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How the Peer Helper Program Helped Me Prepare for My Career

Rachel Vandersluis is a fourth-year commerce student,with a concentration in marketing.

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How the Peer Helper Program Helped Me Prepare for My Career

Rachel Vandersluis is a fourth-year commerce student,with a concentration in marketing.

I have had the opportunity to serve as a Peer Helper in the 2016-2017 year for CU Don’t Know, Carleton’s alcohol awareness program. As Social Media Coordinator, I have been able to apply many of the skills needed in today’s digitally-oriented marketing field, engaged with Carleton’s incredible student-oriented community, and have experienced significant personal development.

I got to experience all aspects of marketing through my position with CU Don’t Know- from creating original visual content via Canva, Photoshop, and Piktochart; to planning and measuring campaigns using Hootsuite, Twitter Analytics, and Facebook Insights; to holding a focus group with Carleton students. These are all experiences that will undoubtedly enhance my resume and I’m sure will be to put to use in my future workplace.

Aside from resume-builders, being a part of the Peer Helper program has introduced me to the phenomenal students and staff leaders in the Carleton community who are incredibly dedicated to enriching students’ lives. I have represented CU Don’t Know and collaborated with Carleton Athletics, Red Zone, CU Thrive, Carleton Residence, and the Student Experience Office. For instance, we were able to distribute the important message of mental and overall wellness with CU Thrive, who hosted various workshops and events to get students active and engaging in self-care in October. I also did some outreach with fantastic leaders at Carleton Residence during Halloween, Valentine’s Day and St.Patrick’s Day to promote and discuss safe drinking with first-year students. These experiences within the Carleton community have allowed me to expand my professional and personal network.

Finally, my experience as a Peer Helper has been an opportunity for personal growth. I was fortunate to meet with my supervisor on a weekly basis and be given the freedom to contribute my input and feedback for campaigns. My work was very much self-directed, which allowed me to develop my time-management skills and work my Peer Helping duties around my schedule. Through this role I have grown in confidence and self-discipline, which will definitely benefit me in the workplace.

My role as a Peer Helper for CU Don’t Know has been such a beneficial experience and I can’t wait to apply what I have learned as Social Media Coordinator in the workplace.

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