The Benefits of Being a Career Peer Educator

The Benefits of Being a Career Peer Educator

By: Sarah Saghah
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Welcome to Career and Volunteer Services, where all your career aspirations come true. At the front you’ll be greeted by Jim and Karen, and the common area with tables, chairs, and a comfy couch, where you can relax and study. You can’t miss the giant bulletin board with the faces of SFU’s lovely Career Peer Educators, as well!

In the rest of the area, there is a large open office where the co-op students work, and the offices of many more staff members working hard to help all SFU students and alumni succeed in their career and work search.  Behind the front desk is Jo-Anne Nadort, Career Peer Program Supervisor’s office, and the Career Peer Educator office. And this is where I come in.

Hi! I’m Sarah, a Career Peer Educator (CPE) at Career and Volunteer Services, here at SFU. As a student who previously struggled to find my passion and place at SFU, I was able to discover this and more, like my interests and values in the CPE program. I now want to share my experience as a CPE, so that you can better decide if this role is a good fit for you, because the office recruits new peers each year!

Photo credit: Sarah Saghah

Here are six benefits of being a Career Peer Educator at SFU’s Career and Volunteer Services:

1. You’ll gain applicable industry knowledge

One of the most useful benefits of being a CPE is that you will be taught and continuously updated on the most recent industry knowledge. After my training for this position finished, I knew so much about writing resumes and cover letters, job search, and interviews that I found myself helping my friends and acquaintances at random opportunities. I believe that this knowledge was one of the main reasons why I had multiple co-op job offers during my first seeking term. Even to this day, I use this knowledge, and I have a greater appreciation for recruitment processes. Thus, if you want to have a competitive edge in the job market, this role will most likely help you succeed.

Photo Credit: SFU Archives

2. You’ll make new friends

My favourite thing about being a CPE is the friendships I made. Everyone is so kind, hard working and intelligent that they push me to be better, and support me along the way. Not to mention the fun Christmas party we all had, and the other shenanigans we get into. We had a group chat during the terms that I volunteered, and even this chat was a lot of fun. I still keep in contact and hang out with most of my fellow CPEs to this day.

3. You’ll create new connections

Not only did I make new friends, I also made new connections. Career and Volunteer Services staff, co-op students, and company representatives have all given me a larger personal and professional network to reach out to as needed. Plus, everyone in the office is super kind, so I now say hello to many new connections and friends as I walk down the halls of SFU.

4. You’ll have other opportunities available to you, such as mentors and events

My second favourite thing about being a CPE was all of the opportunities we had available to us. We were allowed to ask senior staff members to be our mentors, and were invited to many events and workshops. I attended multiple resume workshops, for example, during which I was inspired me to revamp my MS Word resume into a designer resume. I now get compliments on my resume’s design!

Although all of the opportunities available to us were amazing, my favourite opportunity was the chance to attend SFU’s Volunteer Gala at the Vancouver Convention Centre for two years in a row. It’s a great event, and the perfect place to take pictures, create memories, and eat yummy food. Did I mention that there was buffet-style dining at this gala? The food is amazing. And if you ask anyone, they’ll tell you that the vegan mango pudding is the best (it’s true, it is.)

Photo Credit: SFU Archives

5. You’ll experience continuous growth

There are a lot of opportunities within the Career Peer Educator program, leading to many moments to develop yourself both personally and professionally, such as educating students, collaborating on projects, conducting presentations, creating digital content, and supporting new CPE recruitment. Regardless of whether or not you partake in any or all of the opportunities available to you as a CPE, you will, without a doubt, experience continuous growth during your time in this position.

6. You’ll help other students succeed

I lied earlier on in this blog when I wrote that my favourite thing about being a CPE is the friends that I made, (or the Mango pudding) because it’s not. My absolute favourite thing about being a CPE is seeing other students learn and grow.

Getting to hear others’ stories and struggles is very special. The fact that students come to me for guidance on something so personal makes me want them to succeed. So when they return to me at the CPE office and tell me that they’ve been invited for an interview, or been offered a position, I fill up with glee. It makes me so happy to see students accomplish their career goals after knowing that they worked hard to improve their applications.

Photo credit: Jo-Anne Nadort

Through every contribution I made to SFU Career and Volunteer Services, I gained new skills, knowledge and experience. It can be hard work and dedication, and this role is what you make of it. If you’re looking to grow personally and professionally in a low-risk, supportive environment, then this opportunity may just be waiting for you to take the first step. And the first step is to apply!

Sarah Saghah is a fifth-year business student studying marketing, human resources and international business. During her spare time, she enjoys volunteering and browsing through social media. You can find her at her local BCSPCA, petting all of the kittens. Connect with Sarah through her LinkedIn or Instagram

Beyond the Article 

Posted on November 26, 2018