Bridging Academia and Career: CCPD and English Department Collaboration

This winter, Ryan Fong, Associate Professor of English contacted the CCPD to collaborate with him for the English Department’s “Introduction to Literary Theory and Research Methods” class.  The partnership aimed to harmonize academic exploration with career readiness, empowering students to seamlessly connect their intellectual pursuits with their professional aspirations.

An assignment, titled “Educational Design,” guided students through five prompts, fostering self-reflection, academic exploration, and future career planning. From pondering big questions to mapping out a comprehensive academic and professional plan, students navigated the intersection of knowledge and career preparedness.

Students explored their major, minor, or concentration in response to prompt three, linking academic pursuits to overarching questions and dreams. By delving into the Kalamazoo College catalog, they identified relevant courses and articulated the cohesive nature of their chosen academic path.

Prompt four challenged students to create a tentative plan encompassing their major, minor, language classes, Shared Passages seminars, and courses from various academic divisions. This plan aimed to provide a well-rounded liberal arts education, aligning with the college’s commitment to versatile thinking.

The final prompt involved a crucial meeting with CCPD Career Coaches, propelling students from academia to the professional realm. Post-meeting, students reflected on the plans to develop professional skills and gain valuable work experience during their time at Kalamazoo College.

“These assignments are really trying to help our students feel empowered to craft their education in meaningful ways and to show them the value of gaining the broad perspectives and knowledges that are the hallmark of the liberal arts,” said Fong. His course development and partnership with the CCPD exemplifies Kalamazoo College’s commitment to career readiness. By integrating academic exploration with career preparation, students embark on a journey of self-discovery, equipped with the tools for a seamless transition into their professional lives after graduation.

Earn Credit for Summer Internship 

The CCPD is collaborating with faculty to pilot a course series for students to earn credit for their summer internship. Marin Heinritz, Associate Professor of English, and Valerie Miller, Director for the Center for Career and Professional Development, are developing a two-course sequence and an asynchronous summer module that provides students with tools and activities to prepare for, take advantage of, and reflect on their summer internship experience.  

To earn 1 unit of credit for their internship, students need to: 

  • Complete the Pre-Internship Course (IDSY 295) in Spring 2024 
  • Complete a 240-hour Summer Internship and Summer Course Module  
  • Complete the Post-Internship Course in Spring 2025 

The Pre-Internship Course (IDSY 295) will be taught Tuesdays from 12-1pm during Spring 2024 and will include reading assignments, discussions, and a series of exercises and reflections to prepare students for their summer internship. Students earn .2 units for this course. 

Students in the Pre-Internship Course will be automatically enrolled in the Summer Module. In addition to working a minimum of 240 hours in their approved internship, students will complete regular structured reflection writing assignments about their internship experience. Students do not pay tuition or earn credit for the Summer Module on its own. 

Students who have completed the Pre-Internship Course and the Summer Module may then enroll in the Post-Internship Course to earn credit for their summer internship. This course will provide an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of the connection between their academic coursework and their internship experience and make plans for their next steps in their work and academic life. Students earn .8 units for this course (.6 units for the internship and summer module, and .2 units for the post-internship coursework) for a total of 1 unit of credit in conjunction with completion of the pre-internship course 

If you are interested in earning credit for your 2024 Summer Internship, register for IDSY 295 (Pre-Internship Course) today!   

If you have questions, please contact Valerie Miller at

Navigating the Spring 2024 GLCA Virtual Career Fair 

Our students aren’t just attendees at virtual career fairs; they’re success stories in the making. Over the past years, students like you have seized incredible opportunities via the GLCA Virtual Career Fair! Check in to the myriad of career opportunities with renowned organizations across various industries. 

Event Details: 

What to Expect: 

Engage with Diverse Employers: 

Connect with 39 employers representing a spectrum of industries. From technology and finance to healthcare and non-profit, this virtual career fair offers a diverse range of opportunities to suit your interests and aspirations. 

Tailored Group and 1:1 Sessions: 

Customize your experience by signing up for either 30-minute group sessions or 10-minute one-on-one sessions with participating organizations. This personalized approach allows you to interact directly with recruiters, ask questions, and gain insights into potential career paths. 

Explore Entry-Level Jobs, Internships, and Volunteer Opportunities: 

Whether you’re seeking your first job or an internship to gain valuable experience the GLCA Virtual Career Fair is the platform to discover and explore diverse opportunities. 

