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Faculty Profile: Steven VanderVeen
Professor of Management

Dr. Steve VanderVeen, marketing professor and director of the Institute for Student Consulting at Hope, is committed to teaching students the art of making sales, a skill that will help them no matter what career path they follow.

“We all sell something, we all market ourselves,” he says. “We do it whether we know it or not. We all try to meet needs of other people. I’m just trying to help students learn how to do that better.” Dr. VanderVeen believes that teaching marketing and management skills is a way to build leaders, to improve the world.

One aspect of teaching at Hope that Dr. VanderVeen appreciates is the way students are given the opportunity to be very hands-on in their education. “At Hope College, we’re becoming very experiential in the type of learning environment that we offer students,” he says. Students in marketing classes work with Dr. VanderVeen on consulting projects with members of the Holland community as part of their coursework, doing valuable, real work, which will benefit them enormously in the workplace.

Dr. VanderVeen’s students are eminently committed to their work on these consulting projects. “They’re not just doing things because it looks good on their résumé—a lot of them are doing it because they enjoy it,” he says. “They’re willing to get involved; they’re willing to take on a lot of work. These are students who are eager to make a difference”

Dr. VanderVeen believes that Hope students are distinctive because they want to do meaningful work. “That’s why it’s so much fun to work on collaborative projects with them. They want to use their education for something important, and it’s neat to see that,” he says. Being in the middle of a small city enhances Hope’s ability to do work like Dr. VanderVeen’s because Holland is full of businesses that enjoy giving Hope students the opportunity to exercise their skills. Doing coursework in such an applied way helps students develop not only their marketing skills but also their leadership qualities.

Significantly, Dr. VanderVeen feels, the lessons that students learn throughout their academic work, whether in the classroom or by engaging in projects with faculty mentors, are complemented by the college’s co-curricular program.

“I think that our program helps students integrate leadership into the academic side of the college as well as the student life side of the college,” Dr. VanderVeen says. “Hope has a lot of social activities for students to be involved in, and therefore, a lot of leadership opportunities, service projects, and internships. Hope College is enthusiastically committed to collaborative learning.”

This profile was written by Megan E. Dougherty, a 2007 Hope College graduate from Normal, Ill., for the 2007-08 Hope College Catalog.

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