Through the Student Lens – Career peer advisors help bolster experiential learning and make professional opportunities more accessible to Wheaton students

Akib Marzuk Jamal ’22
Major: financial mathematics (independent major)
Hometown: Chittagong, Bangladesh

What is a student career peer advisor and how do they assist students on their career journeys? Meet one experienced and knowledgeable career peer advisor who is ready to guide your student down their career path and navigate the many opportunities Wheaton has to offer as you take a look “Through the Student Lens.”

Could you describe what you do as a career peer advisor and the favorite part of
your work?

As a peer advisor, I’m tasked with helping students explore their career interests and provide
them with resources to find opportunities including jobs, internships and academic programs.
My favorite part of the work is definitely working through and understanding the passions my
peers have and the stories behind why they feel a level of interest towards certain topics or
career paths.

How can students get the most out of the Gertrude Adams Career Design Studio, reach out to you, and prepare for a visit?

I think the career exploration process is one I find to be a most interesting and self-learning journey. But it can also be overwhelming if it is dealt with in a closed-off mindset. Hence, my two cents would be to be as open and excited about the exploration as possible while taking it as the process through which you can learn about yourself. A little bit of self-reflection about what you want to do goes a long way!

What are the most common questions that students have when they come into the Gertrude Adams Career Design Studio, and what is the top piece of advice you give them?

The common questions I get are how to find internships given their current major. While I point them to subject-specific resources to find information on internships, I also always suggest looking at what other people and specifically alumni have done with the same major. It leads to a direct conversation with people who have already accomplished their journey.

How has the Career Services staff prepared you for the professional world and helped you on your Wheaton journey?

We have weekly workshops where we discuss different aspects of the pre- and post-job search journey including interview tips, resume writing and negotiating salaries. I find these skills have prepared me to deal with both the job search and salary negotiating processes which are both hard to learn from a typical curriculum.

Many internships and experiential learning opportunities are funded by Wheaton’s generous donors. Given your own internship experience and your experience as a career peer advisor who has interacted with many student internship funding recipients, what would you say to those donors and to those considering a gift to internship?

Internships are single-handedly the most important aspect of the career exploration journey and the biggest barrier oftentimes tends to be the lack of pay specifically in nonprofit and academic research programs. Hence, these funding opportunities give students the ability and the incentive to explore these programs and get experiential learning that is unmatched and invaluable.

Akib is just one of the many engaging students here at Wheaton. As parents and guardians, you are an integral part of our community. “Through the Student Lens” brings the campus to you, as seen through the eyes of our students, the many roles they play and the experiences they gain during their time here at Wheaton.