Seamless Virtual Experience: 

Attend the fair from the comfort of your own space. The virtual format ensures a user-friendly and accessible platform for students from all GLCA member colleges. 

How to Participate: 

  • Register Today: Head to the event website to register for the virtual career fair. By registering, you commit to attending employer sessions and making the most out of this valuable opportunity. 
  • Prepare and Research: Before the fair, research the participating organizations to make informed decisions about which sessions to attend. Prepare thoughtful questions to engage with recruiters and showcase your interest. 
  • Connect with us at the CCPD: For any questions regarding registration or attending virtual sessions, reach out to us here at the CCPD. The Career Studio is open M-F from 10AM-2PM and we’re available outside of that via appointment/email! We are here to support you in making the most of this event. 

We Can’t Wait to See You There! 

Join us on February 29th, explore the possibilities, and pave the way for your professional success. See you at the Spring 2024 GLCA Virtual Career Fair

K to the White House

Join Harold Phillips ’88., and Matt Pearl, ’03, to learn about their career paths from K to the White House. Harold and Matt will share how their experiences at K contributed to decisions around post-graduate education that led to opportunities to work in and around government before joining the White House staff. Dr. Max Cherem ’04, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Department Chair and Pre-Law Advisor, will moderate this event. Co-sponsored by the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) and the Office of Alumni Engagement. 

K to the White House 
Friday, October 6 
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. 
Room 103, Dewing Hall 

About Harold Phillips and Matt Pearl:

Harold Phillips is the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. He earned a Master’s in Regional Planning, Housing and Community Development at UNC-Chapel Hill, following his studies in political science and English at K.  Prior to his current role, Harold worked in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a number of positions developing programs and policies designed to end the HIV epidemic in the United States and globally.

Matt Pearl is the Director of Emerging Technology in the White House National Security Council. Immediately before serving at the NSC, Matt was an Associate Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  A philosophy major and history minor while at K, he attended law school at Yale University.  After law school, he clerked for Judge Lawrence Kahn of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, and Judge Laurence Harris Hartz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

GLCA Fair Connects K Students to Opportunities

The upcoming GLCA Virtual Career Fair (week 3 Tuesday, Sep 26, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) is an unmissable opportunity to connect with potential employers, learn about different industries, and take proactive steps towards life after K. Mark your calendar for September 26! Wondering if these fairs actually net K students jobs? Take a glance at this post from last year’s GLCA fair, written by Blagoja Naskovski ’24, about his experience (hint: he met his summer employer there). Yes, most students have classes on Tuesdays; don’t worry, you sign up for specific times to meet with recruiters— you don’t have to be there from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.! Learn more on Handshake.

Discover Opportunities at the On Campus Student Employment Fair!

Attention all students! Are you looking to earn while you learn, gain valuable experience, and enhance your skills right on campus? We are thrilled to invite you to our On Campus Student Employment Fair happening during Week 3 on Friday, September 29, in Red Square from 10 AM to 2 PM. Join us and explore a myriad of job opportunities tailored to fit your student schedule.


  • Date: Week 3 Friday (September 29)
  • Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Location: Red Square (outside Dewing Basement)

Why On Campus Employment?

Working on campus offers a unique set of advantages:

  • Convenience: On-campus jobs are easily accessible, allowing you to save time on commuting.
  • Flexible Scheduling: Employers on campus understand the demands of being a student and often offer flexible work hours.
  • Skill Development: Gain practical experience, enhance your skill set, and bolster your resume without leaving the academic environment.

Don’t Miss Out!

Mark your calendars for the On Campus Student Employment Fair during Week 3, and don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to explore on-campus job prospects, network with professionals, and take a step closer to a successful future!

Why did I decide to attend the GLCA virtual career fair? 

Post by Blagoja Naskovski ’24

GLCA Virtual Career Fair - Thursday, February 23, 2023
11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (ET)
Hosted on Handshake

My Fall ’22 was very busy in terms of finding new career opportunities for the summer of ’23. As a student majoring in Business, my goal was to secure an internship in investment research and financial services. Chasing job opportunities might sometimes be fun, but it takes a lot of time and energy. What I really learned is that one of the key factors to be successful in grabbing an opportunity in your favorite field is to attend career fairs where you can directly communicate with a hiring manager and to connect with the alumni community. Fortunately, I saw that our CCPD was co-organizing an event that was seen by me as a chance that should not be missed – GLCA virtual career fair.  

