Discover Your Calling
It can get confusing, to say the least, in trying to discover your life calling as well as assess your strengths, interests, and skills in seeking clarification in your career goals. Frederick Buechner, a contemporary theologian, defines calling as “the work that [a person] is called to in this world, the thing that he is summoned to spend his life doing.” We want to help walk this journey with you, so please contact us to schedule an appointment, and let us see how we can be of assistance whether that be through discussions and/or taking one of the career assessments that we offer.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21
We recognize that many students are not ready to choose a specific academic program of study when first entering HCU, and we can help if you need us. Below are some resources that are available through Career and Calling.
Your career begins on the very first day of class here at Houston Christian University. No longer are college students waiting until their senior years to start developing their skill sets for the World of Work. God has a plan for each of our lives and as we seek to be an active participant in His daily will this plan will gradually unfold. Career and Calling has carefully crafted a journey for your to follow throughout your academic years in order to gain the following skills; networking, resume writing, interviewing, team building, leadership, time management, public speaking, and a host of additional skills. The Career Road Map consists of specific milestones that freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students should accomplish during each school year.
*Utilize the Drop-in Hours or email us if you have quick questions regarding your cover letter/ résumé, LinkedIn, the Career Roadmap, work-study/on campus jobs, searching for internships, our resources etc…also check out the Career Library!
Freshman Year - DISCOVER
GOAL 1: Develop your first professional résumé!
GOAL 2: Attend 1-2 Career Fairs this year.
GOAL 3: Attend 1-2 Workshops throughout the year.
- Get involved by registering in Handshake to attend Career Fairs & Workshops planned by Career and Calling so to develop your networking & soft skills.
- Begin your academic career by scheduling an appointment to visit with Career and Calling staff to develop a detailed career strategy/plan over your four years in college
- Improve your writing skills by uploading your résumé into Handshake for approval/review by a Career Counselor or schedule an appointment
- Develop your networking and teambuilding skills by joining a Student Organization on campus that is aligned with your faith, interests, or major.
- Check out Work-Study & On-Campus jobs in Handshake which Career and Calling facilitates if you are looking for a job opportunity on the HCU campus (locate jobs on-campus)
- Do you need a professional suit (Men & Women) for job fairs and interview? We partner with Dress for Success and Career Gear, so you may be eligible for help in this area.
- Research and create a LinkedIn profile.
- Ask Career and Calling staff about the career assessments tools below that can assist you with Discovering your Calling (Career Interests & Majors).
- Learn about the city of Houston – go to concerts, plays, and cultural events offered; stretch yourself to meet others and don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek answers.
- Attend the Fall or Spring Career Fair to see employers who want to hire HCU Huskies and to get your professional photo taken to use on your LinkedIn profile. Start collecting the names of these employers and research them.
- Sync your HCU email address with your personal email address in order to develop your time management skills by responding to job leads and invitations to Career and Calling Career Fairs and Seminars.
- Challenge yourself to meet 20 freshmen this year and find out whether you share common interests.
Sophomore Year - DECLARE
GOAL 1: Add 20+ connections you met at the Career Fair(s) onto your LinkedIn network. Follow 50+ companies on LinkedIn that are in your field(s) of interest. And add the Office of Career and Calling to your LinkedIn network.
GOAL 2: Attend 2-3 Career Fairs this year.
GOAL 3: Attend 3-4 Workshops throughout the year.
- Begin researching your major and related career interests and decipher whether you will need to attend graduate school.
- Join and pursue a leadership position in a Student Organization in order to gain management experience on your résumé.
- Schedule a Mock Interview with Career and Calling, in preparation for Internship and job opportunities
- Ask yourself, “Why should an employer hire me rather than someone else?…What should I do to improve this answer in the future?”
- Make plans to attend Industry-Focused Career Fairs to learn more about your field of interest(s).
- Schedule an appointment with your academic/faculty advisor to discuss your academic progress and declare a major this year.
- Schedule an appointment with Career and Calling to discuss your cover letter or personal statement.
- Search for graduate schools and pay attention to the requirements and deadlines required to apply.
- Make an appointment with the Dean or a professor in your major and ask questions about expectations as a full time employee in this major.
- Update your résumé annually in Handshake as your experience and skillset will change from year to year.
