Discovering Your Calling

It can get confusing, to say the least, in trying to discover your life calling as well as assess your strengths, interests, and skills in seeking clarification in your career goals. Frederick Buechner, a contemporary theologian, defines calling as “the work that [a person] is called to in this world, the thing that he is summoned to spend his life doing.”  We want to help walk this journey with you, so please contact us to schedule an appointment, and let us see how we can be of assistance whether that be through discussions and/or taking one of the career assessments that we offer.

We recognize that many students are not ready to choose a specific academic program of study when first entering HBU, and we can help if you need us. Below are some resources that are available through Career and Calling.

Career Roadmap

Your career begins on the very first day of class here at Houston Baptist University. No longer are college students waiting until their senior years to start developing their skillsets for the World of Work. God has a plan for each of our lives and as we seek to be an active participant in His daily will this plan will gradually unfold. The Office of Career and Calling has carefully crafted a journey for your to follow throughout your academic years in order to gain the following skills; networking, resume writing, interviewing, teambuilding, leadership, time management, public speaking, and a host of additional skills. The Career Roadmap consists of specific milestones that freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students should accomplish during each school year.

  • Freshman Year - DISCOVER
    • Begin this year with prayer for guidance as you start your first year in college and open a new chapter in your life. Begin to focus on the reason(s) why you decided to go to college at this point in your life and what you expect to gain from your college experience.
    • Ask the Office of Career and Calling staff about the career assessments tools below that can assist you with Discovering your Calling (Career Interests & Majors).
    • Develop your networking and team building skills by joining a Student Organization on campus that is aligned with your faith, interests, or major.
    • Learn about the city of Houston – go to concerts, plays, and cultural events offered; stretch yourself to meet others and don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek answers.
    • Research and create a LinkedIn
    • Attend the Fall or Spring Career Fair to see employers who want to hire HBU Huskies and to get your professional photo taken to use on your LinkedIn profile. Start collecting the names of these employers and research them.
    • Begin asking yourself, “Am I going to go through the motions while I am here or am I going to leave a legacy at HBU?”
    • Start saving now in order to invest in at least two professional suits (Men & Women) by the end of your freshman year. Keep in mind these three colors for your suits; black, navy blue, and gray.
    • Challenge yourself to meet 20 freshmen this year and find out whether you share common interests.
    • Register in Hire-A-Husky for the Spring Dress to Impress & Business Etiquette Dinner to learn about professional attire & etiquette while at Dinner.
    • Develop your resume writing skills by uploading your resume into Hire-A-Husky for approval/review by a Career Counselor or schedule an appointment.
    • Begin your academic career by scheduling an appointment to visit with the Office of Career and Calling staff to develop a detailed career strategy/plan over your four years in college.
    • Get involved by registering in Hire-A-Husky to attend Career Fairs & Workshops planned by the Office of Career and Calling so to develop your networking & soft skills.
    • Register for the Work-Study & Campus Employment Fair in Hire-A-Husky which the Office of Career and Calling hosts every fall semester if you are looking for a job opportunity on the HBU campus.
    • Sync your HBU email address with your personal email address in order to develop your time management skills by responding to job leads and invitations to Office of Career and Calling Career Fairs and Seminars.
    • Attend 1-2 Career Fairs this year.
    • Attend 1-2 Workshops during the Career Insiders Series
    • Attend the Mock Interviews/Resume Clinic.
  • Sophomore Year - DECLARE
    • Begin this year in prayer as you have now made it through your first year in college and ask for wisdom and patience as you start to focus your attention and passion on a specific field(s) or industry.
    • Being asking yourself, “Does my legacy have more to do with what I do for others, the relationships I build while in college or with specific milestones/accomplishments or a combination?”
    • Schedule an appointment with your academic/faculty advisor to discuss your academic progress and declare a major this year.
    • Begin researching your major and related career interests and decipher whether you will need to attend graduate school.
    • Schedule an appointment with the Office of Career and Calling to discuss your cover letter or personal statement.
    • Search for graduate schools and pay attention to the requirements and deadlines required to apply.
    • Apply for 20-30 paid internships and jobs in Hire-A-Husky that will give you experience in your field(s) of interest.
    • Attend the Office of Career and Calling Speed Interviews Seminar with employers in order to continue enhancing your interviewing skills and professionalism.
    • Challenge yourself to meet 40 sophomores and add them to your LinkedIn
    • Join and pursue a leadership position in a Student Organization in order to gain management experience to add on your resume.
    • Make an appointment with the Dean or a professor in your major and ask questions about expectations as a full time employee in this major.
    • Update your resume annually in Hire-A-Husky as your experience and skill-set will change from year to year.
    • Schedule a Mock Interview with staff in the Office of Career and Calling.
    • Take the Strong Interest Inventory career assessment offered by the Office of Career and Calling in order to connect your career interests with specific jobs/occupations.
    • Ensure that your professional suits are properly tailored and invest in an additional pair of dress shoes/heels. Heels should not exceed 1-2 inches.
    • Begin asking yourself, “Why should an employer hire me rather than someone else?”
    • Attend Career Fairs this year and add 20+ connections you met at the Career Fair(s) onto your LinkedIn network.
    • Make plans to attend the Industry-Focused Career Fairs to learn more about your field of interest(s).
    • Follow 50+ companies on LinkedIn that are in your field(s) of interest.
    • Add the Office of Career and Calling to your LinkedIn
    • Log into your Hire-A-Husky account to see which companies are conducting on campus interviews in the fall or spring semester and sign up for an interview(s).
    • Attend 2-3 Career Fairs this year.
    • Attend 3-4 Workshops during the Career Insiders Series.
  • Junior Year - DECIDE
    • Begin this year in prayer as you are now in the third quarter in your college experience and will now start actively connecting with industry contacts on LinkedIn and begin applying for internships and jobs in your field(s) of interest. This year your goal is to win by making business contacts and landing multiple internships!
    • Being asking yourself, “Is my calling in life relevant to the specific internships and jobs I am applying for?”
    • Start transitioning away from Work-Study jobs to pursuing specific paid internships & full/part-time jobs that are in your field(s) of interest.
    • Invest in additional accessories for your professional wardrobe; ties, blouses, belts, etc…
