Thoughts from Tutors

Professional Experiences to Prepare for the Professional World

By Matt Trela, Master Tutor

Last week, I was posited this question about professionalism by one of the senior academic counselors:

“How can you take your experiences from working at the TECHniques Center and apply them to a post graduation job?”

Stop and think about this for a minute. We tutors are also students, pursuing our dream major with the intention of graduating and attaining a job in our dream field (See Chaise Jung’s excellent post from last week HERE). We are presented with the priceless opportunity at the TECHniques Center to interact and experience a professional role as tutors before entering the “real” workforce, and the effects of the skills and character traits we acquire at the TC have far reaching impacts for future careers. Our training sessions at the beginning of each semester, along with monthly training meetings allow for growth, both in the tutoring realm as well as the personal sphere. Monthly counselor check-ins and first semester tutor observations by a Master Tutor allow for professional development by providing constructive and positive feedback, something not always available in a post-grad career.

My answer to the counselor’s question was immediate, and it was something that I hadn’t really thought about before. My experience at an internship this summer opened my eyes to the true multidisciplinary team nature of my major (petroleum engineering), and the importance of professional interactions with others who do not share the same educational and personal backgrounds as you do. The current Master Tutor team, with kinesiology, anthropology, nutrition, biochemistry, engineering, and animal science majors, is just a small example of this. At the TECHniques Center, working with students, other tutors, and counselors enables us to experience this multidisciplinary atmosphere in a non-threatening and positive way.

Based on personal experience, along with talking with other tutors, our role as a tutor providing support to students (both academically and personally) is a major talking point when interviewing with prospective employers or graduate schools. Every company I interviewed with this past fall asked more questions about my time at the TECHniques Center than they did about academics or achievements. The lessons you learn while working at the TC, in all facets (professional, academic, and personal), allow for a certain “well-roundedness” that can only help when pursuing a career outside of the Center.

I encourage everyone to think about this question, and use your personal answer to aid in staying purposeful in all actions you do as both a student and a tutor. If we continue to grow and develop within our roles as tutors and students, it will allow us to experience greater rewards after graduation.

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership”

-Harvey S. Firestone

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