Feature Story

Peers Helping Peers

October 8, 2014 – by Katie Nunner '15

Ohio Wesleyan’s first Career Development Team of student-peer advisors includes Felicia Rose ’15 (left), Brenda Gonzalez Santillano ’17, and Elikem Gadzekpo ’17. With the team is OWU employee Ally Himes, who recruited the team. (Photo courtesy of Al

Ohio Wesleyan’s first Career Development Team of student-peer advisors includes Felicia Rose ’15 (left), Brenda Gonzalez Santillano ’17, and Elikem Gadzekpo ’17. With the team is OWU employee Ally Himes, who recruited the team. (Photo courtesy of Ally Himes)

Have you ever wondered how to get the perfect resume, secure the best internship, or write an extraordinary cover letter?

In addition to its many existing programs, Ohio Wesleyan University’s Office of Career Services has added a new Career Development Team, training student leaders to assist professional staff members with advising students. The team is gaining additional real-world experience by participating in activities ranging from reviewing cover letters to planning events.

“This service provides students with help from a peer in the same formats that they would (receive from) a career services member,” says Career Development Team member Felicia Rose ’15. “In addition, this service provides several more opportunities for students to get assistance on their career planning due to increased numbers in trained staff.”

OWU employee Ally Himes, career services advisor and residential life coordinator, started planning and recruiting the student team last year, which included researching other institutions with similar programs. She recruited three students – Rose, Elikem Gadzekpo ’17, and Brenda Gonzalez Santillano ’17 to be part of the first Career Development Team.

“We want to utilize students for events and to help plan events they want to attend,” Himes says.

The team is based on different aspects of event planning, outreach, and the one-on-one advising setting.

“It’s been really fun getting them up to speed on training with cover letters and resumes,” Himes continues. “They all have a desire to help, learn, and grow.”

Team members are hoping to reach a wider OWU student audience by extending drop-in hours and establishing peer-to-peer relationships.

Gadzekpo says she values receiving advice from other students.

“The team is extremely helpful to students because it seems much easier and much more exciting if a peer or someone in the same age group offers you all these resources,” Gadzekpo says. “Sometimes students feel maybe a little threatened approaching an adult and sometimes something is more exciting or more favorable coming from a peer.”

The Career Development Team encourages all students to stop by and to check out the office’s services, especially in helping students take steps to actively pursue their future goals.

Team member Gonzalez Santillano says, “My suggestion to any student interested in setting themselves up for an auspicious future, is to either make an appointment to meet with a professional staff member or just pop in the office during lunch hours for a quick drop-in to discuss your personal short-term and long-term goals.”