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Career Studio Builds on Student Coaching Program

Written by Christian Dames

At Midland University’s Career Studio, students receive an abundance of resources geared toward aiding students as they prepare to step into the workforce. Whether it be assistance in a job search, the interview process, or building a professional resume, students can utilize the Career Studio to best prepare them for their careers. Though the assistance and content students receive are beneficial, it is perhaps the source from which students receive that help that has made the Career Studio so successful: their peers.

Launched in the fall of 2019, the Career Studio began utilizing a peer-to-peer coaching model. The purpose of the model is to give students the opportunity to receive career coaching from fellow students. This has proven successful for the program as it not only benefits students scheduling the appointment, but the student coaches as well. Through their position, student coaches gain a deeper understanding of navigating the career world, while also helping their fellow students along the way.

This year, the Career Studio has hired six student coaches- two as work studies and four as interns. The idea is to have at least one student resource available throughout the week, ensuring students on campus always have an opportunity to meet with a peer for career guidance. 

Here is an introduction of the Career Studio’s coaches for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Chelsea Bayer is a senior communication studies major from Howells, Nebraska, and works as a career coach work-study. As a returning member of the team, Bayer hopes to build on the skills she learned about guiding students to success. She stresses that being a career coach not only involves growth from the student but growth within herself as a professional. In all, she finds the partnership is rewarding for both the student and the coach.

Students often come into the Career Studio overwhelmed with many things that are creating challenges in their life.” Bayer said, “The sigh of relief I witness from students when they leave the studio gives me warmth knowing that I have made a difference.”

Bayer believes that being a student in this position helps immensely in the coaching process. As students, the career coaches have first-hand experience with being a student looking to navigate the career world. Above all, she sees this as advantageous as career coaches guide students through their career journey. 

Cailin Brashear is a senior business management major from Escondido, California, and works as a student career coach work-study. A returning coach, Brashear hopes to build off her previous year by making sure students are aware of all the resources that are provided at the Career Studio. She wants students to realize that the Career Studio and career coaches are there to help with more than proofing resumes, rather they are there to help with anything ranging from internships and graduate programs to careers and major exploration. Working at the Career Studio, Brashear has seen the unlimited possibilities a degree at Midland can have, and helping students realize this is rewarding for her. 

The most rewarding part of being a peer career coach is watching the students I work with grow in so many ways.” Brashear said, “Watching them connect with their strengths and understanding how those strengths can guide them in their career is such an empowering moment. Watching them gain confidence in themselves and their abilities brings a smile to my face every time.”

In all, Brashear views the career coach program as a way to help students build confidence in their career journey. She believes that being able to meet with a fellow student and ask questions that may feel uncomfortable asking a professional staff member is extremely valuable to a student seeking guidance in their career. She views her role as a career coach as to turn students’ struggles and experiences into strengths and opportunities. 

Emma Johnson is sophomore communication studies and digital marketing major from Kansas City, Kansas and serves as a career coach intern. Johnson describes herself as motivated and positive, qualities that she believes make her well suited for the career coach internship. Passionate about helping others reach their career goals, Johnson saw the position as an opportunity to better herself as a young professional by learning about her strengths and gaining valuable experience through coaching others.

I am excited to gain experience in coaching and leading others in the area of professional development. Just learning how to work with different people in such a practical way is going to be so beneficial.” Johnson said, “I am also hoping to become more well-rounded in understanding my strengths and weaknesses, and how I can best maximize them in the professional world.”

Johnson views the peer-to-peer model of coaching at the Career Studio as a way to break down the intimidation factor some students experience when getting help with their career goals. As a career coach, Johnson believes being a fellow student allows her clients to relate with her and helps them feel more comfortable as they receive guidance. 

Reagan Gausman is a sophomore arts management major from Columbus, Nebraska and works as a career coach intern. After being approached about the position, Gausman became enamored with the studio’s mission. Her passion for finding people’s strengths and helping them apply their strengths to their daily lives aligned perfectly with the Career Studio’s purpose. Gausman sees the Career Studio as a place to not only help others find their strengths but develop her own as well. Especially as she moves into the professional world.

I am hoping to gain more knowledge and connections in the professional world.” Gausman said, “I want to be confident in my future career moves.”

Gausman views the Career Studio as a way for students to get assistance and guidance from someone who is going through the same process. Being a student career coach allows her to offer insight and understanding to her peers by forming strong connections born out of being students together. Ultimately, she wants students to take advantage of the resources in the Career Studio as they begin their own career journeys. 

Carter Welch is a sophomore psychology and business management major from Bloomer, Wisconsin and is a career coach intern. Welch joined the Career Studio as a means of developing and impacting his peers in an effort to better their lives as well as his. Due to his innate willingness and passion for helping others, Welch believed the career coach internship was a good fit for him and his goals as a young professional.

I am hoping to develop myself further as a young professional in this ever-changing world. The opportunities for me to work with such a diversified group of people is truly exciting and each person brings a new scheme and new set of problems and a story to the career studio.” Welch said. “Some people are looking at going into a job right away while others are applying to graduate schools. Also, I think just the whole idea of helping others and seeing change and opportunities in other’s lives is highly rewarding for myself.”

Welch sees an advantage to his position as a student career coach primarily through the connections he is able to form with fellow students. He views the consultation as a way to build a relationship with clients through a shared background as students. It is through these relationships that Welch hopes to come together with his clients on mutual findings, ideally coming to the best guidance and feedback for each particular student. 

Brian Neely is a junior arts management major from Gary, Indiana, and a career coach intern. Neely’s decision to join the Career Studio was brought on by his decision to switch majors from education to arts management. Recognizing the less secure nature of the arts industry compared to the education field, Neely knew that getting direct experience helping students navigate their career paths would give him the opportunity to hone his own skills as he prepares to navigate his own career path in the arts industry. 

“I want to be as knowledgeable as possible about the careers available for students in all degree fields, including arts management.” Neely said, “I also want to help students and guide them in the right direction of what they want to do or be.

Neely stresses that his role as a student coach at the Career Studio does not end when he leaves the office. He wants his clients to know that as a fellow student on campus, he is able to give career guidance at any time.

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