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Bridge Feature: Finding Purpose

February 15, 2023

Meaningful relationships created through Seaton Center’s mentorship program

CVC Mentorship Class with Ella Lindgren and Andrea McAleenan

Celebrating its official launch in 2021, the Seaton Center for Vocation & Career strives to accompany the whole student toward a whole life. The center provides a space for students to cultivate their identity and aspirations from a place of strength and self-acceptance by stimulating personal and professional growth through career and vocational education.

Last spring, the Seaton Center expressed this mission, perhaps most evidently through a pilot program called Vocational Mentorship. The course matched five students with mentors from California, Michigan and Minnesota, which fostered meaningful relationships lasting well beyond the six-week program. Such was displayed when Ella Lindgren, a senior marketing major from Midland, MI, found the opportunity to meet in person with her California-based mentor, Andrea (Hautala) McAleenan. Founder and president of the international consulting business Building Global Bridges, McAleenan has spent a career in senior leadership roles in higher education settings and is currently establishing a diverse resource and support network of women leaders worldwide.

“This past summer, we had the chance to plan a lunch where we were able to meet in person after months of zoom meetings, since she lives in California,” Lindgren said. “By having Andrea as a mentor, I gained someone I can talk to on a professional and personal level. She connected me to people in the area and talked me through things I was worried about when it came to school and finding an internship. On the other hand, we also talked about our personal lives and what was going on in them.

“One thing I learned from taking the class is that just because something is in my life right now doesn’t mean it always has to be. I have the ability to change what I’m doing, where I’m at and how my life plays out.”

Accompanied by Vocational Mentorship, a robust series of programming delivered by the CVC nurtures students with a greater awareness and appreciation for who they are and want to be. The Seaton Center’s career preparation programs provide experiences to help develop the practical tools students need to access jobs that fuel their curiosity and tap into their unique talents.

Article originally shared in the Bridge Magazine 2022, Volume 75.


Finlandia University’s annual donor magazine, the Bridge, is now available online. In a new and exciting format, viewers can interact with this year’s issue like never before.

Across 32 pages of clickable stories, links and highlights, this year’s magazine celebrates Finlandia’s friends and family, including those who contributed to and supported Finlandia University throughout the year.


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