This semester the Career Services Center launched a new program to reach out to USF students and recent alumni who are looking for resume and cover letter tips and career advice. The Career Planning Peers (CPP) are USF students and Career Services Center employees who have been training with full-time career center advisors in order to learn the skills to help other students with career related needs.
The CPPs have been holding drop-in sessions in front of the Market Café during dead hour several times this semester and were in Harney Plaza last Tuesday advertising the centers services and helping students with resume building and career counseling. The tableing is a promotional event, celebrating the launch of the CPP program, and after this month the peer advisors will hold regular drop-in hours at the CSC.
Sophomore Seghel Yohannes, one of CSC’s two career planning peers, was manning the table in Harney Plaza on Tuesday. She had worked with four students that day, fewer than the eight or so students she said she usually sees while holding drop-in hours, but none the less was happy with the services she was able to provide. “Having someone your age tell you that yes these [career goals] are possible to achieve is reassuring and it’s comforting to hear ‘I have done this with my career planning and so can you.’”
The career planning peers are not meant to replace the full-time CSC staff who assist students with career serves, but to compliment their work.
Yohannes said, “We can talk to [other students] in their language, it’s comforting and relaxed.” The drop-in table is also convenient because students can get help during their lunch break when there are no drop-in hours scheduled at the CSC.
The CPPs also blog about career related issues such as the importance of networking and address student concerns regarding employment. The blog is at www.usfca.edu/career/ifuture.
While several students said they preferred to work with a full-time career counselor, junior Enrique Zabala, who stopped by the CSC table in front of the Market earlier this semester, said it was convenient for him to be able to learn about the services CSC offers without visiting the physical center on the fourth floor of UC. “I didn’t know I could get so much help with my resume he said, I guess I never knew what the Career Services Center does,” he said.
While the idea for the peer advisors started last year, before the recession hit, CSC has been offering more services this spring to assist students and recent graduates with job searches and career planning. On Wednesday, CSC hosted a panel discussion on how to look for a job in a recession and teamed up with the psychology center to offer support to students on how to stay positive during the process.