By Jephthe Francois ’18
The second annual Calling and Career Conference took place at The Academy at Penguin Hall, incorporating both students and alumni. It was an event primarily created for second year students but juniors were invited to participate as well.
The purpose of the event is to encourage students to engage with alumni from a variety of fields using the conference as a resource.
Many recent graduates attended to help students figure out life callings, polish their resumes, help with interview skills and translate unique strengths and experience into the world of work. The alumni’s expertise and career advice is a comfort for many students.
The students also benefit from the Professional Development Workshops which include: LinkedIn and professional headshots, professional networking and interview preparation and practice just to name a few. These workshops are designed to equip students with skills for professional success.
Career professionals and recruiters were also there.
Students are given the opportunity to use assessment tools to help discover natural strengths, interests and affinities for career possibilities. The Myers-Briggs is among the assessment tools used.
Dr. Walter Kim attended this year as a guest speaker for two Keynote sessions aimed at both students and alumni. He spoke during lunch.
Following Kim’s talks were two faculty-moderated industry panels; with 10 different ones to choose from each containing three to five alumni. Within these panels, students were encouraged to ask questions about pursuing careers within certain fields.
When interviewing Matthew Vaselkiv, the Assistant Director of Student Success Initiatives at Gordon College, he stated: “The highlight was watching everyone come together in a really unique way on campus. I mean it was really, really fun to watch a whole group of faculty and staff lead small group conversations with students on Friday night and just to see that cross-campus collaboration was awesome.”
He continued, “It was great to give students real world practical skills to walk away with; a resume and a LinkedIn Profile. I’ve got so many LinkedIn messages from students in the last two weeks, which was pretty cool.”
“And then to finish with this awesome event where 40-something alumni are willing to come back and hand out business cards; and offer internships and really share their story with Gordon students, to watch this intergenerational legacy of Gordon College come together in a unique way was pretty good for me.” Vaselkiv concluded.