By David Tsui, Peer for Career, Starr Career Development Center
Winter break is upon us and it is a great opportunity for students to use that time wisely to plan for the upcoming school semester. For a Baruch College student, we are lucky to have such a strong student life with many extracurricular activities to offer to students. As a junior who has had a pretty good understanding of Baruch’s student life through personal experience and word of mouth from my peers, I feel that joining the Peers for Careers program was one of the best decisions I have made during my college career. From this program, students can learn so much to complement their professional growth, like writing and reviewing résumés and cover letters, understanding all the resources the Starr Career Development Center has to offer, and developing leadership and communication skills by joining a committee.
Initially I was like many college students — uncomfortable with public speaking and job interviews. However, the Peers for Careers Program has helped me overcome that obstacle by learning how to conduct résumé and cover letter reviews professionally during the spring semester Tier I Training. In addition, I was able to shadow the senior Peers and conduct résumé reviews over the summer break. In my first semester as a Peer, I gradually learned helpful techniques that are applicable in professional settings such as reading people’s body language, thinking on the spot more effectively, properly handling an uncooperative client, and communicating well. My confidence in interviews has also increased. The experience being a Peer teaches you to think more naturally, be more relaxed, and handle unexpected questions more effectively during interviewing sessions.
Another great thing about being a Peer is learning about the resources that the Starr Career Development Center has to offer outside of just jobs and internships. As a Peer, you can definitely take advantage of this great benefit which can help enhance your professional growth. When I joined the Peers for Careers program, I was exposed to many wonderful professional programs such as Passport to Partnership, Rising Starr Sophomore Program, Financial Leadership Program, Max Berger Pre-Law Program, and many more! Since Peers work in the Starr Career Development Center, we have the ability to interact with the full-time staff, which is a great way to expand your network or seek out career advice.
Like many other traditional student clubs, the Peers for Careers program offers leadership positions for its Peers when they join a committee. Committees give students the opportunity to take on more responsibility, develop team skills, and learn more skills such as technology, marketing, and writing. Committees also allow Peers to multitask more effectively as well as work collaboratively with other members.
Overall, the Peers for Careers program has benefited me greatly. Not only have I developed professionally and personally, but I have also been surrounded by other career-oriented and like-minded students in this program. The environment has made me want to succeed even more, and enabled me to be up-to-date on professional events like Career Day, On Campus Recruiting events, and career-oriented workshops. The Peers for Careers program is definitely something you would not want to miss out on during your college career. And if it is too late or not possible to join Peers for Careers, then be sure to take advantage of their Résumé/Cover Letter Reviews, Mock Interviews, Starrlights Blog, Career Corner Ticker Column, and Suit up for Success Event.