New Center for Career & Professional Development programs provide Centre College students with peer education opportunities

Posted by Centre News in Careers, News 22 Sep 2015

Peer EducatorsIn order to further efforts toward a more student-centered approach to exploring options for life after Centre College, the Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD) recently announced the launch of two new student programs. Students will act as peer educators, bringing front-line information and resources to students on a walk-in basis, as well as career ambassadors who contribute to the office’s marketing strategies.

Career ambassadors

Career ambassadors Natalie Tate ’16 and Sarah Smith ’16.

When CCPD began researching current best practices in the career services field, they continually came across one surprising tactic—the use of students as paraprofessional staff.

“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,” Director of the Center for Career & Professional Development Joy Asher explains. “We then talked with current Centre students about this research, and each one really liked the idea of having a peer available to provide them with some initial career information and resources.”

To make the programs readily available to students, the three peer educators will host what Asher calls “open office hours” Mondays and Wednesdays at 1 p.m.-3 p.m., and Tuesdays at 3 p.m.-4 p.m., and offer instruction on how to write a resume or cover letter as well as how to seek out internships and apply for Centre’s various internship funding, among other things. They will also be available to give presentations to interested clubs, professional groups and residence halls.

“Students are still able to meet with their career counselors,” Associate Director of the CCPD Kirk Knott says. “This is an added service for particular questions, not a replacement service.”

The career ambassadors will create student-led marketing strategies for the office.

“Given the vast array of opportunities available to Centre students and the volume of activities competing for their time and attention, we want our marketing efforts to be as strong as possible,” Asher explains. “The career ambassadors provide us with invaluable insights on how most effectively to market our events and services to students and, again, provide peer-to-peer contact with our office.”

Sue Choi ’16, who is joining the group of peer educators, is eager to begin working with students in the coming weeks.

“I am looking forward to helping other students prepare for the future, whether it be walking them through the internship process or helping them start their resume,” she says. “The CCPD has a lot of new opportunities lined up for Centre students, and I’m excited to be a part of it!”

Pictured above: Peer educators Sue  Choi ’16, Cameron Beach ’18 and Fabien Celestin ’17.

by Hayley Hoffman ‘16
September 22, 2015