“Thoughts From A..” interview series provides you with a small glimpse of different career paths and advice on getting there.
Katie, Career Center Peer Adviser, Santa Cruz CA
Hi! My name is Katie and I’m a senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I’ve been working as a Peer Adviser at the campus Career Center for the past year and a half.
Q1: How did you get to where you are now?
Katie: Towards the end of my sophomore year of college, I started looking for a job. I had just finished my first internship and was ready for something that would actually (gasp) pay me. I searched my school’s on-campus job search website, found the Peer Adviser position, applied to it, and here I am today!
Q2: What inspired you to take on this job?
Katie:I was immediately interested because I had always been interested in something where I would be able to work directly with people and help them solve something. At that time I was also kind of on a professionalism kick, so I had been working on my resume over and over again and was having a lot of fun with that, LinkedIn, and other career-related things…so I figured why not apply to something like this?
Q3: What is one thing about this job that you really enjoy?
Katie:When a student tells me how helpful our session was, or when they come back again to the Career Center for something else and tell me how they got the job! I just love connecting with fellow students, showing them the different resources available, and helping them, and then by the end of our session they seem so relieved and happy.
Q4: What would you say is a minor downfall with this job/career (if any)?
Katie: Since it is a student position, I don’t get very many hours – definitely far from a full-time position. But there are certainly plenty of lucrative full-time positions in career counseling, and peer advising is the perfect place to start.
Q5: What is one thing you would do differently when searching for a job?
Katie: Talk to people! Talk to your professors, teaching assistants, mentors, family, friends, neighbors…you never know who is hiring or who knows someone else that is hiring. Finding a job doesn’t have to be something you go up against all alone.
Q6: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in this career path?
Katie: There are so many online resources for working on your resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, and the like. So work on those yourself, and do a lot of research about professional development. Then apply for a peer advising position! Even if it isn’t a position at a career center or it’s a peer advising position within a different sector of the school, it is much better than nothing, and will still be great preparation for a career in this field.