Kelsey Terschak is a digital marketing specialist for Compassion International, an organization that works to alleviate child poverty. She shares why she felt ready to enter the workforce when she graduated from Calvin.
How did you get experience in the work world while you were still at Calvin?
Senior year I landed an internship with Foremost Insurance. I was working 20 hours a week on the digital communication team. Eventually I started working with web designers on their blog. Often companies will just put the intern in charge of their Twitter account. But with my internship, I was learning a lot on my own because I was given more responsibility.
How did your internship complement your business classes at Calvin?
It was beneficial to do my capstone marketing class at Calvin and my internship at the same time. That way I was able to implement the things I learned in the classroom immediately in the workforce. And so, my internship turned into a full-time position as a communication coordinator right after graduation.
How did Calvin help you make the transition to the workforce?
Because the classes are smaller, the profs engage with their students more. I was able to have a real relationship with my professors; they will tell you to call them by their first name. When you enter the real work world, you experience imposter syndrome and think you don’t have anything real to contribute because you’re too young. The way Calvin profs engage with you boosts your confidence and helps you feel like a colleague. You’ll graduate thinking, “I don’t know everything, but I know how to learn and contribute, and I can be on top of whatever you give me.”
What sets Calvin’s business department apart from other schools?
Right when I began my business degree, the professors were focused on trying to change the name of business and marketing. They wanted to communicate that as marketers, we’re not trying to steal anyone’s money. We want customers to trust us with the decisions we’re making.
Thinking about ethics in business is valuable in the for-profit world and the nonprofit world. Calvin’s business department really emphasized how you can work ethically in the for-profit world. You don’t have to move into ministry to follow God’s calling.