From education organizations and health care services, finance, and marketing to government to nonprofit organizations, GLCA career fair has a diverse spectrum of internship opportunities.  

My case included searching and talking to recruiters from the companies that are in the sphere of financial services and investment analysis. I was fortunate to learn for the first time about the company that I am going to intern at this summer- Morningstar. I had a great time talking to the recruiter about the details and specifics of the Morningstar Summer Internship Program. After the session I decided to connect with some of the K alumni at Morningstar and apply for the position. I was fortunate to connect with a K alum and to gain valuable suggestions during the hiring stages.  

One of the best things about this career fair that it is a student centric. You can schedule a 1:1 or group session with the hiring manager based on your time availability. Most of them are in a 1:1 format so you have the chance to talk directly to the recruiter. More importantly, there is an unlimited number of sessions that you can attend regardless of your school major. 

I am grateful that I attended the GLCA virtual career fair last September. This event represents a fantastic opportunity where all students, from diverse backgrounds, are given a chance to attend and talk to recruiters and hiring managers from many companies and organizations. Therefore, I strongly encourage my peers, regardless of their academic major, to attend this event (Thursday, February 23, 11 AM – 2 PM, Virtual on Handshake) and establish new connections in their professional network while learning more about different industries and career opportunities. 

Unpaid Intern Stipend Applications Open to All – updated $$

The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) is committed to helping all K students participate in internships so they can gain experience and successfully transition into careers post-graduation. To alleviate the financial burden on students participating in unpaid internships, the CCPD has updated its summer internship stipend program. While the CCPD believes that all internships should be paid, we understand that many industries rely on unpaid internships and the stipend program helps ensure that more students have access to valuable internship opportunities.

The updated program features tiered stipends with the primary goal of increasing the amount of funding provided to students. The tiers take into account factors such as the inability of students to work jobs during their internships, inflation, and the rising cost of housing in various cities.

To learn more about the tiers replacing the previous flat $4,000 stipend structure, and/or to apply, please visit:

Save the date for February career fairs

Save the date for February’s job/internship fairs for K students. Three are in person, and the CCPD will reimburse you for transportation if you need it. These fairs are the largest local recruiting events of the year for college students!

Wondering which employers will be there, and/or what they’re looking for in applicants? Check out the links for each— they have all the info you need.

WMU Government and Nonprofit Job Fair

Tuesday, Feb 7, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

WMU Bernhard Center at 1922 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo

WMU Spring Engineering Expo

Wednesday, Feb 8, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

WMU Bernhard Center at 1922 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo

WMU Career Fair

Thursday, Feb 9, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

WMU Bernhard Center at 1922 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo

GLCA Virtual Career Fair

Thursday, Feb 23 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Virtual Event in Handshake 

Need a ride? 

Students needing transportation are eligible to be reimbursed by the CCPD for local Uber or Lyft trips to and from the WMU fairs listed. We encourage you to “car pool” by coordinating these trips with friends interested in attending, wherever possible, though this is not required for reimbursement.


  1. Use Lyft or Uber app to travel to/from the fair(s).
  2. Email your Lyft or Uber receipt(s) and indicate which fair you attended to Valerie Miller at​

Email Tips/Tricks from CCPD & CCE

The following is a compilation of email writing tips put together by Riley Gabriel, Program Associate, CCE, and Rachel Wood, Assistant Director, CCPD.

Components of a professional email

  • Subject line
  • Salutation
  • Body
  • Closing
  • Signature
Image shows a screen with an example of a professional email including Subject line, Salutation, Body, Closing, and Signature.
Image borrowed from “How to Write An Email” on

Email Examples

The following two email examples offer some obvious and not so obvious clues to professional email writing.

Example #1


From: Riley Gabriel​

To: Moises Hernandez​

Sup Moises,​

What are u up to next Friday at 11? I could also meet tmrw. We should meet 2 talk about office furniture. I JUST CAN’T WAIT. :/ I don’t like my chair, always hurts my back. Talk soon.​

Thanks friend,​

Riley Gabriel​

Example #2

Subject: Supply List Follow Up

From: Riley Gabriel​

To: Moises Hernandez​

Hello Moises,​

I’m reaching out to follow up with our meeting last week. We discussed purchasing new supplies for the community room for CESs to use in various events and activities. Below you will see a link to the supply list I gathered from online sources. Are you able to pick up a few things from stores? Let me know if I missed anything we talked about. ​

Thanks for your help,​

Riley Gabriel​

Pronouns: they/them​

Kalamazoo College ’21​

Program Associate – Center for Civic Engagement

Notice that Example 1 uses an informal greeting (used only if you know your recipient well and informality is established), text shortenings, ALL CAPS, complaining, and an informal closing (could be acceptable depending on level of formality).

