Making graduation seem less daunting

Senior year hits and all of a sudden you are scrambling to solidify post-graduation plans. It seems as though college will last forever so it becomes difficult to accept the reality of leaving Hope College and finding an adult career. With May quickly approaching, senior Mariah Bensley shares her various thoughts about graduation: “I feel as if I am in this weird middle stage where I absolutely love being a college student and being in this phase of my life, but I also feel ready to move on. I get excited about the opportunity to start pursuing a real career. As exciting as that prospect is though, it’s hard to imagine not being surrounded by my Hope community.”

The job search process can be exciting yet scary and overwhelming. It’s common to feel underqualified for jobs you want or be unsure of where to look in the first place. Megan Scheldt facilitated the mini boot camp regarding job searching at the end of January. She articulated four main steps crucial to the job search process: First, narrow your focus of careers. Figure out what type of work you want to pursue. Vault can be a helpful online source during this step. Second, gather and refine your support materials including resumes, cover letters, references, etc. Having a few different resumes and cover letters is important to apply for various positions. Third, develop a plan for finding work.

If you feel lost, the Boerigter Center is an excellent resource. Attend job or internship fairs and utilize websites such as to apply. Scheldt recommends applying for one or two jobs every day Monday through Friday. “If you stop for even a week in your job search process, you’re making yourself wait even longer. It’s better to tell a company you’ve accepted a position at another one than to wait too long,” said Scheldt. Keep in mind quality along with quantity to make sure they are positions you would actually want. Additionally, always follow up with a thank you note. The final step is interview preparation and practice. Familiarize yourself with the employer and their mission. Be ready with multiple reasons you want to work for them specifically. Think about your strengths and experiences that are relevant to the position you are applying for.

One of the most underutilized components is asking questions. Inquiring about the position, company and training process communicates genuine interest in being hired. “Questions you ask them are just as important as your responses to their questions,” said Dale Austin as he leads the interview strategies mini boot camp. The back and forth dialogue helps make the interview feel more similar to a pleasant conversation. The best way to master the art of interviewing is through repeated practice. The Boerigter Center offers mock interviews so students can become more comfortable sitting in an interview in-person. You can also practice online through InterviewStream, answering randomized or specifically tailored questions. The program even has the ability to count the number of times you say “um”. Visit the Boerigter Center in person or online to utilize many of these phenomenal resources.

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