Find your calling, find your career

It’s not surprising that at a Christian-based liberal arts college in the cozy town of Holland, modesty and humility often get in the way of students really selling themselves to potential employers. However, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career is making efforts to help students be confident in the face of one of adulting’s most nerve-wracking feats: The Elevator Pitch. On February 5, students were invited to a free hourlong workshop where students could target their most valuable career assets and put together a 30-second speech designed to show them off. Kelly Arnold (‘20) and Noah deVelder (‘20) presented some of their own speeches and invited students to list their own traits and interests.

After breaking down what makes for a great pitch (aspirations and questions!) they passed out notecards for students to practice with. The scratching of pencils and the murmur of brainstorming was palpable as hobbies were turned into selling points. While perhaps uncomfortable for some at first, by the end there seemed a unanimous increase in the professionalism and consistency of speeches. The discussions also allowed for an unplanned but equally essential aspect of professionalism: making intentional conversation about small talk, career choices and varying personal interests. Although somewhat easy in concept (30 seconds goes by much faster than you think), most people tend to look for tips to perfect their mini-speeches.

Arnold had this to say when asked to share the most important takeaways from the workshop: “Think about the most important things you’d want a potential employer to know about you. Make it 30 seconds or less. Practice, practice, practice, and exit with grace!” DeVelder also provided his most important suggestion, which would be “…having something prepared and not trying to wing it. Speaking with confidence is also important so you can show them what you know.” While their expertise was greatly appreciated, they went a step further and recommended some YouTube videos that are especially helpful, reinforcing that more examples is always preferable to fewer. It is also true that while many variations may provide for a good swath of potential pitches, it only takes one or two to really attract professionals. Students are free to use these pitches to their advantage at the rescheduled Internship Fair, which will be hosted in BSC from 3-5 p.m. on the 27.

Participants are urged to bring multiple copies of their resume (which can be examined by the BCCC at your convenience) as well as an introduction. Students are expected to dress professionally and sign up through Handshake if possible. Stop into the BCCC to get your resume looked over, your cover letters and even get contacts for jobs in your respective fields. You can also stop in to set up a mock interview, where you will experience an interview environment. This will allow you to be better prepared for future interviews. The BCCC is a resource that is always available for students to take advantage of. Look out for future BCCC correspondence in your emails for more opportunities. The BCCC is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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