Are Students the New CAP Coaches?
Reported by Mollisande Williams
The IDEA center at George Fox University (GFU) is a familiar resource for many students. Located in the Stevens Center, the staff regularly assists students in their preparation to enter the professional world. Their student career coaching, however, has gone under the radar.
Typically comprised of GFU students earning internship credit, student career coaches help their fellow peers with resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn and other ways to prepare for a job or internship. The coaches go through training and their primary focus is their peers. Many have specific areas of expertise.
“We look for students who have either strong writing skills or strong interpersonal communication skills,” said Joe Thouvenel, assistant director of the IDEA Center. “You have to be very comfortable sitting one on one with a student, asking questions and offering ideas or tips for their benefit.”
Professional staff often work with juniors and seniors for careers beyond GFU, whereas the student career coaches mainly help freshman and sophomores needing assistance with applying for on-campus jobs or internships. Because student career coaches are at a similar place in life, they are able to empathize with peers in this niche.
“It can be intimidating to seek out assistance with finding jobs and internships,” Thouvenel said. “My hope is that student career coaches can meet students right where they are at because they are in the same boat as their peers.”
Nadine Pasin has been a student career coach for over a year and can express her love for helping those on campus through this opportunity. Pasin loves seeing a student leave her appointment confident in the work they collaborated on.
“The students at Fox have so many unique attributes to contribute to the professional world and getting to help the students present their rarities is rewarding in itself,” she said.
Student career coach and psychology major Lauren Meadows shows her interest in StrengthsFinder by helping her peers understand their strengths in different ways, like applying them in an internship or job or tailoring their resume to highlight their strengths.
“I love helping people understand their potential and how their strengths can benefit them in whatever career path they choose,” said Meadows. “I hope more students can know about the resources we have in the IDEA center and that more people will take advantage of coming in for some advice.”
Sadie Vargas, who is also a student career coach, enjoys helping her peers craft necessary documents required for jobs and internships.
“Over time, I slowly started to see the shape of a resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile that is not only competitive and professional, but encapsulates who the student is and the uniqueness that they bring to whatever position they are applying for,” she said.
All of the student career coaches want to help make the intimidating world of internships and jobs less scary. One of their goals is to instill confidence through their sessions so that students can walk out feeling reassured.
As a student career coach and English major, Hannah Miller helps develop career profiles for her fellow peers especially through effective wording.
“Many students walk in overwhelmed or unsure where they should start, but once I am able to start putting words to what they are trying to say, you can quickly see a change in their overall outlook towards their career goals and what all is possible,” she explained.
The beauty of student career coaching is the commonality that is shared during sessions. Through this, GFU students can get help not only from their professors, but also from their fellow peers.
Student career coaching is available to any GFU student and can be accessed by making an appointment through the IDEA Center.