yockey
 is a senior from Farmington Hills MI, studying Business Management, with the hopes of pursuing a career in marketing or account management. Sara enjoys skiing, reading, pinterest-ing, baking, traveling, running, and a really good meal! Her top 5 Strengths are: Adaptability, Belief, Input, Developer, & Positivity. This is her first year as a Career Advisor.

 

 

 

 

 

Joelle Fundaro is the staff supervisor for the blog and her primary role is to help students developing a networking strategy to explore careers. This may include identifying Hope alumni or other professionals to connect with for informational interviews and job shadowing. She attended Western Michigan University with a Degree in Special Education (EI and LD) and received her Master’s degree in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State University. As a career counselor, she enjoys helping students articulate their skills, values, and interests as related to their future careers.

Info about our office:

The Career Development Center (CDC) has a team of seven career staff members and an office manager. A team of 10 Peer Career Advisors also works within our office.

Dale Austin is the director of our office and has been working in this office for over 30 years. He is the person you would want to talk to about life after Hope and the job search, mock interviews and elevator pitches, as well as personal statement assistance and other graduate school help.

Jena Szatkowski is the assistant director of the office and is in her third year working at Hope College. She primarily focuses on internships: planning and research, off-campus internship programs, registering for an internship course, etc. However, Jena also does mock interviews and will review your cover letter and resume.

Sara McCoy is the program director of the office and is in her fourth year with the Career Development Center. She currently works out of the Department of Economics and Business as a way to connect their office with the Career Development Center. She assists the office with employer relations and engagement, coordinating discipline specific programs that integrate curricular and co-curricular activities.

Amy Freehafer is in her third year as a Career Counselor in our office. She is a Hope College alumna, and she would be the person you would want to talk to about our different assessment tools (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory, and StrengthsQuest), career exploration and planning, resume and cover letter review, among other things. She also co-supervises the Career Advisor team.

Carolyn Clayton is one of the newest members, as this is her first year at Hope College. You would also talk with Carolyn about different assessment tools, developing resumes and cover letters, and she has done a lot of outreach on campus, especially regarding StrengthsQuest and processing with groups and teams.

Libby Bocks is the office manager for the Career Development Center and has served that role for over 20 years. She manages our office’s webpage and calendar of events, providing support for on-campus recruiting and career fairs, and handles all the other little details, so that the office runs smoothly.

Come See Us!

We offer many services to our Hope College students and alumni. Drop-in hours are very beneficial and effective; they are from 3:00-4:30pm and we have one staff person and a Career Advisor available to talk with you about resumes and cover letters, interview preparation tips, networking strategies and other questions.

Our office is located in Anderson-Werkman on the first floor and we are open from 8:00am-noon and 1:00-5:00pm. Come see us!

Your feedback and comments are welcome! Let us know about your personal experiences with our office, what you think of the blog, and we may even ask YOU to be a guest writer! We hope you will subscribe to our blog and continue looking for posts in the future that help you grow personally and professionally!