    • Apply for 40-60 internships and jobs in Hire-A-Husky.
    • Confirm your degree requirements and submit your degree plan to the Registrar’s office in order to ensure you will be graduating on time.
    • Begin to identify preferred industries you are interested in (Ministry, For-Profit or No-Profit, Oil & Gas, Construction, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Education, Banking, Finance, Technology, Media) as well as geographical areas.
    • Run for President of professional student chapters, associations, or organizations related to your field on/off campus in order to enhance your soft skills and leadership experience.
    • Start to explore graduate and professional school options and make note of calendar and application dates necessary for acceptance.
    • Begin asking yourself, “Why should I be accepted into Graduate School versus the next candidate?”
    • Connect with 15-20 of your professors on LinkedIn and ask for a recommendation.
    • Ask the Office of Career and Calling about practicing your Elevator Pitch.
    • Challenge yourself to meet 50 Juniors and find out if you have similar interests.
    • Attend the Dress to Impress & Business Etiquette Dinner offered in the spring by the Office of Career and Calling to have your professional attire assessed by employers.
    • Bring your resume and cover letter to the Office of Career and Calling for review and critique. (Make Appointment in Hire-A-Husky)
    • Schedule three mock interviews with the Office of Career and Calling for three different internships or jobs you are interested in pursuing.
    • Attend the Speed Interviews event with employers hosted by the Office of Career and Calling.
    • Source 60-80 internships & jobs in Hire-A-Husky and meet with the Office of Career and Calling to narrow down your selection.
    • Attend 3-4 Career Fairs this year.
    • Attend all Workshops during the Career Insiders Series.
  • Senior Year - DESTINY
    • Begin this year in prayer as you being your transition from college into your career/graduate school
    • By this year you should have developed a robust skill-set and related work experience needed in or to begin applying for full-time jobs and setting up interviews.
    • Confirm your degree requirements with the Registrar’s office – avoid surprises!
    • Set a goal to apply up to 100 full-time jobs in Hire-A-Husky, LinkedIn, and company websites by the end of the fall semester of your senior year.
    • Begin asking yourself, “Am I ready spiritually and financially to close this chapter in my life and open a new chapter after college?”
    • Schedule an appointment with the Office of Career and Calling staff to discuss your job search strategy in order to ensure you are on the right path.
    • Begin asking yourself, “Am I applying for jobs at companies and then finding contacts at these companies on LinkedIn?”
    • Attend all Office of Career and Calling relevant workshops regarding resume writing, mock interviews, dress for success, and/or graduate school opportunities.
    • Begin asking yourself, “Have I made every attempt to attend Career Fairs and Workshops this year?”
    • Schedule mock interviews with the Office of Career and Calling staff before your actual interviews.
    • Begin to secure 3-5 professional references and contact those 4-6 weeks in advance.  Be sure to ask a faculty, staff and/or former employer who can attest to your work ethic and qualifications (no family members should serve as a reference).
    • Attend the Dress to Impress & Business Etiquette Dinner offered in the spring by the Office of Career and Calling.
    • Attend the Speed Interviewing Event with Employers to network and to polish up your interviewing skills.
    • Follow up interviews and job leads with a handwritten thank you note after interviews.
    • Start researching starting salaries for college graduates with your degree.
    • Complete the HBU Legacy Survey and submit to the Office of Career and Calling. Let us assist you with telling your story to the next generation of HBU Huskies!
    • Challenge yourself to shake hands with and/or hug 100 freshmen before you leave HBU.
    • Celebrate your new job or being accepted to graduate school with family, friends, faculty and staff by sharing personally or through a handwritten note.
    • The last question you should ask yourself before leaving HBU, “Is my legacy intact at HBU and am I prepared to share it with everyone I meet in my professional career?”
    • Attend all Career Fairs this year.
    • Attend all Workshops during the Career Insiders Series.
  • Graduate Students - ALPHA
    • Begin this year in prayer as you are beginning a new chapter in your education and will be challenged intellectually at the graduate level.
    • Begin asking yourself, “Am I going to go through the motions while I am here or am I going to leave a legacy at HBU?”
    • Source 5-10 HBU Alumni on LinkedIn who have completed your degree and begin a dialogue regarding the many ways your degree can be used in your field(s) of interest.
    • Schedule a Mock Interview with staff in the Office of Career and Calling.
    • Schedule an appointment with the Office of Career and Calling to discuss your degree and possible career paths associated with the degree.
    • Source and become a member of a professional organization(s) that is related to your degree and field(s) of interest.
    • Register in Hire-A-Husky for the Speed Interviewing Event with Employers to network and to polish up your interviewing skills.
    • Log into your Hire-A-Husky account and make a list of the jobs that are of interest to you and then make an appointment with the Office of Career and Calling to narrow down the list.
    • Challenge yourself to meet 10 graduate students this year and add them to your LinkedIn
    • Begin asking yourself, “What can I do now to set my resume apart from other candidates with advanced degrees and years of experience?”
    • Attend the Dress to Impress & Business Etiquette Dinner offered in the spring by the Office of Career and Calling to have your professional attire assessed by employers.
    • Attend Career Fairs this year and add 20+ connections you met at the Career Fair(s) onto your LinkedIn network.
  • Graduate Students - OMEGA
    • Begin this year in prayer asking for continued blessings and direction as you plot your career path past graduate school.
    • Become a mentor/advisor for a student organization on campus.
    • Update your final resume in Hire-A-Husky so employers can contact you regarding employment opportunities.
    • Begin asking yourself, “Now that I am finishing my advanced degree where do I focus my attention in order to continue growing professionally?”
    • Start researching competitive salaries for individuals with your skill set and experience.
    • Log into Hire-A-Husky to source full-time jobs in your field.
    • Attend off campus Job Fairs as well on campus Career Fairs.
    • Become a committee member or run for a leadership role in the professional organization you joined during your Alpha
    • Attend all Office of Career and Calling Career Fairs in order to network and source possible job leads.
    • Attend all Office of Career and Calling Workshops in order to put the finishing touches on your professional skill set and presentation abilities.
    • Challenge yourself to meet 25 graduate students this year and add them on your LinkedIn
    • Schedule five Mock Interviews with the Office of Career and Calling for five positions you are actively pursuing.
    • Complete the HBU Legacy Survey and submit to the Office of Career and Calling. Let us assist you with telling your story to the next generation of HBU Huskies!
    • The last question you should ask yourself before leaving HBU, “Is my legacy intact at HBU and am I prepared to share it with everyone I meet in my professional career?”

