/ Career Development Center

DiscoverWork Program

Different from an internship, DiscoverWork opportunities are short-term, unpaid opportunities to meet with or shadow a professional and gain a first-hand perspective of his or her day-to-day work life.

The program gives you a realistic view of work environments in various fields as you continue to explore possible internships or careers for your future. DiscoverWork connects you with alumni, friends or employer partners of Hope College who share their career experiences, lessons learned and professional tips for landing a job or internship in their industries.

These opportunities take place all over the United States, and are offered between December 2017 and May 2018. The DiscoverWork program is not for academic credit and students are not compensated.


Although DiscoverWork opportunities are not guaranteed, all Hope College students are encouraged to apply! We recommend that you apply for more than one opportunity; however, you must only apply for opportunities that you are willing and able to complete. By applying, you are committing to participate in that particular opportunity if you are matched with that particular host. Withdrawing from the program after you’ve been matched is strongly discouraged.

You do not have to have experience to participate. This program is designed for students to explore fields and careers that they are interested in; therefore, you do not have to have experience to qualify. If you are not placed the first time around, please be sure to apply for future opportunities.

  • Attend company staff meetings
  • Assist with projects or complete office tasks
  • Conduct informational interviews with staff members
  • Observe client interactions and the functions and duties of a particular career
  • Tour the facilities
  • Review organization’s mission/vision statement and organizational charts
  • Understand office policies and procedures
  • Review current trends in the profession
  • Explore potential career paths within the organization and the profession
  • Meet with key players of the organization
2017–2018 TIMELINE
Tuesday, September 5 Deadline for host registration
Wednesday, September 27 Opportunities posted for students
Thursday, October 19, by noon Deadline to apply
Friday, October 27 Students are notified if they are matched
Wednesday, November 8, or Thursday, November 9

Mandatory information session if matched
(Students must be able to attend one of the four sessions to be eligible.)

November 8 sessions:

  • 1–2 p.m., Maas Conference Room
  • 2–3 p.m., Maas Conference Room

November 9 sessions:

  • 11 a.m.–12 p.m., Anderson-Werkman B03
  • 4–5 p.m., Anderson-Werkman B03
Between December 2017 and May 2018 DiscoverWork opportunities take place!
  • Fill out DiscoverWork application
  • Email/submit a resume (you are encouraged to come in for an appointment and prepare this document)
  • Email/submit a one–two paragraph “letter of interest” which tells the host/matching supervisor why you are interested in a particular opportunity.
  • Letters of interest will be judged based on professional tone, clarity of argument, level of expressed interest in the host”s field and the DiscoverWork program’s potential benefit to you. To increase your chances of getting your preferred choice, we strongly advise that you have your letter reviewed.

The letter of interest must contain the following:

  1.  Why are you interested in the DiscoverWork opportunity?
  2. What do you expect to gain from this experience?
  3. Why did you choose this particular opportunity and location?

All documents will be submitted to discoverwork@hope.edu (Career Development Center) with subject line: DW Program (your last name). Documents will be sent to hosts as well.

Interested in Being a Host?
The Hope College DiscoverWork program provides students with a unique opportunity for career exploration. Through an application process students are matched with alumni, parents, and friends of the college based on career interest to explore a particular profession and work environment.

Interested in hosting a student? Please review our Host Guide and contact Megan Fisher in the Career Development Center with any questions.
Students assume all costs for program participation, including transportation to and from the DiscoverWork site, accommodations and meals. Some hosts are willing to let a student stay in their home; this will be indicated in their description. However, scholarships may be available to assist with program costs. Please take all of these areas into consideration when applying to specific opportunities.