Esther Cervin ’08 and Colin Chrestay ’08 pause for some fresh air on Team Oregon Trail’s visit to Mille Lacs Lake in Garrison, Minnesota. The team couldn’t fit tackle in their trunk, but Mille Lacs boasts great deep-water fishing as the largest lake in central Minnesota.
Fasten your seatbelt for an exciting vocational journey
Instead of loading their cars for the usual drive home after final exams, four teams of Messiah College students and recent graduates pulled out maps, checked itineraries, and ventured off on road trips this summer to explore vocation while “on the go.” Sponsored by the Career Center for Vocation and Development and in partnership with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, the teams won “Hit the Road” grants to plan and execute trips around the United States that would help them reflect on vocation while learning about themselves and the world. Their itineraries included visits to national parks, interviews with professionals in various fields, and plenty of time to write about their experiences. Equipped with laptops and (when available) wireless internet, the teams—The Fab Four, The Midnight Riders, Grads Without Borders, and Team Oregon Trail—maintained online journals to chronicle their adventures (view a video clip of their adventures with Windows Media Player).
“How do I go about finding a job that I’ll love? What are my career options? How can I be a good steward of the gifts God has given me?” For college students preparing to transition from school to work, these are common questions. To help students explore questions like these, Messiah’s Career Center initiated a program modeled on Roadtrip Nation which began when a group of Pepperdine University grads purchased a run-down RV and traveled around the country interviewing people pursuing many different career paths.
When enthusiasm about the program grew, the Career Center pursued a partnership with Enterprise Rent-a-Car and secured a grant from the College’s state professional association, PennACE. With their co-sponsorship, the Career Center was able to offer “Hit the Road” grants to four teams of road-worthy Messiah students this year.
“We view this as an opportunity for students to develop insight and confidence in the career decision-making process,” says Christina Hanson, assistant director of the Career Center and coordinator of Graduate School Services. She hopes that, while on the road, students will learn about the kinds of skill sets and experiences required for different fields, gain a glimpse of what a typical day might look like in a particular profession, and reflect on how faith and vocation intersect.
The selected teams were required to conduct a minimum of five interviews with experts in their areas of interest. They were given the flexibility to travel to any part of the country, but the trips needed to last at least one week. Teams were expected to videotape all interviews, keep a team journal to reflect on their experiences, and agree to update an online blog while traveling.
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