Career Assessments

Students, Alumni, and staff are more than welcome to read a brief description below regarding our Career Assessments. Assessments are $10 each and will require a purchase prior to taking the assessment(s). Here are the steps for taking one or all of the assessments below:

1. Please visit HBU.edu/careerassessments
2. Register to to pay for any or all of the assessments
3. Once you have paid for the assessments, you will be contacted via email about the next steps
4. After taking an assessment, you will need to visit the Office of Career and Calling to meet with a Career Counselor.

Questions can be directed to careerandcalling@hbu.edu

  • Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Indicator

    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment is the most widely used personality assessment in the world. With a proven record of reliability spanning more than 50 years. It offers a foundation for understanding individual differences and applying that understanding to the ways people think, communicate, and interact.

    Please visit www.hbu.edu/careerassessments

  • Strong Interest Inventory (SII)

    The Strong Interest Inventory assessment is one of the world’s most widely respected and frequently used career planning tools. It has helped both academic and business organizations develop the brightest talent and has guided thousands of individuals-from high school and college students to mid-career workers seeking a change-in their search for a rich and fulfilling career.

    Please visit www.hbu.edu/careerassessments

  • StrengthsQuest Assessment

    Your StrengthsQuest journey begins with a 30 minute online assessment, the Clifton StrengthsFinder. This assessment has helped more than 9 million people around the world discover their talents. After you take the Clifton StrengthsFinder, you’ll receive a customized report that lists your top five talent themes, along with action items for development and suggestions about how you can use your talents to achieve academic, career, and personal success.

    Please visit www.hbu.edu/careerassessments 

Online Resources

  • Career Cruising

    This is a FREE interactive resource for career exploration. CareerCruising is a great place to start your exploration and discovery about careers and majors. CareerCruising has been designed with one goal in mind: to help students plan their future. With exceptional assessment tools, detailed occupation profiles and comprehensive post-secondary education information, you can move seamlessly through the career exploration and planning process.
    Please contact James Mable for website access information.

  • America's Career InfoNet

    An excellent and extensive website, it is a component of CareerOneStop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. Information is from a wide variety of sources including government, business & industry and education.

  • CollegeGrad

    CollegeGrad.com is a great resource for job searching (resumes, job and industry research, and various career development advice).

    When researching different majors and industries CollegeGrad can be a great place to find good information to help in the decision-making process. It’s even broken down by specific job titles.

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