Friday, March 14, 2014

Being a Peer Advisor

Do you remember registering for classes during your New Students Orientation at UMass Amherst? 

It was probably a very exciting experience as you logged on to SPIRE to plan your schedule, and enroll in your first courses at our university. However, whether you were feeling thrilled or slightly anxious, there was probably a professional advisor, as well as a student-worker there to help you through this process. At Undergraduate Advising, these student-workers are your friendly, neighborhood Peer Advisors who are ready for anything from assisting you with the course selection process, to answering questions about academic requirements, to promoting major exploration, and more!

As peer advisors of Undergraduate Advising, we serve as a resource to incoming Undeclared and Humanities and Fine Arts students during their Summer NSO sessions to help them investigate their intellectual passions, test their academic skills, and keep their options open.

Working with the daily hustle and bustle, I learned how to quickly establish a rapport with my fellow students in order to answer any academic questions they had, and to provide them with assistance. It was important to create a positive and welcoming environment that supported students in recognizing potential major interests and pursuing their academic goals. Additionally, peer advisors organized and processed confidential student files, as well as mediated any conflicts that arose during advising sessions. Through my first summer as a peer advisor for Undergraduate Advising, I enjoyed working with a diverse group of students, collaborating with graduate assistants, professional advisors, and administrators within the office, and offering students guidance and perspective as they navigate the challenges of pursuing their academic interests.

If working as a peer advisor seems interesting to you, please visit the Undergraduate Advising website at: for information on how to apply for a summer position! The deadline to submit applications is March 24th so I encourage you to take the initiative and apply for an awesome job that offers you the experience to become a leader, and the opportunity to empower your peers to follow their own academic paths.

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