It has been a wet and unpredictable spring at Calvin, but there are some constants. Here’s one: 90 percent of our graduates find employment or are enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduating. Of this 90 percent, 7 percent are “employed but looking” for a better job. They understand that the perfect job right out of college is difficult to find, and that first jobs are chapter one in everyone’s career book.
Calvin graduates also understand that they are called to be faithful, not profoundly successful. Career development is a journey. Faithfulness, persistence and patience are way-finding markers along the path.
This month I spent three exhausting days in Honduras on a consulting assignment assisting World Renew (formerly CRWRC) with an evaluation project. I did not want to accept this assignment and tried to find reasons not to do it because of the challenging travel and demanding work involved. I felt called to do it, but I did not want to. Eventually, I accepted this “hard calling” because it was the right thing to do, not the easy thing to do. Two days into the assignment, I felt a sense of peace, joy and satisfaction. Sometimes that happens when we are faithful to hard callings and difficult tasks at work and in life. I look forward to being called to Maui or someplace beautiful someday. Here today, gone to Maui!
We hear this phrase all the time, and sometimes I wonder “What isn’t a God thing?” On a long drive home from Toronto recently, I looked at my fuel gauge the moment it turned bright red and flashed “zero miles until empty.” Ten miles down the road, I coasted into a truck stop and filled my tank with 16 gallons. It holds 16 gallons. Was this a God thing or about my stupidity? Although God works in mysterious ways I think, mostly, I was just stupid and not paying attention.
As a gesture of celebration and gratitude following the stupidity of almost running out of gas, I spent $7.05 at the McDonald’s next to the gas station and gave the young woman at the cash register a ten dollar tip. She was astonished and asked, “Why are you giving me this money? This is McDonald’s.” I replied, “Gratitude!” and walked away feeling warm in all the deep places. Try this sometime.
According to the Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research 2012-2013 Recruiting Trends report, 62 percent of employers use internships as their key recruiting strategy. They want to identify and recruit talent early. Providing internships for college students gives employers opportunities to identify talent and hire students before they graduate.
Research also indicates that career offices like ours build vital relationships and bridges between students and employers. The synergy between recruiting organizations, college career offices, students and alumni is critically important.
Eighty percent of Calvin graduates have completed at least one internship or experience related to their major. Our goal is to grow internships by 5 percent next year and every year. We’ve done that for the past five years. This year we have posted more than 7,000 jobs and internships on CalvinLink, Calvin’s primary job and internship posting site. That’s a 20 percent increase from last year.
These are good numbers! We call them Key Performance Indicators. And we couldn’t reach these goals without faithful partnerships with alumni who reach out to our office about career and internship opportunities. We thrive because of alumni like Scott Enserink at Northrop Grumman, who just hired two more senior engineering students for full-time jobs, or Ken DeVries, the parent of an alumnus, who attended our Calvin in Chicago Career Fair and hired two students for summer internships at Arthur J Gallagher.
I am very grateful to alumni for these successes. Keep sending internships and job postings for students and alumni to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your faithful support!