My Experience as an Academic Peer Helper

As I approached the end of my first year at the Ted Rogers School of Management, I was actively looking for a summer job, particularly something where I would have the opportunity to develop new skills. I had previously worked as a Student Ambassador/Campus Tour Guide at Ryerson and since I really enjoyed that experience, I began looking at what on-campus positions were available for that summer. I stumbled upon the Academic Peer Helper (APH) role at the Academic Success Centre (ASC) and was immediately intrigued by the opportunity to tutor students in Introductory Financial Accounting (ACC100) and Introductory Management Accounting (ACC406) – two courses I had just completed myself. 

Now, two and half years and a total of six semesters later, I can say that working at the ASC has been one of the highlights of my time in university. If I had to sum up my experience into three main highlights, they would be working with the ASC team, developing various skills and being able to make an impact on the students I’ve supported.

The ASC Team

The ASC team has been a delight to work with over the past two years. Everyone is passionate about and working toward the same goal of supporting students through their academic journeys. All of my co-workers and the professional staff at the ASC have been really friendly, supportive and collaborative and this team environment has made my time as an APH that much better. From my first day as an APH, I knew that I could turn to my co-workers for support and that I could ask them any questions I had. I now enjoy being able to share my experiences and provide assistance to new team members.

Skills

Through this role, I have had the opportunity to develop and improve upon many skills that have been beneficial in my academics and co-op terms so far and I know that they will continue to be useful post-graduation. Some of these skills include communication, facilitation and problem solving, among others. Most notably, I have had the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through this role, particularly in my two semesters as a Lead Academic Peer Helper. To gain such valuable leadership experience while still in university has been a highlight for me. In addition, we offer group tutoring sessions, which has allowed me to learn more about the importance of prioritization and multitasking in order to balance the needs of different students at the same time.

I have also been able to solidify my knowledge in accounting and learn more about other support services available on campus. In addition, in our team training sessions and weekly meetings, we have had the opportunity to learn more about various professional/personal development and tutoring-related topics, such as self-care, accessibility, facilitation methods, providing feedback and equity, diversity and inclusion. These lessons have proven to be useful not only in my role at the ASC, but also in my daily life.

Making an Impact

Through my role as an APH, I have been able to get more involved on campus and make an impact in the Ted Rogers School community by supporting students in achieving their academic goals. It has been really rewarding to help students learn course content and improve their grades, especially now, with all of the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. I was proud of the fact that our team was able to transition to virtual tutoring to ensure that students still received the same quality of support during these unprecedented times.

I have also been able to get involved with various campus events, such as the Ryerson Open House and the Ted Rogers School Pre-Orientation Program. I really enjoyed speaking with prospective students at the Open House and telling them more about the various services we offer at the ASC. Starting university can be intimidating, but I believe that resources such as the ASC can make this transition easier, so I liked that we were able to provide some comfort to future students.

Conclusion

Overall, I have had an amazing experience working at the Academic Success Centre over the past two years. This role has contributed to my professional and personal growth and it has allowed me to work with so many talented people.

I would encourage everyone to consider applying for one of the student roles we have on our team in future semesters. It is a great way to get more involved on campus, gain work experience, develop new skills and make a difference in the lives of other students.


If you are interested in joining the ASC team as an Academic Peer Helper (APH) or Peer Coach (PC), more information can be found on our website. Hiring typically takes place in March or July for the Fall semester and in November for the Winter semester.

If you have any questions or want to know more about working as an APH, feel free to contact tutoring.trsm@ryerson.ca by email. If you want to know more about being a PAC, you can read this blog post written by one of our current team members or you can reach out to trsm.academicsuccess@ryerson.ca by email. We look forward to hearing from you!