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As an LSA student, you can pursue career coaching at the Hub in more ways than one. You can schedule an appointment or attend drop-in coaching with a full-time Hub Coach to explore career interests, prepare for interviews, practice networking, and more.
But, did you know that you can also meet with a fellow student? You can get coaching support from Peer Coaches – fellow LSA students – who are trained experts in résumé and cover letter development and have a deep understanding of professional development, the liberal arts and sciences way.
Who are the Hub's Peer Coaches?
Our Peer Coaches are U-M LSA undergraduate or graduate students who are trained alongside our Hub Coaches, specifically to help students build, edit, and refine their résumés and cover letters in preparation for internship or job applications. This year, our Peer Coaches at the Hub include:
Sonam Raghubanshi, a fourth-year student studying English, with a minor in Law, Justice and Social Change. Sonam is a transfer student from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and now acts as a Transfer Student Ambassador. She is interested in pursuing Law School in the future.
Brooklynn Knopf, a fourth-year student studying Biology, Health, and Society (BHS). She currently does research for the U-M Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCBD) and has aspirations to attend dental school after graduation.
Mariam Habring, a third-year student studying Biology, Health, and Society (BHS) with a minor in Spanish. She aspires to attend medical school after undergrad, with hopes to pursue pediatrics.
Peer coaching enables students to gain professional development specifically with someone they can relate to.
Why choose peer coaching?
The Hub’s Peer Coaches offer a unique and relatable approach towards résumé and cover letter support for students of any major within the college. Peer coaching happens via 45-minute scheduled appointments and offers a great opportunity to make meaningful progress towards your goals.
Brooklynn says collaborating with a fellow LSA student through peer coaching “enables students to gain professional development specifically with someone they can relate to, and possibly someone who’s going through a similar situation.”
For students who need support throughout the (sometimes overwhelming) job or internship application process, but may not be as comfortable working with a professional Hub Coach – our trained Peer Coaches offer a more approachable environment for guidance and exploration.
Sonam adds that peer coaching is a nice way to personally connect with another student.
“As students ourselves, we’re also balancing school work and other commitments, which allows us to relate in many ways,” she says. “No one should feel hesitant or nervous about making an appointment with a Peer Coach – you should feel more inclined!”
What does peer coaching look like?
Although all Peer Coaches undergo the same professional training, each individual takes a unique approach to supporting fellow students.
Sonam, for example, begins coaching sessions with a connection-first method. She prioritizes getting to know the students, their interests, area of study, and aspirations before diving into application materials.
“Laying that all out familiarizes me with the student and creates a stronger connection,” Sonam says.
Mariam’s strategy looks a bit different. She says, “my first goal is to figure out what the student wants to accomplish and establish why it’s important to work on their résumé or cover letter.”
From there, depending on what goals the student would like to meet, Mariam offers guidance. Sometimes that looks like providing students with Hub-designed online tools and resources to help organize their thoughts, and sometimes it looks like step-by-step edits to application materials.
Brooklynn says she “likes to put students in the driver’s seat,” during coaching sessions. By encouraging students to lead the conversation, they can more easily determine the objective of the meeting.
“I like to encourage fellow students to pick apart their materials, rather than having a coach do it,” Brooklynn explains.
Peer Coaches typically assume a supporting role as students actively engage in reviewing their own work, leading to a final product they feel confident in.
Regardless of the level of support needed, each Peer Coach can provide solid expertise and advice on résumés and cover letters.
Students often times have the mindset that application materials will never be perfect, but the more you work on it, the better it will become.
Tips from the experts
In asking our Peer Coaches for their most valuable pieces of advice regarding résumés and cover letters, we gathered some helpful recommendations.
Sonam says, when developing a résumé or cover letter, look at examples online, read job descriptions thoroughly, and research unfamiliar industry terminology if it’s included in a job description.
She also emphasizes that your résumé and cover letter can always be changed and improved – nothing is permanent.
“From opportunity to opportunity, you continue learning new ways to construct your application materials,” Sonam says. “Students often times have the mindset that application materials will never be perfect, but the more you work on it, the better it will become.”
Brooklynn’s key piece of advice for students in peer coaching sessions? Understanding the distinction between a master résumé versus a tailored résumé.
“I take time at the beginning of every appointment to explain the difference,” she explains. “While a master résumé can be more than one page and include all of your work experience, a tailored résumé is specific to the position you’re applying for.”
Lastly, Mariam underscores a fundamental step of developing a tailored résumé: ensuring it aligns with the job or internship requirements and description.
She says, “If a student is applying for a job that requires constant communication, it’s beneficial for the student to include examples that help exemplify that skill being acquired and practiced in previous experiences.”
Seeing a student gain confidence and feel empowered after an appointment is why I enjoy peer coaching.
“Seeing a student gain confidence and feel empowered after an appointment is why I enjoy peer coaching,” Brooklynn says.
Our Peer Coaches emphasize that they’re not just fellow LSA students, but experts in résumé and cover letter construction, armed with tools and knowledge to empower their peers to find success. They’re trained, trusted, and dedicated to helping other students excel as professionals.
If you’re a U-M LSA student applying for internships or jobs, or simply looking to improve your application materials, schedule a peer coaching appointment today via LSA Engage.
How do you schedule a peer coaching appointment? In the same way you book a Hub Coach appointment!
Once you are logged into LSA Engage:
- Toggle over to the Appointments tab
- Click the Appointment button in the top right corner
- Then, select: “Peer Coaching Appointment: Only for Résumé and/or Cover Letter (45 min)” from the Preferred Appointment Type drop down menu