Archive for the 'Career Services' Category

Hungerford Nichols Creating Synergy for Students and Alumni

When Heather Halligan, ’03, pictured the perfect job, she envisioned one that put people first.
Heather Halligan, who began working at Hungerford Nichols nearly five years ago as a Marketing Specialist, said that is why she loves her position. “Hungerford believes in helping people. We have a family-like culture where people enjoy going to work.”
Many of her colleagues, 13 to be exact, feel Davenport prepared them to be savvy-solution seekers to fit in the highly collaborative culture at Hungerford.
“Hungerford Nichols has uncovered a fruitful pipeline of resources in Davenport University students and alumni,” claimed Human Resources Specialist and current MBA student Hillary Mullennix ’18. “Davenport’s business-focused instruction fits our culture.”
Mullennix applied to Davenport because of her experience working with professors and staff. “Both the professors and career services staff are extremely invested in the success of the student. They are passionate about helping students find jobs and building their networks. I wanted to go to a place where people cared about the students.”
Davenport has become a path to recruit successful employees for all three Hungerford businesses spanning accounting, IT and financial services. Between the three divisions, nine alumni and students work for Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors, three graduates work for Hungerford Technology and one finance instructor works at Hungerford Financial.
“Hungerford has an innovative strategy to recruit Davenport students,” exclaimed Mullennix. “We build relationships with students before they graduate. We meet with them over coffee, in a comfortable environment, and share all of Hungerford’s opportunities, including interning, job shadowing or completing office visits. Then we give them information about the types of accounting options including tax, corporate and auditing.”
Additionally, Mullennix noted that Davenport makes it easy to hire students by offering flexible course options. She said this aligns with Hungerford’s mission of work-life balance. “We allow our employees to set a schedule that works best to meet our client’s needs, allowing our employees to take classes when it is most convenient.” She said the relationship they’ve built with DU is mutually beneficial—it provides meaningful work to great employees.
(l to r) Spencer DeYoung ‘14 MIA, Network Administrator; Cris Sanchez ’13 BS, Network Administrator; Seth Winchester ’11 BAS, Network Administrator; Jenny VanderBoon ‘ 11 BBA, MBA, Manager; Jenn Rogell ’10 BBA, MBA, Manager; Diane Brownell ’88 BBA, Senior Accountant; Elizabeth Jacobsson, current student, Accountant; Jessica Giddings, current student, Accountant, Heather Halligan ’03 MBA, Marketing Specialist; Hillary Mullennix, current MBA student, Human Resource Specialist; not pictured: Sherrin Burnette, Administrative Professional; Matt Warner ‘14 BS, Network Engineer; Tom Price, Finance Instructor since 2010

Road Map for your Personal Development

I’m a huge fan of GPS. Before that, I was a constant user of websites like MapQuest and Google Maps. Before that, I possessed a 50-state road atlas, State of Michigan map with detailed inset maps of various cities and two county map books that included every street within the county. When I’m driving, I definitely want to know where I’m going.

When I first started in my professional career, I was driving to a conference in Atlanta, Georgia. To this day, I remember working my way through the various pages of the atlas, comparing routes and then eventually highlighting which expressways I would take that would be the quickest option. Doing this type of planning can seem tedious, or worse, pointless. However, I believe planning your trips saves enormous time in the long-run, keeps you out of trouble areas and allows you to remain focused on your long-range destination.

Planning Your Life

You see, I don’t know anyone who ventures out on a trip – whether for business or pleasure – and operates with the mentality that they don’t know where they’re going, nor do they care. I don’t know anyone who gets in their car and says, “Let’s drive south for a while, and where we end up, that’s our vacation destination!” I don’t know anyone who travels for business and does not know exactly where they are headed. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who treat their lives that way. Each new day that they wake up is unplanned, unfocused, and very accidental with respect to direction.

In March of 2012, I was reflecting on the importance of having purpose in life, and tweeted what proved to be a profound statement that I use quite frequently now in trainings and consultative services: “You will never drift into purposefulness.” So, if you can’t drift into purposefulness, then it has to be intentional.

How to Create a Personal Development Plan

A friend of mine always tells people that his favorite leadership quote is from the movie, “Alice in Wonderland.” An odd place to find leadership principles, but a quality statement, nonetheless: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Now, to be clear, this isn’t advocating multiple options to the same destination, this is talking about the end destination not mattering, so your options are all equally valid (or to be fair, invalid!). This is like getting in the car and saying, “Let’s drive south to our vacation!” This type of attitude about our lives is unacceptable to me, and I’m hoping it is unacceptable to you as well. To keep yourself from falling into the trap that you can drift into purposeful, I’m proposing something different – a Personal Development Plan. So, what does a Personal Development Plan look like? Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Where do you want to go? What do you want your life to look like in about five years? Having too long of a timeframe (over five years) can make the end seem unrealistic. Having too short of a time frame can make the progress seem too incremental. My suggestion is to look at all areas of your life: professional, educational, financial, personal, physical, etc., and determine what you want to look like at the end of five years. That becomes your “destination location” – you now know where you want to go.
  • Begin taking each of the categories and identifying what has to happen in your life to get there within the timeframe. For example, if you’re going to be pursuing an advanced degree, it isn’t enough to put on your plan that you want to graduate. You also have to think strategically about every step. You may have an entrance exam requirement to fulfill like a GMAT or GRE, the application process, etc. You need to include every aspect into your plan.
  • Determine what you need to do differently beginning today, to start reaching the goals that you have. If you want to be somewhere different in five years from where you are now, then you have to do things that are different. The layman’s definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over but to expect a different result. So, what do you need to do differently? Some examples include reading a certain number of books on your area of expertise within your industry; begin blogging; identify a mentor within your industry; or, attend conferences that will force you to expand your learning. 

