Q&A with Stan Thompson of Career Development and Calling

Stan Thompson GS’21 is the director of vocation, pathways, and partnerships in Bethel’s Office of Career Development and Calling. In his role, he supports his team of career specialists to serve the career development needs of all Bethel students.

By Marcus Dip Silas S’25, student writer

March 20, 2023 | 1:30 p.m.

Stan Thompson Staff Photo

Stan Thompson GS'21 has over two decades worth of experience in leadership and people development experience. He’s worked in the banking sector, with churches, in private education, and at a disability services nonprofit. In this Q&A, Thompson elaborates on his role at Bethel and how the Office of Career Development and Calling is positioned to help students excel in their career development process.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself, your role at Bethel University and how you came to be in this role?

I started at Bethel in July 2022. Most of my experience has been in operations with some music and worship leading, so when I started exploring a career change and this position opened up it was an exciting opportunity that seemed like a great fit for my experiences and passion for developing people and making connections. My original connection to Bethel is that I married an alum, Bev (Forsline) '92, and now I’m an alum myself having graduated from Bethel’s MBA program in 2021. We live in Roseville with our two teenaged-sons and a beagle.

What are the goals of the Career Development and Calling office? How can students access this service to help their future careers?

Our goal is to make sure every student gets the support that they need to launch well once they graduate. Every student has unique gifts and needs so we are working to be intentional and collaborative in how Bethel, as a whole, walks alongside students. Students have access to Career Development and Calling's services as soon as they start classes. They can find resources on our website as well as schedule appointments to meet with our career specialists. We help students discover their interests, pick a major, write a resume, search for internships, prepare for interviews, and more!

How can parents best support their students in the process of discerning career and calling?

Parents are a vital part of a student’s healthy career and calling discernment process. Most students have an idea of what a career looks like from their parents. Some students need guidance exploring where their interests will best serve their future career, while others need practical help on how to pursue their dream careers. Parents can best support their student by becoming familiar with our services and encouraging their student to take advantage of what we have to offer. We have some resources to help parents learn about the career development process and how to support their student along the way. 

What is something that has encouraged you in your role? How have you observed students graduate from Bethel and move into their respective careers?

I’m encouraged by the sheer number of alumni who want to be involved in helping Bethel students succeed. We have many alumni who volunteer their time to mentor, support and/or encourage students through initiatives like BethelBiz and The 25, as well as through connections with academic departments.

I am also contacted regularly by employers (Bethel alumni and others) who know that our students are amazing and want them as interns and to hire them after they graduate. One employer was telling me about the great work one of our Bethel students did as an intern at his company and said, “Send me 10 more just like her!” These kinds of conversations speak to the quality of our students and graduates.

Your journey starts here.

A Bethel education prepares you to excel after graduation. Planning your career is about discovering how you can use your gifts to serve others, live out your calling, and make a positive impact in your community and workplace. Take a look at how the Office of Career Development and Calling can support you—from exploring strategies for a successful job search, to holding practice interviews, to offering career assessments.

Learn more