Monday, April 23, 2012

My Experience as a Peer Advisor

Students often complain about the part-time jobs they have during college; however, I am proud to say that I am extremely content with my job at Career Services. I am sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and have been working for Career Services for one year now.  As a peer advisor for the College of Letters and Science Career Services, I have learned a tremendous amount about the exciting and intimidating world of professional development.  Through my training as an advisor and interaction with both career development professionals and a variety of employers, I have grown from an overwhelmed student worrying about my future career to a more focused and confident young professional.

When I was first hired by Career Services, I didn’t understand what my new office actually did.  I always thought of advisors as people who helped you pick out classes and made sure you graduate on time.  On my first day of work, I was instructed on the rules of resumes.  After getting an example of what an excellent resume should look like, I thought about my own resume and how it matched up in comparison.  As it turns out, my resume was pretty terrible, but over time, I learned how to improve both my own resume and those of the students I assisted.  As I became more confident in my abilities to offer students advice, I began to learn not only about resumes, but also cover letters, interviewing skills, graduate school options, career possibilities, and the inner workings of the professional world.  I have become more comfortable in my interactions with professionals in a business setting and improved my interpersonal and public speaking abilities.  After working as a peer advisor, I am no longer afraid of entering the real world, but am instead excited and looking forward to the next phase of my life.

Working in L&S Career Services has provided me with so many opportunities, from learning about my personal career goals and values to making wonderful new friends, and without it, I would be a different person than I am today.  While part-time jobs may sometimes seem like just a way to make money while going to school, you can gain a lot of valuable skills that are relevant to the full time job you’ll be looking for one day.  Think about the skills you are developing at your part-time jobs and how these relate to the skills that employers are looking for in applicants.  Interested in finding out what skills employers look for the most?  Check out this website -  Maybe you’re developing some of these skills at your part-time job!

Best of luck in your career development,

Jared LeBlanc
L&S Career Services Peer Advisor

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