Current Job Title:
Director of Alumni and Family Engagement, First-Year Seminar Instructor and Academic Advisor
Describe your current job:
In my director role, I spend my days working to positively engage students, families and alumni of Hope College with their greatest memories and experiences on campus. This includes leading the team as we coordinate traditional events, managing alumni and family communication, advising the Student Ambassadors leadership group; and pursuing new and creative ways to make connections with our audiences on every level. In my instructor/advisor role, I connect with students during their first semester in college as they explore campus resources, spend time developing self-awareness and begin the journey of vocational discernment as they discover their life's greater calling.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
Hands down the most rewarding part of my job is connecting with someone as they share how Hope has added value to their lives. This can be a student having an 'aha' moment in class, an alumnus celebrating his 50th reunion and reuniting with old classmates and friends, or a current parent sharing grateful emotion for the personal growth they have witnessed in their child during their time on campus. The most challenging is adapting to the needs and expectations of the multiple generations that we serve...although I do see this as more of an exciting opportunity than a challenge (on most days!).
What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?
Making the decision to pursue an advanced degree later in my professional career allowed me to carve out time to focus on myself and the acquisition of new knowledge and relationships. Setting this goal forced me to connect with others in my field, as well as partner fields, while deliberately applying what I was learning in the classroom on the job and in my personal and professional development.
What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?
Seize every opportunity that college provides you with! Try new things. Join a club. Interview the professor. Find a mentor. Explore different courses. Push yourself. Get uncomfortable. Learn what you're good at. Pay attention to what you love doing. And take the time after each of these experiences to reflect on how it made you feel, and how it influenced the people around you. Everyone has something to contribute to the world to make it a better place.