Meet the Career Coaches – Clara

Career Coach – Clara

Today’s Career Coach Spotlight is Clara Peterson. Clara is a fifth year Chemical Engineering major with minors in Spanish and Mathematical Sciences. She enjoys helping students with LinkedIn and Resume building. 

She says, “I love to share the knowledge I have gained through my two years of internships and co-ops. Career Services always feels like home to me! Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. My favorite memory of Career Services is when we celebrated the holiday season with a festive staff party!”

In her spare time, Clara is extremely involved with the Visual and Performing Arts Department here on campus; specifically being involved with Concert Choir and a theatre production in the Rozsa Performing Arts Center or McArdle theatre. Clara is also the President of Blue Key Honor Society this year, meaning she will be overseeing the famous Winter Carnival!

We are excited to have Clara on the team and we know she’ll do great things!

Meet the Career Coaches – Joey

Joey – Career Coach

Today’s Career Coach Spotlight is Joey. Joey is a Third Year Accounting and Finance Major from Superior Wisconsin. He likes helping students with Resumes and Job Searching. 

He says, “It is so rewarding when you get to see people smile after their appointment because they now have a direction to go. It makes my day. My favorite memory of Career Services was getting to lead the first timers tours at Career Fair.”

In his off time, Joey is also in the KSI Accounting club, the Finance club, and on the MTU Cheer team.

We are excited to have Joey on the team and we know he’ll do great things!

Humans of Career Services – Chris, Associate Director of Career Services

Chris Honholt (Assistant Director of Career Services | Coordinator of Career Development Programming | Career Advisor)
Chris Hohnholt (Assistant Director of Career Services | Coordinator of Career Development Programming | Career Advisor)

This week’s Humans of Career Services is our new Associate Director of Career Services,  Career Advisor and Coordinator of Career Development Programming, Chris Hohnholt!

As a Career Advisor, Chris helps students by providing best practices and tailored recommendations for resumes, CVs, and LinkedIn profiles. He advises students on majors and careers, offers opportunities for mock interviews, and insight on the best practices for salary and job negotiations.

As the Coordinator of Career Development Programming, Chris offers life design and career focused outreach to Michigan Tech students through classroom discussions here at the Career Services office, as well as guest presentations for courses, professional society meetings, and student leadership and involvement functions. 

Chris came back to Houghton after three and a half years of working for the Department of the Navy. He wants to be a part of the professional development of the amazing students here; helping to bridge their academic and professional lives.

His favorite memories involve all of the career events that lead up to Fall Career Fair as it was “fast paced and we were able to assist a lot of students,” says Hohnholt.

We are very happy to have Chris on the team as we are excited to see what he does as he helps students with their journey into their professional lives!

Humans of Career Services – Nathan, Assistant Director of Career Services

Today for the Humans of Career Services, we will be featuring one of our new Assistant Director of Career Services and Career Advisor, Nathan Axdorff.

Photo of Nathan
Photo of Nathan

As a Career Advisor, Nathan advises students on their future career plans and presents to organizations and classes about career based topics. In addition to this, he also works with Career Services’ student coaches, social media intern, and Escape Room.

Nathan chose to work at Michigan Tech because it reminded him of his service in the Peace Corps. He lived in Ecuador from 2017-2019 serving as an English teacher in Machala, Ecuador. When Nathan first visited Houghton for his interview, he was charmed by the slower pace, the intentionality of the community, and the raw beauty of the Keweenaw. Before Nathan served in the Peace Corps, he was a Career Coach for Grand Rapids Community College. He completed his master of education at Grand Valley State University while working as a graduate assistant in their Career Center. His background and experience in career development and higher education make this position a perfect fit. 

Nathan has multiple favorite memories at Career Services. They usually involve students landing Co-ops, internships, and jobs. Nathan really enjoys working with the team at Career Services. As one of the newest members on the team, he has really appreciated the support and guidance that his co-workers have given him. 

Nathan looks forward to working with students of all majors, backgrounds, identities, and vocations. He hopes to provide better ways for students to connect with Career Services. 

We are very excited to have Nathan on the team and we know he’ll do great things.

