Career Kickstarter

Career Kickstarter

As a Central College sophomore, you’re invited to participate in Career Kickstarter — a free, one-week program offered during winter break that offers guaranteed micro-internship opportunities, plus the opportunity to explore potential career paths.

You’ll be paired with an alumni mentor or other local professional and engage with a local organization.

In addition, workshop experiences help you explore various career interests and equip you with the knowledge you need to pursue longer-term internships as you advance through your time at Central. It’s a great way for you to make connections off campus and gain professional experience early in your time at Central.

is all it takes to get a head start on career exploration, planning and skill-building
local organizations partner with Central to offer workplace experiences to students
Central alumni live in Pella and the surrounding area

Beyond Central

Alumni Mentors

Central students worked with the following Pella-area alumni:

  • Deborah Kay-Ostrander ’90 MS-IAADC-SAP Therapist/Executive Director, Keys to Success
  • Pat Dooley ’06, DPT, OCS, ATC, Physical Therapist, Sterling Physical Therapy
  • Melanie Meyer ’97 Partner, Van Maanen, Sietstra, Meyer & Nikkel, PC
  • Jeff Bollard ’89 Director of Information Technology, PPI
Central College student

Community Partners

Career Kickstarter draws on Central’s partnership with more than 100 organizations, including:

  • Habitat for Humanity of Marion County
  • Leighton State Bank
  • Pella Corporation
  • PPI
  • Pella Regional Health Center
  • Sterling Physical Therapy
  • Vermeer Corporation

The Central Difference

Real-World Experience

Central offers this unique opportunity because employers are engaging with students earlier and earlier in their college career and want to see workplace experience on their résumé. Central has a large number of enthusiastic local alumni eager to provide such experiences.

Central College Sophomores Attended Career Kickstarter

Central sophomores gained a jump on career readiness with the fourth annual Career Kickstarter program.

Desired Outcomes

  • Clarify strengths and interests
  • Make worthwhile connections
  • Gain valuable experience to build your résumé
  • Explore career paths

Sample Workshop Topics

  • Networking
  • Résumé preparation
  • Using professional social media
  • Applying and preparing for an extended internship

What Student Participants Say

Awesome and Informative

“It was awesome and very informative. I learned about kinds of engineering I didn’t know existed. We got to play with robots, handle components, get close looks at machinery and find out how everyone fits in the puzzle of the company.”

— Abigail Lowry ’22

Unexpected Value

“As a psych major with plans to continue my education beyond Central, I was pleased that Kickstarter included a session on applying to grad schools. That was unexpected and very helpful.”

Abby Malecha ’22


“My experience was fantastic! I learned a lot about the banking system and connected with people who can help me in my future. We talked with employees from all parts of the bank all three days. They showed us examples of things they use and do and answered any questions we had. My supervisor was amazing and did everything possible to make sure our experience was nothing but the best.”

— Wyatt Crosby ’21

Learn More

Want to know more about Career Kickstarter? Contact:

Jodie Smith

Associate Director of Career Development