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Month: October 2013

Essay in “Theology in the Present Age” – Available on Amazon

It’s not often that you get the chance to say a significant “thank you” to a beloved teacher. I was given that rare opportunity this fall.

John Castelein was my professor and advisor in my MA program at Lincoln Christian Seminary a number of years ago. John announced that he’d be retiring at the end of this academic year, and two of his former students–and my colleagues: Chris Simpson and Steve Cone–secretly began to compile a Festschrift in John’s honor.

Chris and Steve reached out to several of John’s former students and asked if they’d be willing to contribute an essay for the project. I made the cut (barely, probably) and wrote a personal reflection of my time with John. Not only did I study with him in the classroom and on my research paper, but John was also my preacher at Lincoln Christian Church for a season.

Several friends and LCU colleagues also contributed to the book. You’ll find it on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

Why a Person Might Want to Study Business Administration at Lincoln Christian University

My friend Brandon is the director of admissions for the undergraduate school at Lincoln Christian University. He forwarded me an email from a prospective student who asked two really good questions: what percentage of LCU business administration graduates get work, and do they get hired by businesses that aren’t explicitly “Christian.”

Here’s how I responded:

Hi _______–

Thanks for your interest in LCU and in the Business Administration program. I’m happy to answer your questions.

While we don’t track hiring statistics on students after graduation, most find work in the months after they finish. Of course, a lot of that depends on the individual student–their interests, personality/character, and hustle.

One recent graduate, Ben, applied for more than 50 jobs, received a few offers and turned down a couple before choosing the right one. He wrote me a letter to share with my students–you can read it here. By the way, feel free to poke around my blog a bit; it will give you a little insight into the things I like to share with my students. Since you’re just getting started with school, you have the opportunity to “begin with the end in mind” (as Stephen Covey says). See here and here for some things to keep in mind as you go through college.

You also asked whether companies that aren’t “Christian” hire LCU graduates. Absolutely! While a few Bus. Admin. graduates have been hired here at LCU in recent years (including Brandon) and a few find employment in the church or nonprofit sector, most of our recent graduates work in the private sector. We have graduates at State Farm Insurance and Country Financial, a bank manager in southern Indiana, an editor at a large book publisher in Indianapolis, a sales manager for a seed company in Illinois, people working in marketing and software development in the IT field, entrepreneurs, and people in healthcare services. And those are just the few that I’m personally connected with.

As you continue to consider your college choice, there are two things you’ll find that make our business program different from others. One is the emphasis on real world projects. In most of your business classes at LCU, you’ll have some kind of team project that will have you and other students working with local businesses and organizations. In a marketing class, for example, you may work with a coffee shop staff to help them find ways to reach new customers. For a management class, you may organize and run a fundraising event for a nonprofit. In a human resources class, you’ll lead training on some HR topic for a business’ employees. In a sense, these projects become mini-internships that enable you to gain real skills as well as to meet and work with business professionals.

Secondly, we’re concerned not only with what you learn but–perhaps more importantly–with the kind of person you are becoming. Our graduates find work and do well because they are the kind of people employers want: they work hard, they have integrity, they’re kind and loving to their coworkers and customers, they solve problems (instead of creating them). Why? Because they know people are created in the image of God and that our work matters. These are the qualities businesses need in the people they hire, and we’ll do our best to reinforce them as you learn here.

Have you heard of Seth Godin? If not, check out his blog and consider reading his book Linchpin. Good stuff, and the kind of things you’ll hear us talk about in our business program at LCU.

Is that helpful?

Feel free to contact me if you like. I’d also be happy to put you in touch with some of our students or graduates.

Best regards–

Michael Gowin

Michael S. Gowin, MA, MBA
Associate Professor of Business Administration
Lincoln Christian University
100 Campus View Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

Resume Advice for Interns and Job Seekers

Every semester at Lincoln Christian University, I coach students who are looking for internships. We talk about the kinds of qualities organizations want from interns and what they need to do to stand out in a sea of applicants. My colleague Dr. Rob Maupin, who has four students prepping for internships this fall, asked me to pull together some resources for his students. Here goes.

Keep in Mind

  • This is not about you; it’s about what you have to offer and how you can help the employer.
  • Your resume doesn’t get you hired, it gets you an interview.
  • Employers are afraid of making a bad choice and want to reduce risk. The less risky you show yourself to be, the better your chances of being hired.
  • Employers may give your resume only a few seconds. Make sure it captures their attention and interest.
  • Everything you do in the hiring process should answer this: what separates me from the 20 other people applying for this job? Here are a few ways you can stand out.
  • Do everything you can to be helpful to your supervisor. Remember that she will be less productive while you’re on the job.
  • Focus on building good relationships with everyone. You never know who can help you find work after you graduate.
  • Hone your communication skills–it matters so much more than you think.


48 Days to the Work You Love – Dan Miller. While there are tons of good books available for job hunters (including the excellent What Color is Your Parachute), Miller’s 48 Days is my one-volume pick. The first few chapters help Christians sort through the ideas of calling, giftedness, and work while the reminder of the book offers practical tips for resumes, cover letters, and interviews. Right now the Kindle version is only $2.99. I already have the paperback and just bought the Kindle edition. Boom.

Linchpin – Seth Godin. Why would someone want to hire you? After you’re hired, why would they want to keep you around? How do you become the person they can’t live without? Read this book.


“The Importance of a Good Resume” – The Art of Manliness. Walks you through the various parts of your resume with good suggestions for each section.

“How to Write a Resume That Will Land You Amazing Work” – Chris Brogan. Sort of the article equivalent to Seth Godin’s book above.

Check Out Chris Brogan’s New Thing

Chris Brogan does some neat stuff.

He makes businesses, speaks, writes, and shares a lot of what he learns. For free.

Last spring, for example, he Skyped with my Marketing II class at Lincoln Christian University at 8:00 in the morning one day. We chatted about doing things that matter, how to stand out, pushing through fear. It was a highlight of the semester for the students (and me, too, for that matter).

Now he’s publishing a magazine called Owner and you can read it online for free.

The first issue has articles on productivity, business, writing a resume that gets you hired, small business marketing, and more.

Check it out. Good stuff there.

LCU Students: How to Use Google Drive for Assignments

A brief tutorial for my students at Lincoln Christian University–here’s how to use Google Drive and ANGEL.

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