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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 & Professional Development and can help guide students in the right direction based on needs. Main responsibilities include advising, outreach and education, and programming assistance.

HOW PCAs HELP YOU

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PCAs ARE TRAINED TO HELP WITH:

  • Resume and cover letter review and development.
  • Internship and job search topics and resources.
  • Career related workshops and presentations.
  • Preparing for career fairs.
  • Using online resources such as Handshake and CareerShift.
  • Interview preparation.
  • Campus outreach promoting events and other special projects.
PCAs

MEET WITH A PCA

PCAs

ATTEND A PCA-LED WORKSHOP

45-minute workshops include Q&A time. Drop in at Smith Career Center to attend. See upcoming dates or flyer w/ all fall dates.

  • Resume 101: Writing basics.
  • Job & internship search: Learn to use various tools and resources we provide students.
  • LinkedIn lab: Learn how to create or strengthen your LinkedIn profile and maximize your use of LinkedIn to network in your industry and field for your internship and job search.
  • Career fair prep: Preparing before the career fair is just as important as the day of! Become a memorable candidate with a strong intro!

CONSIDER BECOMING A PCA

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ABOUT THE PCA PROGRAM

  • Paid employment opportunity.
  • Three-semester commitment:
    • Spring semester paid training 3-4 hours per week.
    • The following academic year, fall and spring semesters, 10 hours per week of paid work.
  • PCAs learn, work, and develop professionally by partnering with Career and Professional Development.
  • PCAs serve as a vital link between Virginia Tech students and our staff.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Advising

  • 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/projects and planning special events and career programs.
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PCA TESTIMONIALS

  • “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.“

APPLY TO BE A PCA

We recruit PCAs during fall semester to begin training in spring semester, and to serve as trained PCAs the following academic year.

TIME COMMITMENT

  • Three semesters: 
    • Paid training in spring 2019, 3-4 hours per week during hours of noon-3:00 pm.
    • Work the 2019-2020 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 2019 and August 2019.
  • 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.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Any major.
  • Not graduating before May 2021 (for applicants during fall 2018).
  • Minimum GPA of 2.8.
  • 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.
  • Learn more about the students who serve as our 2018-2019 PCAs.

FALL APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Optional info sessions:
    - Th. Oct. 18, 3:30-4:30pm
    - Mon. Oct. 22, 4-5pm
    At Smith Career Center, Rm A.
  • Applications accepted:
    Oct. 15-30, 2018, office hours.
  • Submit in person, hard-copies:
  • Application deadline:
    Tues. Oct. 30, 2018, 5:00 pm, in the Smith Career Center. Note our office closes 5:00 pm sharp.
  • Interviews and selection: Selected applicants will have a 30-minute interview, scheduled to occur Nov. 5-8, 2018.
  • Offer timing: Offers will be made before Thanksgiving break.

OTHER QUESTIONS  |  CONTACT

IS THE POSITION PAID?

  • Yes. The position is paid an hourly rate. 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.

CONTACT FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT PCA PROGRAM

If you have read all the information here and still have questions, please contact:

Ms. Liz Wilson
Assistant Director
Career & Professional Development
lizwilson@vt.edu
540-231-6241