Humans of Career Services – Melissa Michaelson, Assistant Director of Career Development Education

Today’s Humans of Career Services Spotlight is Melissa Michaelson. Melissa is the Assistant Director of Career Development Education, and she supervises the amazing team that organizes the Career Events, Workshops and the one-on-one career advising appointments that are available to students.

Melissa obtained her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Michigan Tech in 2016; during her time as a student, she worked for the university, and found that she loved working with students. She knows first-hand the stress of finding work post-graduation. Because of this, she loves to work in Career Services as it allows her to help students find work that is satisfying and meaningful!

When asking Melissa what her favorite memory is while working for Career Services, she said, “Everytime a student emails me or comes to visit me in our office to tell me that they got the job/internship/co-op/interview/salary they worked so hard to get! It’s especially rewarding when they say thank you for all your help!”

Looking towards the future, Melissa is excited to expand the reach of Career Services, and implement more tools, like videos, so that more resources can be available to all students across campus.

We would like to thank Melissa for all she does, and we are excited to see what she’ll do in the future.

Humans Of Career Services – Beth Williams, Director of Career Services


Beth Williams – Director of Career Services

This year, Career Services was excited to announce that they had a new Director of Career Services, Beth Williams.

As the Director of Career Services, Beth works with the rest of the amazing staff to connect students with their dream companies, create and execute all of the career focused events, and negotiate the needs of industries and of the campus.

Beth originally went into higher education as she loved to help people find their way in college, and wanted to help students gain the tools that they need for their post graduation life. Originally from Houghton, Beth said that she came back, because “after 15 years of living in different states, I wanted to return to my roots. I am so proud to be a part of an institution that is full of amazingly driven and incredibly smart students.”

One of Beth’s favorite memories while working in Career Services has been the creation of the escape room that is put on every year. It proved to be a major creative outlet for her and she loves how it teaches lessons of communication and teamwork in a fun and relaxed setting.

When asking Beth what she looks most forward to, she said, “I am really looking forward to seeing the new and creative ideas our team comes up with. As industry changes and a new generation of students enters Tech, we have to adapt the services we provide, which keeps us all on our toes.”

We’re excited to see what Beth does with Career Services and we know that she’ll do great things!

Chasing Dreams Together


Amanda Moya and Karsyn VanLannen met on co-op in 2018 while working at Georgia-Pacific in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  

As they both prepare to graduate from Michigan Technological University in May 2020, they plan to chase their dreams together with full-time positions at Georgia-Pacific (GP) and will continue their truly amazing friendship. 

Amanda, a mechanical engineering major, had this to say about their story,  “We met during my second term with GP and Karsyn’s first. I was an intern in corporate engineering and Karsyn was in mill engineering.”

Karsyn, a chemical engineering major, was working in the paper mill as a process engineer.  

“When we met,” Amanda says, “We hit it off right away. We were enjoying our time with GP doing intern events for engineering interns like conferences and tours.”

When Amanda and Karsyn came back from co-op they decided to set up weekly lunches at Michigan Tech to catch up and see each other. “Since I’m mechanical engineering and Karsyn is chemical engineer, we don’t have any classes together.”

This summer Amanda and Karsyn returned to Georgia-Pacific as interns. Karsyn returned to Green Bay to work in corporate engineering and Amanda worked on paper machines in Port Hudson, Louisiana. They kept in contact over the summer and consulted with each other when they both received full-time job offers from GP.

After graduation, Karsyn will be working as a process engineer in the Green Bay Mill and Amanda will be working as a process engineer in Wauna, OR. “Together we’ll be in the same Engineering Development Program cohort and will continue working together at specialized trainings several times a year. We are very excited to be working for this company and to be able to start our full time careers together!” 

It is clear that the Michigan Tech bond doesn’t end at graduation. We wish Amanda and Karsyn the best in their future, and we know that they’ll be successful in their endeavors.

Story by Scott Sviland

Across the Atlantic: Nils’ Co-op at Audi Germany

Have you ever considered pursuing a job opportunity in a different country? A local to Minnesota, Nils Justen took a huge leap – approximately 4,346 miles across the Atlantic Ocean –  and completed a co-op in Ingolstadt, Germany at Audi’s headquarters.