The Benefit to You

Having a Personal Development Plan sets you apart from your peers. It will create options for you both personally and professionally. A recent study shows that 42% of college graduates do not read another book after graduation. If you’re not reading, you’re missing out learning best practices. The fact is, leaders are readers, and if you’re not reading, you won’t be leading.

By separating yourself from your colleagues, you begin to be the one who people go to for additional opportunities, for answers to questions and for input on strategic decisions. All of this helps to get you to your intended destination that you’ve targeted for yourself in your five-year plan.

Let the Institute for Professional Excellence Help…

With our professional development and/or executive coaching services, the Institute for Professional Excellence (IPEx) at Davenport University can assist you regardless of your level within your organization.  IPEx will help you reach your greatest potential by providing education and training opportunities to support your Personal Development Plan. We want to make sure that your future looks different from your present and you stay on track to achieve your goals. IPEx can help you identify and arrive at your desired destination.

© 2016 | Dan Rundhaug | Executive Director
Institute for Professional Excellence (IPEx) | Davenport University

Dan can be reached at: or 616.233.2582



Thank You Comfort Zone Alumni Volunteers!

We would like to give a huge “thank you” shout-out to alumni leaders Chris Sanders ’10 ’12 ’14, Jason Russell ’13, Shannon Wiersma ’12, Carrie Moskal ’07, Benjamin Brewer ’14 ’15 (pictured in order above) and Brian Behler ’03 (not pictured) who volunteered at the Comfort Zone Challenges at the Alumni Power Hour and Shark Tank events. Without the generous support of alumni volunteers, this event would not have been possible. If you are interested in volunteering at Davenport events in the near future, email the alumni office.  

Davenport University Career Fair

100 Employers and only ONE YOU – Career Fair!

Meet with recruiters from more than 100 leading employers and network with area alumni at the Annual Davenport University Career Fair on Tuesday March 15, 2016.This free event will be at the DU W.A. Lettinga Campus in the

Student Activities Center and will run from 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Full-time and part-time opportunities will be available in various industries. If you aren’t looking for a job right now, the Career Fair is a great place to network and build your brand!

Who: YOU!

When: Tuesday, March 15

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: W. A. Lettinga Campus, Student Activities Center

Familiarize yourself with the employers attending, as well as the opportunities they are offering through Career Service’s Panther Jobs website.

Need more information? Contact Laura Ayotte at 616-554-5398 or email her at

Five ways for you to get involved!

Be part of an active alumni network!

Follow the DU Alumni Association on Facebook, Linkedin or our blog. Connecting on our social media outlets is one of the fastest ways to get the most updated information on what is happening with the DU alumni.

Sign up to receive Davenport University e-mail updates to connect with fellow alumni and stay informed about DU’s latest initiatives, events and professional development opportunities.

Attend a DU Alumni Association event. View our upcoming events on our website.

Volunteer your time and talents to speak to a class, join at a regional alumni council, or offer advice on an alumni panel. Are you a recent grad in West Michigan? Join our Young Alumni Council!

Invest in future of DU students by contributing to the general fund, scholarships or a specific department. Learn more about giving back to DU.


Contact Information

To get involved in alumni activities or to learn more about benefits and services, contact:

Jason Madden ‘08
Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Development

Erik Dane ‘07
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Events

Sara Mooney ‘09
Assistant Director of Alumni Communications and Development

Online Career Fair hosted by Hello West Michigan

Recently graduated and looking for a job? Don’t miss the Hello West Michigan Online Career Fair on Wednesday, September 16!

Connect with recruiters from companies who have current job openings at the Hello West Michigan Online Career Fair. This virtual event allows you to chat one-on-one with company representatives in West Michigan from the comfort of your home or office with a computer, tablet, or smartphone. If you are originally from West Michigan and want to return, or just heard that it is a great place to live, register for this online fair, happening September 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To register and view which companies will be participating, visit their website!

Calling all alumni: SE Michigan Career Fair!

Alumni Only: Land Your Dream Job at Recruit Detroit on Thursday, September 26, 2013

As a DU graduate, you are cordially invited to attend the RECRUIT DETROIT ALUMNI ONLY Career Fair. It is being held on Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 11:00am to 3:00pm at:

Cobo Center
Old Ballroom
1 Washington Boulevard  #401  Detroit, MI 48226

There are currently 12 universities and colleges participating and we expect over 70 top companies from the Detroit area with 100’s of open positions. They are looking to recruit graduates from a multitude of colleges and universities to their companies.

To REGISTER and review all employers who have registered and their current open positions, please click here.

Meet, greet and network with these top companies and land your dream job.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Davenport University Career Fair

Alumni are invited to attend Davenport’s upcoming Career Fair in Grand Rapids. With over 81 registered employers, this is an opportunity you do not want to miss. To get a listing of employers and information about their ideal candidate, click here.

When: Tuesday, March 26 | 1 – 4 p.m.
Where: Davenport University Student Center (Map)
Cost: Free to attend

Attendees should bring copies of their résumé and professional dress is required.

Land your dream job at the Recruit Detroit Alumni Only Career Fair

Whether you’re looking to network or for a new career in finance, investment banking, marketing, technology, media, nonprofit, consulting and more, you will find all the best opportunities at Recruit Detroit. MyWorkster pre-selects all the employers to only include the best companies and opportunities in the Detroit area.

Date: Friday, March 1
Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Cobo Center | Detroit, MI (Map)

Click here to register and view a listing of attending employers.