Notice that Example 2 has an appropriate greeting, establishes the reason for contact, uses proper grammar, includes a closing statement, and a professional signature (optional). However, it is missing a link to the supply list, specific instructions about what supplies to purchase (and from what stores).

Example Greetings

  • Hi/Hello (Name),​
  • Dear (Name),​
  • Greetings,​
  • To whom it may concern,​
  • To (Name),​
  • Hello everyone,​
  • Good morning/afternoon​

Do I include titles/prefixes?

It depends. If you are writing to someone with a PhD, you can start by assuming the prefix Dr. until told otherwise. Modern advice suggests moving away from Mr./Mrs./Ms. prefixes as they are not gender-inclusive, but they may be appropriate in certain contexts.

Example Closings

Be sure to end your email with a closing. Even a simple “Thank you,” followed by your name on the next line, might suffice.

  • Best​
  • Sincerely​
  • Regards​
  • Kind regards​
  • Thank you​
  • Warm wishes​
  • With gratitude​
  • Many thanks​
  • Respectfully​

What goes in an email signature?

Email signatures can be as simple, especially if you are still a student. They may simply look like this:

Joe Hornet ’24

However, when you are writing on behalf of an organization or an employer, additional information might help give your reader context.

Examples of additional email signature inclusions

  1. Title of position & department​
  2. Pronouns
  3. Email address &/or phone number​
  4. Company logo
  5. Company physical address 
  6. Company social media links and/or website
  7. Land acknowledgement where you live/work
  8. Other important cultural messages from your organization or team

Example Signatures

Riley Gabriel​

Pronouns: they/them​

Kalamazoo College ’21​

Program Associate – Center for Civic Engagement

Reply vs. Reply All

  • Reply – Responds to original sender only. No one else originally included in the message will see your reply.​
  • Reply All – Responds to everyone that received original email. Very good for scheduling, for example letting everyone know “I’ve got this one!”​

Depending on an organization’s culture, reply all may be preferred to keep everyone in the loop as decisions are made via email. ​

CC vs. BCC

  • CC – Stands for “Carbon Copy”. Add additional recipients to a message that may need to be kept in the proverbial loop, but may not need to respond. ​
  • BCC – Stands for “Blind Carbon Copy”. ‘Blind carbon copy’ is a way of sending emails to multiple people without them knowing who else is receiving the email. Any emails in the BCC field will be invisible to everyone else in the To and CC fields. BCC should only be used when it isn’t a personal email topic and you want to keep the receipts email address private.​

Depending on an organization’s culture, a supervisor may prefer to be CC’d on certain types of messages. BCC can be used in confidential situations. ​

Subject Lines and Threads

The subject line should communicate exactly what the email is about so that the recipient can prioritize the email’s importance without having to open it.​

Good Examples of Subject Lines:

  • Time conflict for meeting 10/13​
  • Fall ’22 Term Report​

Bad Examples of Subject Lines:

  • [no subject]​
  • Hey​

Using the Reply or Reply All function will automatically generate a subject line that is formatted as: “RE: [original subject line]”.​ This helps a recipient search their Inbox for a conversation. A Thread is a set of multiple emails with the same subject line.

DO: Reply All and CC a new person to loop them into an on-going thread.​

DON’T: Changing subject lines mid-thread can cause confusion.​

The “body” of your email

The “body” of your email refers to the text that is between the greeting and the closing; it’s the main text. If you are writing to someone new, err on the side of formality in your tone for best results. Once you are familiar with your recipient/team/organizational culture, your tone can change over time.

Be clear and concise in your message— make sure you have a specific ask. If you find that your message is running very long, needs multiple caveats, or is about something delicate, email may not be the best medium. Instead, use an email to ask for a time to talk in-person (or via video/phone) to work through conflicts. Remember that emails can be forwarded or shared. When in doubt, think: “What [unintended] consequences could there be if what I have written were published on the front page of a newsletter or shown to my boss?”

Need Help? Stop by the Career Studio

If you are working on an email (especially to a potential employer, or an alum) and you’re feeling stuck, stop by the Career Studio. We’re happy to help you make your best first impression!