One of my many tasks as a career counselor is to serve as leader of our office social media team. Go team! This team is comprised of two counselors and two of our student employees. Last year, our main tasks were to start working on a mission and goals for our group and to also spearhead our office’s representation at our campus-wide Tech Fest. Tech Fest is an every other year opportunity for people to showcase the different kinds of technology being used in their respective offices. For Career Services, we showcased our use of social media. At that time, our office had a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. At that event we had great success in showing UMD staff and students our social media presence and it was rumored we had some of the best candy at our table. In Career Services, we don’t shy away from awesome food. In fact, almost every career office I’ve ever worked in has boasted awesome food selections (whether it was a snack someone brought in to share or the massive end of the semester celebration). Anyway, back to social media. At the end of the last school year, our team decided that we’d like to tackle adding a blog to our social media repertoire. Over the summer, myself and one of student employees took on the task of researching other career blogs and brainstorming how we wanted ours to be. My goal was to have our students be the authors. They’d have the choice of writing about something more personal or something more objective. I figured it was up to them how much they wanted to share. Each of the students that works in our office has such a unique experience while they are attending UMD. And so, Peer Into Your Career was born.
I volunteered to spearhead this adventure. It was my idea so I figured I should serve as it’s coordinator. 10 of the students that work in our office (+1 recent alum who also worked in our office) offer up daily doses of career related stories. So far, we’ve had posts about finding a career path, a major “choosing” the student, Googling yourself, changing a major, and what to do when an internship search plan fails. We also have a weekly feature about each of the Strengths from the assessment StrengthsQuest. It is one of our favorite assessments that is offered through our office. Personally, my goal for having the blog was to challenge each of our student employees that volunteered to be a part of this project. To have them really reflect on the career-related experiences they’ve had thus far. I want them to be able to share their stories to help other students understand that finding the right career path is hard and there will be both successes and failures along that path…and also that they are not alone with their struggles.
I also made a very pointed effort that each student who writes for the blog will have a direct way to show people (from future employers to their parents) what they have contributed. Each student has their own About page that features a professional photo of them (we had the photos specifically taken for this project…and our website, their LinkedIn profiles, and for wherever else we might use them), a short bio, and a direct link to each post they have written. They are putting so much into this project, so I want them to be able to reap benefits from it as well. We’re only about a monthish into the publishing phase of this project and already I’m amazed at what these students are writing. I’m excited to see where this project takes us! I’m so proud of them and the project.
I recommend that you check out the blog! Here’s the address: umdcareers.wordpress.com. Feel free to follow the blog. You can do so by signing up to have it emailed to you, follow through WordPress (if you already have a WordPress account), or grab the RSS feed in the top right corner and stick it in your blog reader. Thanks for reading!