The Power of Waking Up Early

College is all about staying up late and procrastination, right? At least to some, spending your days running from classes to extracurricular activities leaves only the late night hours to get work done.

What if there was a better way to handle this? Over the years, several respectable organizations including Entrepreneur and Forbes have conducted research that proves waking up early and at a consistent time every day is better for your health and overall productivity.

This doesn’t mean that you can never stay up late again, but rather focus on trying to develop a routine during the week. If you give it a try, you might find you’re doing better in class, have more energy, and have more free time to hang with friends or do other activities you like.

Here are some tips on how to start:

  1.     Set your alarm for 7am (or any morning time)

Once you pick your time, set that alarm on repeat for every day. I know this may sound crazy, but your body will adjust and the new early morning will soon become routine.

  1.     Plan to eat breakfast

I know you’ve heard it a million times before, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It will help jumpstart your metabolism and help your brain get ready for the day.

  1.     Set out your clothes the night before

If you have your clothes ready to go, then you’ll have one less thing to think about in the morning. This will also help trick your brain into thinking it has already accomplished something first thing in the morning.

  1.     Have a something you want to get done when you wake up

If have a task that you want or need to accomplish, you will be more likely to get up in the morning. Try typing up that English paper you’ve been putting off or plan to cook yourself breakfast. No matter if the task is large or small, when you complete it, you’ll feel relief, you’ll start your day productively, and you’ll feel empowered. This will set the tone for the rest of the day. You might just find that you have more time in the evening to relax.

  1.     Go to bed 20 minutes earlier than you normally would

You don’t need to tackle the world at once, so start small. Gradually let your body adjust to your new routine. Consider turning off your electronics 30 minutes before hitting the pillow—this will help you sleep better in the long-run. Overtime, you’ll find it easier and easier to fall asleep.

Whether you view waking up earlier as a life hack or a begrudging task, the act itself can empower you to be a better student, worker, and friend.

DiscoverWork: Anchor Your Career

Think about when you bought your first car. With so many options out there, your “must have” list was probably a mile long. You probably did extensive research and took your choice for a test drive before making the final decision.

The same is true for other memorable decisions in life, like choosing your career path. So, how exactly do you test drive a career? What is the big deal anyway? In the Career Development Center, we believe that undergraduate students need to have a strong understanding of the world of work, as well as solidify interests in order to engage more fully with the employment process. One great way to begin to tackle these interests is job shadowing, which is the opportunity to join a professional in your desired field for a period of time and see what their responsibilities entail. It’s a great way to make connections and find out what a job is really like behind the scenes.

Did you know that Hope College is expanding our job shadowing opportunities specifically for our students through a program called DiscoverWork?  The DiscoverWork program provides students with a unique opportunity for career exploration. Through an application process students are matched with alumni, parents, and friends of the college based on career interests to explore a particular profession and work environment.

We have been fortunate enough, through the support of some amazing alumni, to send students all across the country to explore, experience, and engage with a variety of industries and companies including but not limited to:

  • United Nations Foundation
  • Harley Davidson Motor Company
  • Royal Technologies
  • Vander Meulen Builders
  • LifeCircles Pace
  • Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital
  • Resthaven
  • Macatawa Anesthesia, PC
  • Kohl’s Corporate
  • Steelcase
  • Fathom Drone
  • Spectrum Health
  • US Air Force
  • Stanwich Church
  • EverGreen Ministries
  • Dematic
  • GMB Architecture + Engineering
  • Legal Action of Wisconsin
  • Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp
  • Crown Motors
  • Athletico Physical Therapy
  • The La Penna Group
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory

These 1-2 day experiences through the DiscoverWork Program allow students to engage with a working professional to see first-hand what a certain profession looks like day-to-day.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, make sure to keep an eye out: you’ll be receiving an email regarding Discover Work on September 27th, in which you’ll find a link you can apply through. You’ll also want to submit a resume and letter of interest to

Here are some important dates to keep in mind for the DiscoverWork program:

Application opens: September 27

Deadline for application: October 19 by 12pm

Notification if matched: October 27

Informational meetings:

November 8: 1pm-2pm Mass Auditorium

      2pm-3pm Maas Auditorium

November 9: 11am-12pm Anderson Werkman B03

      4pm-5pm Anderson Werkman B03

Placement Dates: December 2017-May 2018

If you have any questions about the program or timeline, click the following link:

See what you could be with DiscoverWork!



“A smile is the universal welcome.” Max Eastman

The Career Development Center would like to say hello and welcome! We hope that the first two weeks has been good to everyone, and that everyone has found a good rhythm for the rest of the semester.

The Career Development Center (CDC) has a lot of great services to offer. Some of these services are cover letter reviewing, building a resume, networking, interview preparation and making a four year plan. These services are beneficial to you whether you are a freshman or senior; it does not matter at what stage you are in in your life.

You can find out more about the CDC, what we offer and also make an appointment by calling us at (616) 395-7950, or visiting the Hope College Career Development website. The CDC is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm.

