During your college search process, you’re likely running into more questions than answers. You’re not just trying to figure out where you want to go and what you want to study, you’re trying to figure out who you are meant to be and how your life will have meaning. What if all those big questions could be rolled into one simple one: Which university will help you figure you out?
At Concordia University Ann Arbor, our mission is to know you — to recognize your unique gifts, talents, knowledge, and passions — and to help you develop and align them with what God calls you to do. We refer to this as your vocation. Your vocation extends far beyond your career ambitions (although they are important to us!), and includes your future roles as friend, neighbor, spouse, parent. In and out of the classroom, we are working with you to be ready, and our work begins on day one.
In the Classroom
Your CUAA classroom experience starts with the Concordia Core. This is a dynamic education experience that defines us as Concordians by fostering university-wide discussions on important topics and unifying our community as informed, curious, and Christ-centered citizens. The Concordia Core embraces the following six themes:
- Society and Culture
- Human Creativity and Expression
- The Natural World
- Human Beings and Being Human
- Communication and Language
According to Lisa Johnson, director of the Career Engagement Studio, “Concordia’s Core is more than a series of general education classes. Transferable power skills are intentionally woven into the curriculum so that students develop that Concordia confidence that takes them from freshmen year through their vocation.”
Johnson’s identifies the following skills as examples of transferable power skills:
- Team work
- Active Listening
- Critical and analytical thinking
Outside the Classroom
CUAA’s Office of Career Engagement and Industry Relations (CIER) has a unique approach to career services. Johnson and her colleagues will get to know you personally and completely – your strengths, aptitudes, experiences, gifts, passions, and abilities-and then help you align them with God’s plan for you.
“Students aren’t just numbers to us,” says Johnson. “They are people and children of God. We know each and every one of them here at Concordia and walk with them on their personal journeys.”
Johnson and her team encourage freshmen to engage early with CEIR and offers the following check list for you to accomplish during your first semester.
- Take a comprehensive assessment and then talk with the CEIR team about the results.
- Schedule informational interviews with people you know in careers you’re exploring.
- Job shadow a professional in your area of study.
- Start looking for your first internship. Johnson recommends that you strive for an internship a year to amass necessary skills and experiences for career readiness.
The CEIR team has the tools, connections, relationships, and support to guide you through each of the aforementioned steps. They also have a team of students, called career engagement ambassadors, who are trained and ready to get you started
Meet Peter Morrison, a senior who is studying accounting, participates in athletic leadership activities, and is the quarterback on the Cardinal Football Team.
Morrison defines vocation as “something that you were born to do.” For him, that something is coaching football despite the fact that he is pursuing a career in accounting. As he explains, “I can use my accounting platform to have a career, but my vocation is to help mentor student athletes and have impact on them through the gift that God has given me in football.”
Morrison has always been keen to the idea of vocation. As a Lutheran school kid from Fort Wayne, Indiana, he knew early that he was preparing himself for a life of service. Going to CUAA is a big step in continuing his faith and pursuing his many callings. He is passionate to help other students.
He offers the following three tips to incoming freshmen:
- Be engaged in class. Go all-in on what you’re learning and give your professors your full attention and best effort.
- Attend at least one Lunch and Learn event and at least one Take 20 which are offered monthly.
- Write a resume and cover letter your first semester so that it is less daunting when it comes to applying for your first internship.
If all that seems overwhelming, remember that the entire CUAA community is preparing for you and ready to walk with you on your journey.
Johnson’s favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
She likes to remind students that they don’t have to fear the process,“What we’re ultimately looking to do is draw them closer to God and His plan for them because He knows better than any of us what is best.”
Your ALL IN starts now
Which one of these resonates with you? Click to learn a little more about Concordia University Ann Arbor.
- For the student who wants flexibility
- For the student who didn’t think college was within reach
- For the student looking for a community
- For the student who is unsure of what comes next
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