Peer Career Advisors Offer Students Guidance and Advice


Manhattan College’s Center for Career Development (CCD) offers many different services to students on their search for internships and jobs. One of the most important opportunities for MC students to take advantage of is the option to meet with one of the six peer career advisors (PCAs) there.

When a student speaks with a peer career advisor, they can be at any point in the job application process. If a student does not already have a resume to be corrected, the PCA will help them develop one with all of the necessary information. In addition, they are able to help with cover letters for specific jobs, and can give advice on the best way to draft emails to potential employers.

“A student would come in and if they have a resume, we will help them edit it and fix it, see what needs to be removed and see what needs to be added. If they don’t have a resume, we would give them advice on how to start it from scratch,” said Mejdy Mohamed, senior peer career advisor, “It expands to not only resumes, whether its cover letters, or just general career advice, or even helping with a job application, interview prepping, we’re there.”

The peer career advisors understand that the process of applying for jobs can be a stressful time in a college student’s life, and they like to help ease the anxiety of the job search. Julia Canigiani, junior peer career advisor, thinks it is beneficial for a student to speak with someone their own age about the job search process, because the PCAs share similar experiences.

“It is very easy to relate to [the students] because we are both students, and I know the struggles of trying to find the internship and trying to write your resume. It’s definitely good that I am a student as well,” said Canigiani.

All PCAs undergo a training period before they are able to see students in the office. The training takes place over three days, and new advisors are given advice from the Center for Career Development, as well as other departments on campus. They are given training on resume writing, cover letters, interviewing skills, LinkedIn, searching for jobs, as well as counseling training.

“Sometimes students come in and they open up with their problems and talk to us about very personal stuff, so we [have] training in counseling,” said Canigiani.

If a MC student wishes to receive advice and guidance from the Center for Career Development, there are many options for them to pursue, however, it is always helpful to meet with a PCA first. In order to meet with a peer career advisor, a student can simply walk-into the CCD without an appointment. There is at least one PCA in the office every weekday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the office is conveniently located on the third floor of Thomas Hall.

“A lot of the time we will be the first point [of] contact between a student and the Career Center. So, they’ll come in and see our office manager, and then they’ll come to a PCA,” said Jamie Paton, senior peer career advisor, “So, we are kind of the frontline of the Career Office, so we get a lot of students who may not feel the best about their resume, or may feel really nervous about the job application process, so really our job is looking at resumes, but also helping [the students] feel okay with that process and accepting the fact that it is a journey and has its ups and downs.”

After meeting with a PCA, students are able to make an appointment with a career counselor from their respective school of study. In addition, the CCD offers graduate school and fellowship advising for students hoping to pursue further education.

The opportunity to apply to become a PCA for the 2018-2019 academic year ended on April 6, however, the process of choosing new advisors is just beginning for the directors of the CCD. When choosing Peer Career Advisors, the CCD looks for applicants who both have an interest in helping their fellow students and want to gain professional work experience.

The current peer career advisors want to encourage their fellow MC students to take advantage of all the CCD has to offer, and they feel as though not enough students know of the immense help they can receive.

When asked about his favorite part of being a peer career advisor, senior John Wood said, “For me, I think it’s just giving back, because I was once in the shoes of someone who didn’t have a resume. So, it’s really nice to give back to someone who needs help, that is definitely the most rewarding part.”

Paton thinks that all students should not hesitate to go to the Center for Career Development and to get acquainted with the services it offers.

“It’s really just an accepting environment, we’re not going to judge you. Whether you come in with a three-page resume, or nothing, we’re here to help and everyone needs help at some point and it’s okay. That is why we’re here,” Paton said.