Center for Career & Professional Development launches two student programs

Posted by Centre News in Internships, News 21 Apr 2015

Center for Career & Professional DevelopmentThe Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD) at Centre College has announced the launch of two new programs aimed at building leadership and communication skills and providing internship-like experiences.

The Peer Educator Program and the Career Ambassador Program will each feature one coordinator position, which will be paid, in addition to volunteer-based opportunities for which students may apply.

“Both of these groups provide excellent opportunities for students to develop skills that will be valuable in their future careers, including time management, teamwork, interpersonal and presentation abilities,” said Joy Asher, director of the CCPD. “These qualities are consistently on the ‘Top 10’ list of things employers look for in new college graduates.”

Peer educators will be able to develop and hone teaching and counseling techniques, as the job will center around one-on-one work with peers, including resume and cover letter assistance, help with graduate school research and basic interviewing and professional etiquette assistance.

Career ambassadors will have a stronger emphasis on cultivating marketing strategies. They will be trained to present on a variety of the office’s programs and services, assist with student outreach, and they will help promote the importance of early and continuous career planning and preparation.

Asher and others in the CCPD office have researched similar initiatives on other campuses and have found that programs like this are often well received.

“We spent much of 2013 and 2014 benchmarking and researching best practices in the field and kept running across the use of students as paraprofessional staff,” Asher said. “While not all schools employ students in this manner, many that do are having real success with it.

“Research shows that some students, at least initially, are reluctant or intimidated to come into a career center; but it also shows that they are more likely to come in if they can engage with a peer,” she continued.

Kirk Knott, the associate director of the CCPD, said this initiative is a natural next step for the office.

“It’s only fitting to me that our office, which coordinates and promotes the value of internships in gaining real-world experience and exposure, would provide opportunities like this when and wherever possible,” he said. “These programs are a big step in that direction.”

Students who are interested in learning more and applying for a position may apply here. The CCPD will accept applications to both programs through April 23.

by Anne Evans