Elmhurst College: Making Connections

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Making Connections

Participating in CPE programs helped lead Kevin Scheibel to a great career opportunity.

Kevin Scheibel’s job-searching philosophy is a simple one. But it has already proven effective for the senior business major from Glen Ellyn.

“When you try to do it alone, you don’t get anywhere,” Scheibel says. “But when you branch out and get involved and meet people, it really pays off.”

You don’t have to take Scheibel’s word for it. For proof, look no further than his new job. Just a few weeks after his graduation from Elmhurst, Scheibel is set to begin training at the retail giant Target, as an executive team leader.

The new position at Target was attractive enough to make him the envy of his job-seeking friends. And the story of how Scheibel landed the job serves as evidence that his job-search philosophy really works. Scheibel says the job would have never come his way if he hadn’t first walked through the doors of the Center for Professional Excellence.

Scheibel, who credits the CPE both with helping him thrive in college and prepare for life beyond graduation, said he took advantage of CPE programs whenever possible. At one career information session he attended last fall, he interviewed with Kendal Cross, an Elmhurst alumnus now working for Harris Bank. Cross noticed that Scheibel had worked on Habitat for Humanity service projects at Elmhurst, just as she had during her student days. She was so  impressed with Scheibel that she put him in touch with associates at Target, who called him in for interviews and eventually offered him his new job.

“I never would have made that connection without the CPE,” he said.

Even before he had started on his new job, Scheibel was learning lessons at the CPE that he could apply at work. He is a regular attendee at the CPE’s STEP (Student Enrichment and Training Program) sessions. Scheibel said he especially appreciated one recent session that focused on dealing with dissatisfied customers.

“I figure that if I’m going to be working in retail, I’ll be dealing with my share of angry people,” he said. “I learned a lot about how to listen and deal with the problem without provoking them.”

The CPE even helped fund Scheibel’s education. As a student-worker in the College’s Honors Program, which is based in the CPE, Scheibel was responsible for maintaining and circulating the weekly calendar of events for honors students (a Humans vs. Zombies tag game was on his radar recently) and managing special projects. Scheibel said the job helped hone his organizational skills. But just as importantly, he said working at the CPE reminded him of why he came to Elmhurst in the first place.

“I chose Elmhurst for that special feeling of community you find here,” he said. “And I really feel that community when I’m at work at the CPE.”

Scheibel’s work ethic doesn’t stop at vacation time. Over the past several years, he also has helped coordinate Elmhurst’s annual Alternative Spring Break service expeditions. In 2013, he led a crew of students to Mobile, Alabama, where they worked with Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing for people in need. The experience, he said, built his confidence in his own abilities. And that’s a great feeling for any recent graduate making his way into the world of work.

So does Scheibel have any advice for college students on the lookout for career opportunities?

“Sure, stop by the CPE,” he says. “They have so many resources. It really helps you figure out what you want to do.”

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