Ora Et Labora: Michelle Kooi

Like many college students, Michelle Kooi, a 2018 Kuyper graduate, had some starts and stops when it came to deciding what she wanted to do with her life.

“I took lots of different classes in college and switched my major a few times,” Kooi told the Kuyper community as part of Ora Et Labora, a weekly time where speakers come to campus to talk about their work and how their faith impacts that work.

Eventually she left college, hoping the change would help her decide what it was she was called to do.

A self-described “Army brat,” Kooi had grown up with a stepfather in the Army and participated in JROTC and ROTC programs, experiences that led her to join the Army Reserves. But after five years, Kooi decided it was time to go back to college. 

She enrolled in Kuyper with a major in Business Leadership and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). 

“I wanted to use my skills as an Army officer,” she said.

However, God had other plans. 

“The person who was supposed to facilitate my application to Officer Candidacy School failed to submit the paperwork on time, so I missed my opportunity,” Kooi said. 

Instead of despairing over this setback, Kooi has decided to pour herself further into the work she is already doing. She works as an Army Reserve Administrator, where she leads a product development team of 10-18 soldiers, and on the civilian side of things is an executive assistant at an entrepreneurial consulting firm.

“I realize God is guiding me away from becoming an officer. Right now, I’m working on building contentment where I am while I wait for Him to guide me to the next step,” she said.

Kooi urged her listeners to find contentment no matter where they are.

“God has designed you to be where you are right now,” she said. “How can you impact the people around you in your current role while you wait for the next chapter?”

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