Peer mentors help students with career prep

By Liz Lebron

Peer mentors Jennifer Lin and Jacob Wenz talk with students at the CEO.
Peer mentors Jennifer Lin and Jacob Wenz talk with students at the CEO.

The Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity, or the CEO, hosted a reception for students to meet the new peer mentors on staff. In addition to its regular team of counselors, students can now meet one-on-one with other students to discuss anything from resume tips to interview skills.

Jennifer Lin is one of five peer mentors who are now available to meet with students. “As career mentors we build that peer-to-peer bond,” said Lin, “because sometimes it can be a little intimidating to talk to someone who is an authority figure about your future plans.”

Tim Manning, another peer mentor who was on hand to talk with students at the CEO reception, agreed. He says students may be initially more comfortable reviewing their application or interview materials to other students.

“The thing we offer that’s distinct is we can be a person that’s less imposing to come to,” said Manning. “You don’t have to worry about everything that you want or what all of your goals are. You can just come with the application, cover letter, or resume in any stage in its development, and get some support and access to resources that can help you move forward.”

Anna Wright, a first-year biochemistry AOC, has previously worked Lisandra Jimenez, the CEO’s assistant director. She attended the reception to meet the new student mentors and hopes speaking with them will help her find employment near campus.

“I’m interested in getting a part-time job to help pay for college expenses, and I know the CEO heads that,” said Wright. “I’ve come here before to talk with Ms. Lisandra about perfecting my resume. Ms. Lisandra pointed out my resume was in the wrong format. Having someone there who specialized in it totally changed it and made it so much better.”

Although staff at the CEO can help students prepare for the workplace, peer mentors can also help students find valuable internship experience, fellowship opportunities, and graduate school programs, among other services.

“Students should come and see the career mentors if they have any questions about job search, internships, application materials,” said Jacob Wentz, who was on hand to speak with fellow students about his role as a career mentor at the CEO.

Wentz encouraged those in attendance to seek help with “whatever is coming next” along their school or career path.

“We can practice public speaking, [work on] grad school applications, … or skills employers are searching for like teamworks, collaboration, leadership, or anything like that.”

Students who wish to make an appointment should visit the New College page in Handshake, the CEO’s career management portal. Follow the CEO on social media @CareerCenterNCF for news about events at the CEO, career advice, and graduate school information.

— Liz Lebron is associate director of communications and marketing at New College of Florida.

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 700 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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