Peer Career Advisor Program
Peer Career Advisors (PCAs) are paid, undergraduate students who are trained to assist with a variety of areas in the career planning process, to have a strong understanding of the resources in Career and Professional Development (CPD), and to help guide students based on individual needs. Main responsibilities include advising, outreach and education, and project work. PCAs are highly-valued members of the CPD team!
"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.“
“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.”
- Review resumes and cover letters with individual students though 15-minute mini-appointments.
- 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 effective career exploration and preparation.
Outreach and 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 career resources.
- Represent CPD at career fair booths and other events.
- Participate in marketing and promotion of CPD events and services.
- Serve as an assistant for ongoing programs and projects, and planning special events and career programs.
- Three semesters:
- Spring 1: Semester-long training consisting of shadowing appointments, assignments, and weekly group training sessions on various career topics. Approximately 3-5 hours per week between the hours of 9:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday.
- Fall 1 and Spring 2: Work 10 hours per week including advising appointments, project assignments, and presentation / event assistance.
- PCA position may be renewed each academic year dependent on performance and graduation date. Most of our PCAs continue to work past the initial three semester commitment, although this is not required.
- Attend PCA Team meetings on Friday mornings; currently 10:10-11:00am
- Attendance at extended training in January and/or August.
- Availability during some weekend and evening hours for events and presentations.
- If you have future plans for study abroad or other short-term opportunities that might conflict with the PCA time commitment, feel free to ask about how this might be coordinated with your possible work as a PCA.
- Undergraduate Virginia Tech student, any major.
- Preference given to first- and second-year students not graduating before May 2026 (for applicants during fall 2023).
- Transfer students with at least three semesters remaining (graduating May 2025 or later) are welcome to apply.
- 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. Candidates will be informed of the rate and payment schedules during the application process.
- This is eligible for Federal Work Study (FWS) funding; but the PCA program is not limited to FWS students.
Is academic credit possible?
- Academic credit can only be granted by academic departments. If you wish to earn academic credit, you must consult your academic department on its policies and procedures.
- 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 in fall and spring semesters.
These are optional to attend, and can be very helpful to understanding more about the program and the commitment.
Click on a session to see details and to register in Handshake.
- Peer Career Advisor (PCA) Program Info Session 1 (Tuesday, October 17th 2023, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT)
- Peer Career Advisor (PCA) Program Info Session 2 (Friday, October 20th 2023, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EDT)
- Peer Career Advisor (PCA) Program Info Session 3 (Monday, October 23rd 2023, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT)
Application period and deadline:
- Application period in fall 2023: Mon. Oct. 9, to Wed. Nov. 1, 2023, 11:59 pm ET.
Requirements to apply:
- Resume and cover letter:
Be prepared to submit your resume and cover letter. Strengthen your application by using our resume guide and job search correspondence guide.
View job posting on Handshake where you apply.
- 15-minute mini-appointment:
You must have completed a 15-minute mini-appointment between August 21, and November 1, 2023. You are responsible for scheduling your mini-appointment in advance. There is no drop-in advising. In your mini-appointment you can discuss any career topic of your choosing, such as your resume, LinkedIn, job searching, the PCA program, etc. If you do not have a 15-minute mini-appointment recorded as completed on Handshake between the specified dates, your application will be considered incomplete.
- Selected applicants are given a 30-minute interview.
- Interviews will be held from Wed. Nov. 8, to Wed. Nov. 15, 2023.
- Offers to selected students will be made by Mon. Nov. 20, 2023.
If you have read the information on this page and still have questions, please contact:
Ms. Alyssa Henderson
Assistant Director, Career Development and College Relations
Career and Professional Development