In today’s challenging world, many students are finding it difficult to navigate the road between college and the job market. Even during your time here at Maryville College there are many significant, and often required, steps to graduating successfully.
What many don’t realize is that there is a place on campus dedicated to serving students career-centered needs – aptly named the Maryville College Career Center. Recently, the Career Center has endeavored to expand its services to fill the needs of Maryville College students by implementing a new Peer Coach and Ambassador Program.
The Career Center, located in Bartlett 224, has long been a source for students to access resources that assist them in shaping their resumes, finding their career paths or exploring options for their future. The center is staffed with a dedicated team of professionals who can help you with anything from writing a cover letter to applying to graduate school.
Their motto, “promoting career success through exploration, coaching, education, and connections to professional resources” sums up what they are all about. The center is dedicated to assisting students in creating cover letters and resumes, exploring internships and Significant Practical Experiences (SPE’s), learning how to better navigate today’s technology to market themselves and their skills. They also assist students in learning how to form networking contacts, and who to network with, to achieve students’ goals, along with what to do, where to apply for graduate school.
In addition to the full-time staff, the center has begun the “Career Center Peer Coach and Ambassador Program”, which started this fall. Developed in response to student needs, the new program offers students the chance to sit down with their peers during established walk-in hours and develop a plan that best suits their college and career needs.
These walk-in hours were initiated to provide more access to those students who could not always find an available appointment with the full-time staff that fit into their busy schedule, or for students who needed help with something quickly.
Peer Coaches are tasked with providing professional career development to students and help them utilize available career services. The Coaches can work one-on-one with students or with small groups to help answer questions, assist in career path development, and guide students to available resources and appropriate services.
Along with the Peer Coaches, the center has created new Peer Ambassadors, select students from various interest groups on campus, who act as representatives of the Career Center, especially in regard to their specific groups.
Ambassadors are students who help assist the Coaches and the Career Center with marketing and events, appearances at specific group functions as representatives of the program, and as a source of information for students on campus and as advocates for the services and resources provided by the center.
The Ambassadors are often the first point of contact for some people, and they can answer your questions, point you in the right direction, or put you in touch with the appropriate staff member who can help you.
Career Center Assistant Director Sarah Taylor Yeaple, who masterminded the new program, had this to say, “As we plan new programs and services in the Career Center, we strive to be wholly student-centric. We surveyed students all last year and are continuing collecting feedback again this year because we believe that voices of students are the most powerful and the most important. We need to know how you want us to meet your needs and what would be most helpful to you.
One of the reasons I am so passionate and excited about our new Peer Career Team is because this program was launched based on student voices. The goal is that we keep those students voices at the forefront of everything we do, and our Peer Career Team is part of our strategy to do just that.
Another reason I am excited about this program is that we know sometimes students do not feel comfortable talking or meeting with us (meaning our full-time staff members) or asking questions – with our new model, they can come to their peers. For some students, this will a positive, less intimidating option”.
Students can approach any Coach or Ambassador on campus for help if needed or come into the Career Center for the new walk-in hours available Monday-Friday at 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., or earlier hours on Tuesday & Thursday from 7:30 a.m.-10 a.m..
When you meet with a Peer Coach, you will be working with a peer who has undergone specialized training to assist you with Handshake, the Maryville College Works requirements, the part-time job and internship search process, as well as providing feedback on your resumes and online social profiles. The main idea behind providing peers as coaches is to encourage students to feel comfortable coming into the center for help as well as increase the student-Career Center relationship on a more personal basis.
The center provides a myriad of information and assistance is a valuable resource that should not be overlooked during your time at the college.
As for the future of the program, Sarah stated that they intend to continue offering walk-in hours and Peer Coaches as long as there is a need. Recruitment for the 2019-2020 Coaches and Ambassadors will begin next spring, allowing the new team members to get a head start on training before next fall. While the Peer Career Team will not be working over summer semester, the Career Center will still be open to meet all student needs. Regular full-time staff will be there all summer and are always available to meet with students.
The summer is a great opportunity to spend a time at the center if you happen to be local, or they are available to meet over the phone, too! As Sarah stated, “Employers do not stop recruiting and we are always here to support students in taking steps towards their next great opportunity!”.
Current Peer Coaches for the 2018-2019 Academic Year:
Abby Tonos – Neuroscience Major, Class of 2020
Elizabeth Coyle – Psychology Major, Class of 2020
Hassan Thomas – Marketing Major, Class of 2020
Lana Linebarger – Psychology/Criminal Justice Major, Class of 2019
Lishika Lange – Biology Major, Class of 2019
Savannah Mantooth – Marketing Major, Class of 2020
Career Ambassadors for the 2018-2019 Academic Year:
Ashley Berry for Black Student Alliance – Psychology Major, Class of 2020
Christen Watson for Transfer Students – Design Major, Class of 2021
Elaina Davis for Golf Team – Psychology Major, Class of 2019
Gavin Dooley for the Baseball Team – Finance/Accounting Major, Class of 2020
Jinming Chen for International Students – Math Major, Class of 2021
Kristie Maples for Student Veteran’s Association – Psychology Major, Class of 2020
Meridith Daffron for Marketing and Communications Majors – Writing Communication Major, Class of 2021
Michelle Hensley for Non-Traditional Students – History with Licensure Major, Class of 2019