The CDC office is located on the first floor of the Anderson-Werkman building. Our team consists of student Career Advisors (CAs) and staff members who are all eager to help and cannot wait to meet you!

Welcome to Handshake!

The 2017 job market is different than any before it. With the rise of technology and innovation as both a help and hindrance to the process, young adults beginning their own internship or job search have access to incredible tools that they may not even know about. You may have just checked Facebook or Snapchat, but do you have a LinkedIn? Or have you heard of Glassdoor?

Meet Handshake, the Career Development Center’s new online career platform. It’s a place where students, career centers, and recruiters come to meet and share jobs, internships, events and more. Started by Michigan Tech graduates, the platform is now utilized by University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Cornerstone University, Calvin College, and now Hope College. It’s a modern interface to interact with and find what you’re looking for in an internship or job.



When you log onto Handshake, it prompts you to fill out your profile and asks you a few questions such as locations you’re interested in working in, desired fields of work, and more. One of my favorite features when filling out the profile is the option Handshake gives you to upload your resume. It looks at your resume and uses its technology to scan your relevant work, and upload each experience to your profile (after your approval, in case there’s something outdated). It saves you the copy-pasting time and builds the bulk of your profile in the blink of an eye.



Searching through job postings is just like searching through any of your favorite online vendors: there are filters to narrow down the location, job type, part-time or full-time, and so on. Once you find a posting that interests you, you can “favorite” it and not only will it be easy to find later, but Handshake will also send you email notifications before relevant deadlines so you won’t miss anything important. Employers from around the state, country and world work with Handshake to place their postings on the site, giving Hope students access to more opportunities including high-level positions posted by Fortune 500 companies.

I’ve always been a future-focused person. When I was 15, the summer after my freshman year of high school, I started googling colleges and universities in my free time. It only makes sense that now, as a rising college junior, I have already scoured future job prospects on various job search sites and check LinkedIn almost as regularly as Instagram (almost).

Since signing on, I have found Handshake to be a breath of fresh air. Now that Jobstop is gone, opportunities around campus, in Holland, and across the world are brought together in one place, proving useful for freshmen and recent graduates alike. It is an exceptionally comprehensive resource and will grow along with Hope College students even as the job market continues to evolve.

How to conquer email- Email vs Text messages

Image result for email vs text pictures

This part of the email series will talk about some differences on communicating through text and emal.

With the instantaneous nature of email, it is easy to treat it like texting, but this is a mistake that should not be made. Email is more formal by nature than a text message.

As easy as it is to quickly draft or respond to an email, there are a few practices that will make you sound more professional and help keep you in the good graces of all of your contacts.

  1. Don’t use shorthand

TBH (to be honest) shorthand is simply harder to read. Emails are meant to be short, but to help convey information in a clear way. You may be sending emails to people who aren’t in the same generation as you, so they may not understand the lingo you are using.

By taking the time to type out all the words you want to say, you will sound more professional and leave no room for confusion for the person reading your email.

  1. Don’t include emojis.

Yes, smiley faces are cute and yes, they help to convey different emotions. However, emoticons have no place in your emails. They simply come across as childish and unprofessional, so it’s best to leave them out.

  1. Don’t send one word responses

No one likes one word responses. Just. Don’t. Do. It. If you don’t have more than one word to say, it’s probably not worth an email.

  1. Don’t put !!! at the end of your email

If you just won the lottery, exclamation points are acceptable. Other than that, it’s better to keep everything simple and use periods.

  1. Don’t use incomplete sentences

When you text it is easy to add commas between each new idea, but with email you want to keep everything more formal. Make sure that all your sentences are complete and make sense.

This is last of the, How to Conquer Email series! We hope that you have learned a few new things and are able to use some of the tips given.

How to conquer email- The signature block

Image result for signature

Something that I rarely pay attention to is the end of an email, however as you read this part of the email series you will see that your signature block is important.

Do you want to make your email to look and sound more professional? One of the quickest and easiest ways to do this is by adding a signature block to the end of your email. If you do not know what a signature block is, it is the fancy looking name and job description that often shows up at the end of an email from a professor or business contact.

Signature blocks are an easy way to communicate who you are and to add more contact information that you may not want to type out in an email.

Here are some of the best things to be aware of if you want to add one to your future emails:

  • Signature blocks should only have between 3 to 4 lines of text
  • Typical format includes your name, phone number, position & company, or major & college
  • You can include important social media links too: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • use (::) or (|) to break up information
  • Try to skip using color or graphics in a signature—just keep it simple.
  • Use only ONE email and phone number. Use your primary one and if you want your contact to reach you another way, include it in your email.
  • Please don’t include your address. You don’t want everyone to know where you live, so it’s best to leave this part off.
  • You can create a couple versions of your signature block and use them at different times. For example, you may not need to send a full block with every email, especially if it is a follow-up email.
  • Before your block include () to denote that it’s a signature.

Here are some examples:

John Smith

Hope College | Biology Major

555-555-5555 |


John Smith

Hope College | Biology Major


Up next will  be the last part of the email series.

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!