Peer Career Advisor Program
Peer Career Advisors (PCAs) are undergraduate students who have been trained to assist with a variety of areas in the career planning process. They have a strong understanding of the resources in Career and Professional Development (CPD) and can help guide students in the right direction based on needs. Main responsibilities include advising, outreach and education, and programming assistance. PCAs are highly-valued members of the CPD team!
In 15-minute mini-appointments, (formerly drop-in advising) PCAs can help you with resumes, cover letters, internship or post-grad job search, career fairs prep, interviews, and using CPD resources.
For fall 2020, PCAs are developing virtual on-demand workshops. As those are ready, we'll provide more information here.
- “There has been nothing more fulfilling for me than being able to help alleviate someone’s worries and nerves through advising, work together to create a plan, and then watch them succeed through their own determination. Career and Professional Development has given me a unique experience where I get to be a small and important step in someone's entire journey. I look forward to work every single day.”
- "As a PCA, I have learned how to become a better listener and resource for students in order to help them develop their future career journey."
- “I've loved being a PCA. Not only have I been able to learn so many skills that I've applied to my personal career exploration, but I've been able to help so many of my peers with things that really matter.“
- Critique resumes and cover letters though drop-in advising.
- Advise on job search topics and resources.
- Have impactful conversations with peers regarding career development, job search strategies and professionalism.
- Serve as a role model for successful career exploration and preparation.
2. Outreach & education
- Deliver presentations on career and job search topics to student organizations and in residence halls.
- Design informational materials and presentations to educate students on the use of various online career resources.
- Represent CPD at career fair booths and other events.
- Participate in marketing and promotion of CPD events and services.
3. Project & programming assistance
- Serve as an assistant for ongoing programs and projects, and planning special events and career programs.
- Three semesters:
- Paid training in spring 2021, three to four hours per week during hours of 11:00am-3:00 pm.
- Work the 2021-2022 academic year, 10 hours per week. (Most of our PCAs continue to work through senior year, although this is not required.)
- Attendance at extended training in January 2021 and August 2021.
- Attend weekly hour-long PCA meetings on Friday mornings.
- Availability during some weekend and evening hours for events and presentations.
- If you have future plans for study abroad or other short-term opportunities, feel free to talk to us.
- Any major.
- Not graduating before May 2023 (for applicants during fall 2020).
- Preferred minimum GPA of 2.5.
- Interest in helping Virginia Tech students with career and job search concerns.
- Ability to relate and interact with individuals both one-on-one and in group situations.
- Ability to manage multiple projects.
- Take initiative and follow through on necessary details.
- Demonstrate professional communication when working with supervisors, co-workers and students.
- Willingness to work in a team setting and build rapport with other PCAs and the Career and Professional Development staff.
Is the position paid?
- Yes. The position is paid an hourly rate, including during the training semester. Candidates will be informed of the hourly rate during the application process.
- This is eligible for Work-Study funding; but the PCA program is not limited to Work-Study students.
Is academic credit possible?
- Academic credit can only be granted by academic departments. So you must consult your academic department on its policies and procedures if you wish to earn academic credit.
- If allowed by your academic department, the PCA program coordinator in CPD will work with you to help you meet the requirements of your academic department.
We recruit PCAs during fall semester to begin training in spring semester, and to serve as trained PCAs the following academic year.
Note: Due to COVID-19, all work and training will be completed virtually during the spring 2021 semester. The PCAs will return to in-person work when deemed safe to do so.
Fall application process
- Optional info sessions (conducted over Zoom):
- Applications accepted:
Applications for fall 2020 open Monday, October 5, and close Sunday, November 1, 2020, at 11:59 pm.
View this position and apply via Handshake.
- Requirements to apply:
- Submit the online application through Qualtrics (details within Handshake posting), where you will be able to attach your resume and cover letter. Applications submitted outside of this form will not be eligible for consideration.
- Complete a 15-minute mini appointment (offered Monday-Friday from 11:00 am-3:00 pm via Zoom) to discuss any topic of your choosing (resumes, LinkedIn, job searching, the PCA program, etc.). Schedule a 15-minute mini appointment on vt.joinhandshake.com. If you do not have a 15-minute mini appointment recorded on Handshake between August 24 and October 30, 2020, your application will be considered incomplete.
- Application deadline:
Sunday, November 1, 2020, 11:59 pm.
- Interviews and selection:
Selected applicants will have a 30-minute interview, scheduled to occur early November 2020.
- Offer timing:
Offers will be made before Thanksgiving break.
If you have read all the information above and still have questions, please contact:
Mr. Steven White
Assistant Director of Experiential Programs
Career & Professional Development