- Apply for 20-30 paid internships and jobs in Handshake that will give you experience in your field(s) of interest.
- Attend Career and Calling Mock Interviews with employers to continue enhancing your interviewing skills and professionalism.
- Take the Strong Interest Inventory career assessment offered by Career and Calling in order to connect your career interests with specific jobs/occupations.
- Ensure that your professional suits are properly tailored and invest in an additional pair of dress shoes/heels. Heels should not exceed 1-2”.
- Log into your Handshake account to see which companies are conducting on campus interviews in the fall or spring semester and sign up for an interview(s).
- Ask yourself, “Does my legacy have more to do with what I do for others, the relationships I build while in college or with specific milestones/accomplishments or a combination?”
- Challenge yourself to meet 40 sophomores and add them to your LinkedIn network.
Junior Year - DECIDE
GOAL 1: Goal: secure your first professional Internship in your field
GOAL 2: Attend 3-4 Career Fairs this year speak with company reps about Internships in your field
GOAL 3: Attend many Workshops throughout the year. NETWORK!
- Ask Career and Calling about practicing your Elevator Pitch.
- Start actively connecting with industry contacts on LinkedIn and begin applying for internships and jobs in your field(s) of interest. This year your goal is to win by making business contacts and landing multiple internships! Complete the Community Internship application online and meet with Internship Coordinator
- Ask yourself, “Is my calling in life relevant to the specific internships and jobs I am applying for?” [do my educational and career goals align?]
- Identify preferred industries you are interested in (Ministry, For-Profit or No-Profit, Oil & Gas, Construction, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Education, Banking, Finance, Technology, Media) as well as geographical areas.
- Start transitioning away from Work-Study jobs to pursuing specific paid internships & full/part-time jobs that are in your field(s) of interest.
- Bring your résumé and cover letter to Career and Calling for review and critique. (Make Appointment)
- Schedule mock interviews with Career and Calling or professors/advisors for internships or jobs you are interested in pursuing
- Invest in additional accessories for your professional wardrobe; ties, blouses, belts, etc…
- Apply for 40-60 internships and jobs through Office of Career and Calling.
- Confirm your degree requirements and submit your degree plan to the Registrar’s office in order to ensure you will be graduating on time.
- Run for President of professional student chapters, associations, or organizations related to your field on/off campus in order to enhance your soft skills and leadership experience.
- Start to explore graduate and professional school options and make note of calendar and application dates necessary for acceptance.
- Ask yourself, “Why should I be accepted into Graduate School versus the next candidate?”
- Connect with 15-20 of your professors on LinkedIn and ask for a recommendation.
- Attend the Speed Interviews event with employers hosted by Career and Calling.
- Source 60-80 internships & jobs in Handshake and meet with Career and Calling to narrow down your selection. Challenge yourself to meet 50 Juniors and find out if you have similar interests.
Senior Year - DESTINY
Goal 1: Secure the first full-time job of your career
Goal 2: Attend all Career Fairs this year and speak with company reps about full-time positions in your field
Goal 3: Attend all Workshops throughout the year.
- Schedule an appointment with Career and Calling staff to discuss your job search strategy in order to ensure you are on the right path.
- Secure 3-5 professional references and contact those 4-6 weeks in advance. Be sure to ask a faculty, staff and/or former employer who can attest to your work ethic and qualifications (no family members should serve as a reference).
- Attend Career and Calling relevant workshops regarding résumé writing, mock interviews, dress for success, and/or graduate school opportunities.
- Ask yourself, “Have I made every attempt to attend Career Fairs and Workshops this year?”
- Attend the Mock Interviewing Event with Employers to network and to polish up your interviewing skills.
- Research starting salaries for college graduates with your degree.
- By this year you should have developed a robust skillset and related work experience needed in or to begin applying for full-time jobs and setting up interviews.
- Confirm your degree requirements with the Registrar’s office – avoid surprises!
- Ask yourself, “Am I applying for jobs at companies and then finding contacts at these companies on LinkedIn?”
- Set a goal to apply up to 50 full-time jobs through Career and Calling (Handshake), LinkedIn, and company websites by the end of the fall semester of your senior year.
- Ask yourself, “Am I ready spiritually and financially to close this chapter in my life and open a new chapter after college?”
