#beCPE: From Career Peer to Peer Coach

#beCPE: From Career Peer to Peer Coach

By: Jack Zhou
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Many students and instructors will be finishing the 2015 spring semester very soon. A few friends tell me that their university lives only include fall and spring semesters because they never take summer courses. In this perspective, the end of spring semester is usually the right time for self-reflection of the things we did and accomplished since September.

For the past eight months, I have tried many different things. I have been a Marketing Ambassador of TEDxSFU; Public Relations Coordinator of Marketing in Focus hosted by SFU Student Marketing Association; and Project Manager of Captus Advertising Agency. These are all great experiences that taught me different skills. However, my most memorable experience was being a Career Peer Coach at SFU Career Services.

I joined Career Services in 2013 as a Career Peer Educator. During that time, I have learned how to write professional resumes and cover letters, and perform better in job interviews. I have improved my communication and interpersonal skills by providing one-on-one advice to students; I have learned public speaking and workshop facilitation skills through doing workshops with Career Advisors; I have known wonderful peers, made great friends, and built my network. I came to Canada alone, and found another family here at Career Services. I have also improved my active listening and appreciative advising through formal training and weekly meetings. More importantly, all of the experience mentioned in the previous paragraph came from my networks with Career Peers.

After being a Career Peer for two semesters, I was encouraged to become a Career Peer Coach to help new peers with their personal and professional development. Coaching involves a different kind of communication. This year, I have been playing a leading and supporting role. By working with five different peers, I have been inspired by their insights, passion, motivation, ideas, and thoughts. Not only did I help my coachees, but I also learned a lot from them. I watched how they accomplished their personal and professional goals step-by-step; I saw their happiness when they improve even just a little bit; I understood their stress when they tried to do too many things together at the same time; I also felt their satisfaction when they told me how they help other students. All of these things remind me of how passionate I am about wanting to work with other people; how important for us to inspire each other, to learn and grow together.

Andy, Eunice, Heather, Jason, and Natalie, it has been a true pleasure getting to know each of you, and helping with the development of your skills and goals for the past eight months. I hope you all find great inspirations like I did in our coaching relationship. I wish you all the best in the next stages of your careers and life.

I truly believe that my experience as both a Career Peer and a Peer Coach will be an asset for any of my future aspiration in my career and life. So, I am sharing my thoughts here as both an invitation for students to become a Career Peer Educator, and for current Career Peer Educators to become a Peer Coach. If you are a people-person who wants to help others and improve yourself, come to join our big family. If you do get the chance to be a Career Peer Educator in the 2015-2016 year, I will see you in the training.


I am Jack, and I am humbled, confident, and grateful. 

Posted on April 15, 2015