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Peer Career Advisor Program

Peer Career Advisors (PCAs) are 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! Basic information: 

  • Open to first-year and second-year Virginia Tech students to apply in fall semester to begin training in spring semester.
  • Three semester commitment:
    Spring semester training, 3-4 hours per week.
    Next academic year, fall through spring semesters, 10 hours per week includes work and ongoing training.
  • PCAs are paid for training and work.

PCA testimonials

"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.”

PCA responsibilities and requirements

Job responsibilities

Advising

  • 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.
  • During 2020-2021, when in-person workshops were not possible, PCAs developed on-demand virtual career courses on basic job search topics. See these in events > on-demand > Career Courses presented by Peer Career Advisors.

Project and programming assistance

  • Serve as an assistant for ongoing programs and projects, and planning special events and career programs.

Time commitment

  • Three semesters:
    • Paid training in spring 2022, three to four hours per week during hours of 11:00am-3:00pm.
    • Work the 2022-2023 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 2022 and August 2022.
  • 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 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.

Qualifications

  • Any major.
  • Not graduating before May 2024 (for applicants during fall 2021).
  • 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 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. 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.

October 2021 application process

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

These are optional to attend, and can be very helpful to understanding more about the program and the commitment.

Application period and deadline:

  • The application period in fall 2021 opens Mon. Oct. 11, 2021, and closes on Fr. Oct. 29, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

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.
  • Application:
    View and apply through the job posting on Handshake.
  • 15-minute mini-appointment:
    You must have completed a 15-minute mini-appointment between Mon. Aug. 23, and Fr. Oct. 29, 2021. You are responsible for scheduling your mini-appointment in advance; there is no drop-in advising. 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 complete on Handshake between the specified dates, your application will be considered incomplete.
  • Selected applicants will have a 30-minute interview, scheduled to occur early November 2021.
  • Offers to selected students will be made before Thanksgiving break.

Contact for questions about the PCA program

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
ahenderson@vt.edu
540-231-6241