- Schedule mock interviews with Career and Calling staff, professors, or advisors before your actual interviews.
- Follow up interviews and job leads with a handwritten thank you note after interviews.
- Complete the HCU Legacy Survey and submit to Career and Calling. Let us assist you with telling your story to the next generation of HCU Huskies!
- Celebrate your new job or being accepted to graduate school with family, friends, faculty and staff by sharing personally or through a handwritten note.
- Challenge yourself to meet and chat with 50 freshmen before you leave HCU.
- The last question you should ask yourself before leaving HCU, “Is my legacy intact at HCU and am I prepared to share it with everyone I meet in my professional career?”
Graduate Students - ALPHA
GOAL: Become a member of a professional organization(s) that is related to your degree and field(s) of interest. Network!!!
- Source 5-10 HCU Alumni on LinkedIn who have completed your degree and begin a dialogue regarding the many ways your degree can be used in your field(s) of interest.
- Ask yourself, “What can I do now to set my résumé apart from other candidates with advanced degrees
- and years of experience?
- Schedule an appointment with Career and Calling to discuss your degree and possible career paths associated
- with the degree.
- Register in Handshake for the Speed Interviewing Event with Employers to network and to polish up your interviewing skills.
- Log into your Handshake account and make a list of the jobs that are of interest to you and then make an appointment with Career and Calling to narrow down the list.
- Schedule a Mock Interview with staff in Career and Calling.
- Challenge yourself to meet 10 graduate students this year and add them to your LinkedIn network.
- Attend Career Fairs this year and add 20+ connections you met at the Career Fair(s) onto your LinkedIn network.
Graduate Students - OMEGA
- Become a mentor/advisor for a student organization on campus.
- Attend all Career and Calling Career Fairs [and off-campus, and even virtual events] in order to network and source possible job leads.
- Update your final résumé with Career and Calling so employers can contact you regarding employment opportunities.
- Ask yourself, “Now that I am finishing my advanced degree where do I focus my attention in order to continue
- growing professionally?”
- Research competitive salaries for individuals with your skillset and experience.
- Log into Handshake to source full-time jobs in your field.
- Attend off campus Job Fairs as well on campus Career Fairs.
- Become a committee member or run for a leadership role in the professional organization you joined during your Alpha year.
- Attend all Career and Calling Workshops in order to put the finishing touches on your professional skillset and presentation abilities.
- Schedule Mock Interviews with Career and Calling for five positions you are actively pursuing.
- Complete the HCU Legacy Survey and submit Career and Calling. Let us assist you with telling your story to the next generation of HCU Huskies!
- Challenge yourself to meet 25 graduate students this year and add them on your LinkedIn network.
- The last question you should ask yourself before leaving HCU,“Is my legacy intact at HCU and am I prepared to share it with everyone I meet in my professional career?”
Students, Alumni, and staff are more than welcome to read a brief description below regarding our Career Assessments. Assessments are $10 each and will require a purchase prior to taking the assessment. Here are the steps for taking one or all of the assessments below:
1. Please visit HC.edu/careerassessments
2. Register to pay for any or all of the assessments
3. Once you have paid for the assessments, you will be contacted via email about the next steps
4. After taking an assessment, you will want to visit with a Career Counselor.
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Strong Interest Inventory (SII)
The Strong Interest Inventory assessment is one of the world’s most widely respected and frequently used career planning tools. It has helped both academic and business organizations develop the brightest talent and has guided thousands of individuals-from high school and college students to mid-career workers seeking a change-in their search for a rich and fulfilling career.
Please visit HC.edu/careerassessments
This is a FREE interactive resource for career exploration. CareerCruising is a great place to start your exploration and discovery about careers and majors. CareerCruising has been designed with one goal in mind: to help students plan their future. With exceptional assessment tools, detailed occupation profiles and comprehensive post-secondary education information, you can move seamlessly through the career exploration and planning process.
America's Career InfoNet
An excellent and extensive website, it is a component of CareerOneStop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. Information is from a wide variety of sources including government, business & industry and education.
CollegeGrad.com is a great resource for job searching (resumes, job and industry research, and various career development advice).
When researching different majors and industries CollegeGrad can be a great place to find good information to help in the decision-making process. It’s even broken down by specific job titles.