Nelson Furtado, a fourth-year communications studies student, writes about how he’s using his social media, writing and communication skills to promote programs and services at Carleton’s Co-op and Career Services.
After 16 straight months of working as a co-op student, I was a little bit nervous about returning to school as a full-time student. Strange as it may seem, I had gotten used to working in an office, and part of me felt like I would truly miss it. Luckily, through the Peer Helper Program, I got the chance to experience office life at Carleton as well as the opportunity to do so much more.
Over the course of the past few months, I’ve been working as a Peer Helper in the Co-op and Career Services office. I thought it was a perfect fit for me – the co-op program and the free career services offered by the university have made a huge difference in my life, and I was excited to be able to share lessons from my experience with others. In my role providing support for communications and events, there was no shortage of ways to get the word out to students.
I enjoyed being able to put my writing skills to use as I contributed to materials such as weekly email tips for co-op students, as well as the co-op newsletter (check out the latest issue online). As a fourth-year communications student, I especially appreciated the opportunity to help out with social media for Co-op and Career Services on Facebook (facebook.com/carletonucareer) and Twitter (@hirecarleton_u). While that might sound like fun and games, some days it was a real challenge trying to decide how to cram valuable, detailed and interesting information all into one 140-character long tweet. Thankfully, the Carleton campus community is great at sharing and re-tweeting posts so that as many students as possible learn about the amazing events and workshops offered by Co-op and Career Services throughout the year!
While the writing and social media work drew on skills that I was fairly confident in, one of my major opportunities for personal growth as a Peer Helper came in the form of speaking to students on campus directly. As much as I try to hide it, I think I’m pretty shy and I find the idea of speaking to random people to be the slightest bit intimidating. When I found out that one of my responsibilities would be to go around campus with Peer Helpers from Learning Support Services to answer questions from students about the programs and services available to them, part of me thought I might not be up to the task…
Fortunately, I soon found myself looking forward to these outings with the LSS Peer Helpers! It was great to see how enthusiastic students were to find out about ways they could develop their skills, gain experience and try to kick-start their careers while they’re in school. Though I think that career choices are very personal and require a lot of individual effort, it’s important to remember that Carleton offers a wide variety of free services, workshops and events to help us through that process.
On that note, I encourage everyone to check out myCareer online (via Carleton Central) or to visit the friendly folks at the Career Services office in 401 Tory Building to find out more about the career counselling, workshops and the many other free services available to us as Carleton students. And if Carleton has done something amazing for you, pay it forward by applying for the Peer Helper Program – it’s the perfect way to gain experience while working with awesome Carleton staff and fellow students. There are amazing opportunities out there, and though they may be hard to find sometimes, it never hurts to start looking now.
Submitted by Nelson Furtado, a fourth-year communications studies student.
To learn more about the Peer Helper Program, please visit carleton.ca/seo/peer-helper-program