I was looking at the Career Peer Program as a possible area of experience that I wanted to gain in terms of helping people and also possible career options. When I became a student again at SFU, I contacted Tony (Director of Career & Volunteer Services) and asked him if there were any volunteer opportunities in Career Services. He pointed me to this program and that’s when I applied for it through myInvolvement.
As a Career Peer, I meet with students, in some cases alumni that have been out of school. I would say most of them are probably third, fourth year students who are looking for summer work or full-time employment after graduation. My role is to meet with them, help with their resumes, cover letters, and sometimes LinkedIn. If they need a more in-depth kind of exploration, I refer them to staff for career exploration work. If they demonstrate that they need or would benefit from seeing someone in counselling for mental health related issues, I refer them to Health & Counselling.
With resumes, I help students with content and design, but most importantly, linking their resumes or connecting their resumes to particular jobs. For instance, the first question I asked students is, “What kind of job are you looking for?” If they have an answer, I ask students, “Do you have a job description?” And then we work from that back to their resume and try to match their resume to that particular job description. So I talked to them about the resume as if it's a living document and how it continues to change because it should be tailored to every job, as opposed to doing one resume that is sent out on a mass scale to many companies without any connection between the resume and the job description.
In addition to meeting one-on-one, I also do presentations and workshops from time to time for different SFU groups. For instance, I spoke at a student union career night for the psychology department. We set up a table and talked to people about the programs within Career Services and opportunities for them to volunteer as Career Peers. I've also spoken to a couple other groups in a Resume workshop with Tony for the research undergraduate research symposium. Aside from that, I'm part of the team of Career Peers and offer support to them if needed.
For me, being able to meet new students and legitimately help them while making an impact has been the most rewarding part.