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Hear From Peers: Gaining Experience While Remaining On-Campus
Hello! My name is Kaylee Higgins and I am currently enrolled in the five-year program for my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and my Master’s Degree in School Counseling at New York Tech. I also work for Career Services as a Career Peer. This has given me a great opportunity to combine my education and experience at New York Tech, as my major and on-campus job have many overlapping themes. I can apply the lessons I learn in class directly to Career Services and also apply my experience with Career Services to my classes.
In my current position, I work with students one-on-one to review their resumes and cover letters. In addition, I have recently begun running my own workshops on general career topics. This greatly relates to my future career as a school counselor because in that position I will be expected to meet with students one-on-one and in groups to discuss academic, career/college and social/emotional topics. I will also be expected to lead workshops and classroom lessons on these topics.
Career Services has given me the opportunity to hone my communication, presentation, problem-solving and leadership skills. In the beginning, I was very nervous meeting with students and running workshops. However, this practice has allowed me to become more comfortable in my position and more confident in my future career. Through my program, I am expected to complete internship experience. My work with Career Services has allowed me to apply this confidence to that position as well. Through my internship, I work both one-on-one and in the classroom with students, which without Career Services I would have been extremely hesitant to do. However, I am gaining confidence in my skills each time I am able to work with students and as I gain hands-on experience.
In addition, Career Services has shown me how much I truly enjoy career counseling, which is something I had not previously considered. I had known that I wanted to pursue school counseling, but I am now learning so many new aspects of career counseling. I have also begun taking a career counseling class that has shown me how to apply these skills from my position to a child’s time in school from elementary school all the way through college. My position in Career Services has shown me where my passions lie within the field of school counseling and allowed me to explore my future career options. Through this experience, I have realized that in the future I would enjoy pursuing career counseling and may even want work in a Career Services office one day.
In conclusion, an on-campus job can lead to amazing experiences and opportunities for anyone. On-campus employment allows you to explore a career (even if it’s not the one you are currently pursuing) and hone your professional skills. In my case, it will allow me to continue pursuing career counseling in the future, whether it be in a college or K-12 setting, and to apply my learning to my current experience. However, even if your on-campus job does not relate directly to your major, you are still gaining skills for the future. For example, Career Services has allowed me to expand my communication, leadership and professional skills. These skills will be extremely beneficial no matter what career I decide to pursue in the future.
By: Kaylee Higgins, Career Peer, Career Services
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