Posted by: Brian Musser | October 16, 2017

Job Choices

So many of my most impactful conversations with students come when they are thinking about work.  The fact that Drexel students are always thinking about work probably increases those chances.  Drexel is a unique university where during a typical student’s five years here they will have 3 separate 6 month internships.  We call them co-ops.  If everything goes according to plan this allows them to graduate with 18 months of real work experience in their field.  For 6 months I minister to employees and then for 6 months I minister to students who are actively searching for their next co-op.  Drexel students are always thinking about work.  This allows me the opportunity to speak into that part of their lives more than most other ministers.

I remember this one student.  He was a special student.  Probably more than any other student he had the ability to make the Drexel system work to his advantage.  During his second co-op search he had two companies actively trying to recruit him.  The first was a government intelligence agency and the second was a private military defense contractor.  The student was double majoring in Physics and Computer Science.

The student was also a committed Christian who tried to process all his decisions through the lens of his faith.  Both of these opportunities were great resume building co-ops.  Both would open doors to a better career after college.  However, both caused concern with the student.  The government agency could not communicate to the student the specific nature of the assignment for which the student was being considered.  He would not know if the details of the job violated his morals until it was too late to back out of it.  He would have to subjugate his moral conscience to the government before taking the job.  That felt like a abandonment of what it meant to be a Christian in his mind.  The defense contractor on the other hand specifically told the student that he would be working on a new RADAR system.  The project was completely within the convictions of the student and he could work on it with a clear conscience.  However; the student knew that this particular contractor did have projects that he was against.  Could he work on a project that was morally fine if the company as a whole wasn’t?

When all was said and done the student ended up choosing the co-op for the defense contractor but more important than the end result was the process to get there.  It was amazing to walk with a student as they were seeking God’s will and wisdom in serious questions about their job.  He allowed the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and the counsel of fellow Christians to a help him with this decision.  Those couple of weeks did more to equip him to be a life-long follower of Christ in the work place than any other experience up unto that point.  Sometimes the faithfulness exhibited through making a decision is more important than the decision itself.

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