After five and a half years working for Hillsdale College, alumna and former Assistant Director of Career Services Sophia Donohoe ended her career at the college to begin a new chapter with her husband in Columbus, Ohio.
Donohoe spent a total of 10 years with the college, first as a student and then as an employee. A member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and a George Washington Fellow, Donohoe kept busy as a student. She worked part-time in dining services, as well as in admissions and the President’s Offices. She also interned for former California State Sen. Tom McClintock between her junior and senior years.
Given her interest in politics, Donohoe intended to work as a congressional staffer after college, but an administrative position in the George Washington Fellow Program opened during her last semester.
“I loved Hillsdale College. It seemed like I couldn’t pass it up when a job offer came through,” she said.
Donohoe graduated in 2013 with majors in political economy and history, and she began working for the college within a week of graduating. She coordinated the George Washington Fellowship Program for one year before moving to Washington, D.C. to run the Washington Hillsdale Internship Program.
At the Kirby Center, she worked closely with Matthew Spalding, associate vice president and dean of educational programs for the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, to expand WHIP and make it more accessible to students outside the politics major. Donohoe researched classes and internships to add to the program’s offerings.
“It was exciting during that time,” she said. “The program has really been transformed. It has a lot more students now.”
Donohoe thoroughly enjoyed living in the capital and working at the Kirby Center, but two years later, she returned to Michigan to marry her fiancé, whom she had met in Michigan prior to moving east. She took a job as assistant director of Career Services, living in Lansing with her husband and commuting to Hillsdale.
Donohoe’s numerous and varied responsibilities at Career Services included tracking data, advising students, planning events, and coordinating programs. She ran the First Destination Survey, recording what each graduate decided to do after graduation, and spent 15 to 20 hours each week meeting one-on-one with students to address their professional concerns.
Donohoe was in charge of compiling the Career Services events calendar and executing programs such as the Senior Series and Living and Working Program (now called the Explore Program). She also revamped the Student Affairs Mentor training process and acted as a mentor for SAMs. She counseled students of all grade levels and needs, from freshmen trying to choose a major to seniors looking to secure a job.
“I really liked meeting with students. I was never sure what a student would want,” she said. “I always told students I would be their cheerleader. Anything practical they needed assistance with, I was there to help, to be their cheerleader.”
Junior Caylee McComb got to know Donohoe as a SAM and worked with her to put on Career Services events for houses, dorms, clubs, and sports teams. She appreciated Donohoe’s spunk and insight.
“She was a great mentor and a really enjoyable person to work with,” McComb said. “She gave great advice but also had fun working and talking with the SAMs. She kept it light and made work fun.”
In December, Donohoe’s husband, a race car engineer, took a job in Columbus with a BMW racing team, and Donohoe resigned her Career Services duties mid-January to make the move to Ohio. In addition to the excitement of job and scenery changes, the Donohoes are expecting their first child, a boy due on Valentine’s Day.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Donohoe said. “And Columbus is a great place to raise a family.”
Donohoe said she looks forward to exploring “The Arch City” and welcoming her baby into the world, but she will miss the Hillsdale College community immensely.
“The students, staff, and faculty are wonderful,” she said. “In Career Services, I had the opportunity to work with them all.”
And Hillsdale College will miss Donohoe. Forward-thinking and cheerful, she enriched WHIP and Career Services, helping transform both into founts of opportunity for students, according to.…
Ken Koopmans, executive director of Career Services, noted that Donohoe was an invaluable asset to the college.
“Sophia truly loves Hillsdale students. She has a huge heart, always going out of her way to ensure that students are on the best path forward,” he said. “We’re already missing her strong work ethic and great sense of humor.”