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Why you should apply to become a Peer Helper

Maddie is a fourth-year Bachelor of Arts student in Communications and Media Studies.

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Why you should apply to become a Peer Helper

Maddie is a fourth-year Bachelor of Arts student in Communications and Media Studies.

In university it can be really hard to feel like you are truly gaining experience or learning a real-life skill when you are consumed with readings, papers and sitting in lecture halls, at least that how I’ve felt sometimes. I wanted something that would give me hands-on experience, something that would allow me to take what I’m learning and use my interests, skills and passions to do something more. For a while, I felt like something was missing to go along with what I was learning in university until I started working as a member of the Peer Helper Program.

I heard about the Peer Helper Program when I had applied to be a Summer Orientation Leader with the SEO. Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful in that process but was referred to the Peer Helper Program and encouraged to apply for the upcoming school year. I didn’t know anything about it but after reading about the different departments and types of positions that it offered I knew I was keen and before I knew it I was writing my cover letter, editing my resume and applying for the position.

I was placed in a social media role with the Office of the Vice President, Students and Enrollment. The Peer Helper Program has been something that keeps me creative, something I like to be but my creative tank sometimes runs low due to lectures, readings and papers. As a Peer Helper, I’ve used some of my time to write for the Learning Log, capture footage at the butterfly show to name a few.

I remember I was on my way to campus one day and was walking through The Glebe while the Red Blacks parade was going on after they had won the Grey Cup. I took out my phone, shot some footage and ran into Starbucks to quickly edit a little video and then post on Carleton’s Instagram page. Moments like this have been a lot of fun for me because I’m able to bring a live event to a platform and share it with a wider audience.

Attending events on campus became more meaningful to me in my role as a Peer Helper and I’ve been able to create content along with memories. I attended a mental health panel at THRIVE week this past October and reached out to one of the speakers with some questions and we ended up creating an interview piece together.

As well, the program has given me confidence and purpose while being in school, granting me the freedom and trust from my supervisor to come up with ideas and create content that reflects Carleton’s student life. I think it’s the most valuable thing I’ve been able to add to my own portfolio. The collection of work I’ve made from the program is something that has already helped when applying for internships and jobs.

I think it’s important to remember that the experience you gain as a Peer Helper is really important and you are able to learn so much if you want to. Furthermore, you really get out what you put in, and it’s worth it to put in a lot of effort. I am so thankful for the program and the experience it has already given me so far. It has allowed me to practice skills I already have, develop new ones but most importantly do what I am passionate about while being in school. I know my confidence has grown already and I can’t wait for my portfolio to grow as the semester goes on.

No matter what program you’re in at Carleton, I’m sure there is a peer helper position that you will enjoy.

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