December 5, 2013 | 3 p.m.
By Nicole Finsaas '13
On October 30, the Department of Business and Economics held their first annual Career Development Day. More than 300 business and economics students and 10 alumni attended the event. Associate Professor and Department Chair Chuck Hannema says the event was an opportunity for Bethel students to prepare for their future after Bethel. “The day was designed to provide students with a window into [career development],” he explains. “What are the things you need to do as a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior in your job search? How do you match your passions and interests with your major?”
The event began with a presentation by Dave Broza, director of Career Development and Calling. Students then attended two breakout sessions based on their graduation year, including a presentation from a Bethel alumnus and a student and/or alumni panel. Sessions covered topics such as “How I got my internship,” professional etiquette, and financial literacy. “We want our students to be better prepared to enter the workplace,” says Hannema. “The career development day reflects our desire to help our students be more intentional about the choices they make about their internships, careers, and building their resumes.”
Career Development Day is just one of the steps the Department of Business and Economics is taking to help Bethel students prepare for their future. Another is the BethelBiz Alumni Network, a group of alumni committed to connecting Bethel students to the business community, which recently launched its first mentorship program. Twenty students have been partnered with Bethel alumni in a mentoring relationship. Hannema says the direction of the relationship depends on what the mentee needs. “The mentee specifies what they hope to accomplish,” he explains. “It could be networking, career advice, integration of faith and business, or their personal relationship with faith.”
Students completed an application process to be accepted into the program and then were intentionally matched with a mentor. But the program is more than just job advice, says one Bethel student and mentee: “By participating in this kind of mentor/mentee relationship, we are developing the whole person, and through the expertise and experiences of our alums, equipping our students with the resources they need to be successful not only in the workplace, but in all areas of their lives.”