Kirsten Brink, '13, Baker Publishing Group

Calvin student at graduation with parents

Kirsten Brink, a 2013 Calvin graduate, is using her English education in her work at Baker Publishing Group. As the Assistant to the Executive Vice President & Publisher, she aids the editorial department at Baker in publishing Christian books. “One of the things I appreciate most about my current position is that it allows me to see the overall picture of how a book publishing company operates,” Kirsten says.

She believes her Calvin education prepared her well for her post-college life and career: “Calvin pushes students to work hard at everything we do, which enables us to realize that we are capable of a lot more than we could have ever imagined. My English major taught me to understand the complexities of seemingly mundane topics. The stories I read in English literature provided new ways of looking at the world, new metaphors of the world, because stories are the fundamental way in which people learn.”

Kirsten participated in a variety of roles in her time at Calvin, ranging from working in Commons Dining Hall, to the English Department, to the Pre-College Programs office. She fulfilled her English internship requirements at Zondervan Publishing House as a Zonderkidz Marketing Intern.

Kirsten advises students, “Make sure to utilize CalvinLink and the Career Development office. I firmly believe that the Career Development counselors played a large part in my acceptance into the internship at Zondervan. They edited my cover letter and resume multiple times, set up practice interviews, and provided much needed encouragement.” The Career Development office is there to help students, like Kirsten, find jobs where their passions can be used.

In terms of choosing a career, Kirsten says, “Focus on what you enjoy and what you're good at doing.” As a student, Kirsten was wary of committing to an English major because she thought “it was too ‘fun’ and wouldn’t result in a job.” However, she has since changed her tune. “The funny thing is, once I fully devoted myself to my passion for books, many opportunities began to open up.”

Written by Claire Lambert, posted April 2014