Working at headquarters broadened the learning experience for Nils through the chance to interact with all operations of the company – engineering, design and testing, marketing, and upper management were all in the same place.

“I gained insight into many exciting areas of the company. My role definitely wasn’t just copies and coffee,” Nils explained, “I was in chassis engineering. My position revolved around working with different departments to compile function-based test procedures for prototype vehicles in order to ensure a more uniform and transparent development process between various divisions. I was also involved in project planning for future models.”

The decision to work abroad was a daunting thought for Nils, but the benefits far outweighed the risk and greatly impacted his trajectory and goals. Not knowing what to expect when he arrived in Germany, Nils flew out of Minnesota with two suits in his bag and more ties than he’d like to admit.

“There’s a few aspects of living in Germany that I’m not sure I will ever get used to: the lack of free refills, paying to use a public restroom, and the confused looks I got when I assumed water at a restaurant was free. I was surprised at how quickly I transitioned to my new surroundings and found my place in the company and my community in Ingolstadt. Of course, I was also pleasantly surprised at how few people wore a suit and tie. The six months I spent in Ingolstadt made me realize that the idea of pursuing graduate studies in Europe wasn’t so far fetched.”

Nils encourages all students to pursue internships and co-ops. They are a risk-free way to explore a field you think you might be passionate about. The more experience you have, the better you’re able to find a job that you’ll look forward to every day. Also encouraging students to go out of their comfort zones and pursue international opportunities, Nils explains, “There are more opportunities like this out there than people think. Sure, you might not be able to live at home and you’ll be away from friends and family, but it’ll certainly challenge you to broaden your perspective. There’s something to be said for taking that leap of faith. There’s tremendous potential for growth in those experiences.”

Making Connections at Michigan Tech

Haley Hall, a student in the School of Business and Economics

Picture this: you apply for a job and get called in for an interview. A few days later, you receive a call saying, “We’re sorry, but you’re just not the right fit for our company.” What’s next? Do you get upset and discouraged, give up, and decide that you don’t want to change anything? Or do you thank them for their time, learn from your mistakes, and try again?

Haley Hall is a engineering management and marketing student in the School of Business and Economics. In a family of entrepreneurs, Haley chose two degrees that would allow her to own a business someday. Engineering management offers flexibility and a multitude of career options and marketing allows her to utilize her creativity and gain skills on building and maintaining a brand.

After interviewing for a digital marketing internship in Career Services with Jennifer Wall, Career Services Communications Manager, Haley was not selected for the position. However, that connection led her to an entirely different opportunity.

Haley’s passion and enthusiasm left a good impression with Jennifer, and when  Jennifer attended Grand Traverse Day in October, she spoke to Katie Horvath, CEO of Naveego, who was looking for a digital marketing intern to work remotely. Jennifer recommended Haley for the position. Haley received a phone interview with the vice president of sales and marketing and was offered the job shortly after.

“The funny this is,” Haley said, “I never even spoke directly to Katie. Jennifer’s recommendation must have been very good! Making connections with people at Michigan Tech can be very beneficial in obtaining job opportunities. If I never applied for the job with Career Services, I would not know Jennifer, she would not have recommended me to Katie, and I definitely would not have a job at Naveego right now.”

After completing her internship with Naveego, Haley will explore her other major: engineering management. Haley has been offered an internship with Permasteelisa as an assistant project manager and will work there during summer 2019.

My Career Win: Summer Job Leads to Spring Co-op

Darian Reed is headed to Phoenix, Arizona on a co-op with Kiewit!

Darian, a civil engineering major at Michigan Tech, worked for Kiewit in Washington, D.C. last summer on a rail job. As his summer position ended, Darian was offered a co-op, thanks to an endorsement and recommendation from his mentor. Darian is looking forward to spending time in Phoenix and learning how to estimate a job first hand.

Darian’s advice to other students is, “You never know who you may know and how they can help you.”

Congratulations, Darian! Soak up some Arizona sun for the rest of us.