Peer ambassadors aid in navigating the job market

Caitlin Richmond (left), Bailey Tiu (middle) and Carolanne Zelis (right) are the three career ambassadors who prepare students for the workforce.

As students move swiftly in and out of classrooms and the sounds of printing and typing reverberate through the Conaton Learning Commons (CLC), three trustworthy students sit patiently on the fifth floor of the building, helping students prepare for the ever-looming future.

These students are the career ambassadors. The team is trained to assist students through any stage of career development.

These three student employees are senior psychology major Caitlin Richmond, senior business analytics major Bailey Tiu and senior economics and management double major Carolanne Zelis.

The primary task of career ambassadors is to assist students in acquiring internships or jobs. Most commonly, the team aids in creating or editing resumes, writing cover letters and locating appropriate jobs either on or off campus.

The team is also tasked with creating online profiles, preparing students for interviews or even negotiating salaries.

As employees of the Career Development Office (CDO), career ambassadors are also responsible for leading workshops about job preparation for clubs or residence halls. They also help promote career fairs and other CDO activities.

In all of these dimensions, a career ambassador is designed to be a starting point for students with questions or who are in need of technical assistance. 

“I see us as peer coaches for students,” Zelis said. “It is the same service you have with a career coach on a more individual level where it’s easier to come with an unprepared idea and brainstorm.”

She continued to explain that having a conversation with a certified career coach can be daunting. As fellow students, career ambassadors can often ease this stress.

“Because I am a student, I think I have a different vantage point on what students are looking for,” Tiu added. “I can relate to what they’re stressed out about and what they really need help with.”

One of the reasons the team finds their work successful is because they are able to tap in to their knowledge of career development in conjunction with their student perspective.

Another reason behind the team’s success is their extensive traning that begins before the start of the school year. Subsequently, they are able to efficiently connect students to useful information.

While all three ambassadors recognize that their role is accompanied by lots of responsibility, they also share a sense of accomplishment in helping others.

“You get to see all the cool things that students are doing,” Richmond said. “You hear about all the things that Xavier is doing to prepare students and how their extracurriculars are preparing them for their career.”

Zelis also explained that the team is currently looking to expand in order to have more of a presence in the CDO.

Undergraduate students can receive help from the career ambassadors during their daily drop-in hours on the fifth floor of the CLC from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. every Monday through Friday.