Career Comment: Toast and roast

By Glenn Triezenberg, Director of Career Development

On Oct. 20, more than 200 students, business professionals, board of trustees and parent council members gathered at the Prince Conference Center for the 12th annual Business Careers Networking Reception. This event provides Calvin students with an opportunity to meet and learn from experienced business professionals—and builds their network.

After hors d’oeuvres and informal networking, the event opened with a “toast and roast” honoring President Gaylen Byker’s 17 years of service to Calvin. I shared a few photos of the president’s “early years” with the audience. Darlene Meyering, executive assistant to the president, highlighted some of President Byker’s extraordinary performances in Airband and other college activities. In addition, former board member Grace Shearer reminisced about the search process that brought Byker to Calvin.

Following the scathing toast and roast, the remainder of the evening was dedicated to networking. Students and business professionals engaged in five-minute “speed networking” meetings. The seating arrangement allowed students to meet professionals in the area of business in which they are interested. Attendees continued mingling over dessert.

The career development office is grateful for generous sponsors that made this event possible, including Bill Boer of Grey Dunes, Brian Roe from Auto-Owners Insurance and Janis Petrini of Express Employment Professionals.

I especially appreciate this e-mail comment I received from Roe: “I was very impressed with the whole presentation, how everything was nicely organized. … I especially enjoyed talking to your students … and seeing your president in the videos. … Reminded me of the days when everyone was close to one another like a family. Please invite me to future events at Calvin!”

We are family

Planning this event required significant collaboration between many segments of the Calvin community: career staff, President Byker’s office, business faculty and students, Prince Conference Center staff, MBA@Calvin partners, the alumni office and the board of trustees. Everyone stepped up to produce a high-energy evening. The Calvin family had a great time together.

Keep the jobs coming

The career development office posted 6,007 jobs on CalvinLink last year, and 827 students participated in our internship program, an increase of 10 percent over last year. And 91 percent of our 2010 graduates were employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduation.

As one business professional attending the event said, “Whatever you are doing seems to be working—so keep it up!” What we do requires the continuing support of alumni like you who take the time to e-mail us internship and job postings. Keep them coming by e-mail to! We need them, and we need you!