Career Peers: Students helping students
Aiyedatiwa strengthens her own interviewing and resume-writing skills by sharing her knowledge with other students.
Photo: Daylina Miller | USF News
TAMPA, Fla. (April 10 ,2012) – The lobby inside the Career Center office at the University of South Florida is clean and quiet, not what you’d expect from an office busy helping students find employment after college.
Behind the scenes is where the real action takes place. Students like Denise Aiyedatiwa are busy in the private back offices helping students one-on-one to write or rewrite their resumes, performing career assessments based off students’ strengths and interests, and teaching interviewing skills.
For Aiyedatiwa, her on-campus job as a career peer is the only job she’s ever enjoyed.
“When students leave and they thank you, you can tell on their face you really helped them, especially when they get a job from our resources or if they find a career field they never thought they could do but you showed them those options so they are now more confident in themselves,” Aiyedatiwa said.
Aiyedatiwa has previously held off-campus jobs, one of which was an overnight position. She said it was stressful having to drive to work, then back home after for a short nap before going to class. She encourages other USF students to use the USF Employment website to find a job on-campus because that’s how she got hers.
“The best thing is the flexibility of being on campus so I can go to class, have a little break and then be at work right away,” Aiyedatiwa said. “I don't have to drive and worry about traffic. The staff here is way more understanding than off campus employers. They understand we have school, we have exams, so they're very understanding about needing time to study for an exam or time to recuperate after an exam.”
Aiyedatiwa is working toward becoming a physician’s assistant but said her work at the Career Center will help her have the skills to find a job in the field after graduation. She will finish her bachelor’s degree in public health this year and plans to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) until she begins her master’s degree.
Until graduation, she plans on continuing her work at the Career Center during the day and then hosting a Career Corner in the USF library Wednesday nights from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for students who can’t make it into the Career Center during office hours.
Whenever a student is unsure of what they want to major in, they come in here sad and defeated and I tell my story and they can relate because I'm closer to their age and still in school,” Aiyedatiwa said. ”I think that's a reason [USF] adopted the peer career program. Students respond better to people their age.”
Daylina Miller can be reached at 813-500-8754.