Thursday, 28 January 2016

We caught up with Jodie Worobec, a past Career Peer Educator at the U of A Career Centre to ask about how this position affected her beliefs about employment. 

How did your work as a Career Peer Educator (CPE) affected your beliefs about finding employment?

CPE = Confidence Producing Experience. While completing my Bachelor of Commerce degree, I was fortunate to find the Career Peer Educator (CPE) program through the U of A Career Centre. Over the last three years of my degree, I gained significantly more from the CPE position than your ordinary on-campus job. This experience has had a lasting impression on not only my career path, but on how I approach life. 

Upon graduating, I was able to experience a concept that I had been teaching my student peers, the idea of planned happenstance. This theory revolves around preparing yourself to take advantage of unplanned career opportunities. When I finished my degree, I left to travel South America for two months with no career direction planned for my return. About halfway through my trip, I received messages from two staff members to alert me of a full time contract position at the career centre that would fit my skill set and career direction. I adapted to this unusual situation and prepared my resume while in Argentina, and interviewed on an outdoor pay phone in Brazil. I was offered the position and started my contract 48 hours after returning to Canada. I attribute my success to the network I had built in university and my openness to pursue an unexpected opportunity. Ultimately, this lead me to two contracts at the U of A Career Centre, and my first two years of full time career employment. 

What kind of influence did this position have on your  own career path?
Though my student work as a Career Peer Educator was a launching point for my career, the biggest benefit of the position was a boost to my confidence. The main role of a CPE is to educate students on resume, interview, and career skills. In order to advise other students, the U of A Career Centre provides the CPEs with in-depth training to ensure they are armed with knowledge of resume and interview best practices. If I had to guess, I probably reviewed more than 100 student resumes and conducted as many mock interviews in my time as a CPE. Using my training to review this many resumes, has made it a breeze to be critical about my own resume to wow potential employers. Once my resume has showcased my skills and opened the door to an interview, I am confident in my interview skills, so I can focus on expressing the experience I bring to a position rather than being nervous. Had it not been for my training and time working with the U of A Career Centre, I don’t think I would have the career confidence I have today. 

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