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Monday, February 20, 2012

Being a Peer Advisor Part I

As we discussed in our last post, the CAS Peer Advising Program is accepting applications for the 2012-2013 Peer Advising Team! We wanted to tell you about our experience as peer advisors so that you can learn more about what we do and why we love doing it.

This is my second year as a peer advisor. I decided to apply because I enjoy meeting other students and helping them figure out how to make the most of their time here at AU. At first I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep track of all the requirements, resources, and programs at AU, but I gradually got the hang of it. The CAS advisors are extremely supportive of the peer advising program, and are always willing to help us with any questions we have. One of the great things about the program is that I get to learn something new every day in an environment where questions are encouraged.

A big part of the peer advising role is meeting with students, specifically CAS freshmen and sophomores. Most often students meet with us to talk about majors, the general education program, and academic resources at AU. Because each student's situation is unique, peer advisors need to be able to think on their feet in order to address that student's specific concerns. One thing we try to keep in mind when meeting with students is that we don't have to know all the answers, just where to find them. It's impossible for one person to know everything about AU, but we strive to aid students in finding the best resource for their question. It's extremely rewarding when you're able to help a student find exactly what he or she needs. Helping students has also helped me in my own academic career, since it has given me the chance to learn about resources that I otherwise may have never realized existed.

Because peer advisors work closely with CAS students, advisors, and professors, being a peer advisor has helped me to feel like a part of the AU community. I've only scratched the surface of what the peer advisor program is about, so please feel free to email me at CASPeerAdvisors@american.edu if you have more questions about what we do. I hope you consider applying for the 2012-2013 Peer Advising Team!

-Lindsay Inge

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