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Peer Career Coaches

The Peer Career Coach program is comprised of a group of student leaders dedicated to serving their peers through the career development process, working alongside full-time staff in the Career Services office. Peer Career Coaches (PCCs) are responsible for providing peers with resume, cover letter, LinkedIn, Handshake, and other professional advice through walk-in advising. They will conduct individual and small group appointments at various locations and hours around campus. Find us on Facebook here!

Students meeting with Peer Career Coaches will experience the same level of professionalism as Career Development Coaches, but with the added benefit of gaining a student perspective on career and job search strategies.

Meet Your Peer Career Coaches

NOUR ISSA

My name is Nour Issa, and I am a fourth year biology and pre-dental student. I am the vice president of MEDLIFE, as well as the co-president of the Women in Science Project at Illinois Tech. I am also a peer career coach at Career Services. For me, helping students get where they want to be in life is my ultimate goal as a PCC. I look forward to working with you and helping you get to where you want to be.

SOFIA GARCIA FRACARO

I am currently a second year graduate student pursuing a Master of Chemical Engineering degree. I am from Argentina and came to Illinois Tech with a Fulbright Scholarship.

I also did an specialization in Technological Applications of Nuclear Power after my Chemical Engineering bachelor’s degree. I am also currently learning German.

My work experience includes working as a simulation engineer in Argentina, where I developed a training simulator for a experimental nuclear reactor with a group of eight. I have worked for eight months as a student engagement team member in the Career Services office.    

At IIT, I am the vice president of the Graduate Student Association of Chemical Engineers and  a teaching assistant of the Vertical Farming Robotics IPRO. I chose to be a Peer Career Coach to be able to help students develop their job search skills, improve the impact their application will have to recruiters, and to extend my positivity and good energy.

My advice to everyone is to say yes as much as you can, try to experience different things, and step out of your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to fail. I know it is not easy, but if you aim for the stars and you land in the moon, it is still pretty cool!

TINA LEKSHMI KANTH

I am a data science graduate student at Illinois Tech. Data moves me! I specialize in Data Mining and Computer Vision. I am also a member of the Student Engagement Team. In my role, I interact with students by providing them information and answering queries. I am delighted to be part of a great team that takes the right initiatives to give students a great experience at Career Services. I also love cooking, dancing, and music.

ESTEBAN LOPEZ

I am pursuing a co-terminal degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in philosophy. I expect to graduate in May 2020 with a master and bachelors in mechanical engineering, and hope to take on the work force as an engineer! As well as being a Peer Career Coach, I am the event coordinator with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) IIT chapter. I also participate in the rock climbing club, enjoy fishing, cycling, hiking, and visiting various cafes in Chicago. Some of my previous work and internship experiences include interning with the Museum of Science and Industry for multiple years as a regular intern, as well as a lead intern where I coached public speaking skills. I was also a manufacturing intern at the Chicago Assembly Plant for Ford Motor Company and a manufacturing intern at Charleston Turbo Plant for Cummins Incorporated. I became a Peer Career Coach because the process of finding an internship or job can seem daunting, but my experience has taught me that it isn’t scary at all and can actually be quite fun! There are multiple paths to get to the same job and I want to help other students find their personal path to the career of their dreams.

CURISSA SUTHERLAND-SMITH

I am currently a masters student pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health and Rehabilitation. This is my first year here at Illinois Institute of Technology and I am excited to begin this new journey in my life. I decided to become a Peer Career Coach because I want to help my fellow peers achieve their professional goals. I also understand the importance of putting your best foot forward and I am here to make sure that your resume and cover letter do exactly that.

AURY BWASHI

I am originally from the geographically central part of the African nation Burundi, but culturally I am eastern Burundian. I have been calling Chicago my home since early 2015, when I began my collegiate journey at Illinois Institute of Technology.

I have been pursuing a degree in Information Technology and Management (ITM), after finding a passion for Web Application Development and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). I am also specializing in Web Design and Application Development.

Since attending IIT, I have interned at Dell Technologies twice; once as a full-stack web developer and the other time as a user researcher. When not in school, I love spending time staying active at a bouldering gym or at a yoga studio.

SIDDHESH NANAWARE

I am an industrial engineer by profession and an adventurous person by heart. I am focused on my career in learning and implementing lean techniques for process, productivity, and efficiency improvement. Working as the lead manufacturing intern at East Coast Fresh Md, I assisted the production team in various cost-effective process improvement projects. Smart improvement, not just improvement is what I believe matters at every milestone in a vision engraved thinker’s life. I am currently working as a student engagement team member at IIT’s Career Services and I plan to grab a lean engineering job after my graduation in May ‘19.

SAUMYA GUPTA

I’m pursuing a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Computer and Microelectronics. An Indian by birth and a wanderer by choice, I’ve shattered more things than I can count to understand the inner mechanisms; rebuilding wasn’t always my area of expertise. The desire to build things got me started on the journey of engineering, which eventually brought me to Illinois Tech. Career Services has taught me that building myself is as important as my robots. I joined the team in August 2018, to help connect students to Career Coaches.

RODRIGO LOPEZ

I will be graduating in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I was born in Mexico City, but I have been in Chicago for most of my life. I am proud to say that I am from Chicago and Mexico. I have maintained a strong involvement in the Illinois Tech Community as I am part of both LIFE and HACE. We help promote Latin and Hispanic culture on campus through music, dance, food, and history. I am also part of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). As part of SHPE, we strive for change by empowering Hispanics through STEM awareness. I became a Peer Career Coach because I like helping people develop their professional skills and realize their potential.

FATIMA AZFAR

I am currently enrolled in Computer Science co-terminal program here at Illinois Tech. I am the Marketing Chair for ACM-W (Association for Computing Machinery Women) an organization catered specifically towards professional development and creating a community for women in computer science, as well as other tech majors like ITM and engineering. I am also a part of the publicity team at MSA (Muslim Students Association). I am also a commuter student (with a really insane commute)! I love to read and draw, some of my work is on a wall in the tower's basement and on the 7th floor IPRO space. At home in the suburbs, I work with a non-profit charity called ICNA Relief, where I use my art skills to design infographics and flyers for their various drives and campaigns. I joined the Peer Career Coach team in August 2017, and I look forward to helping both fellow students and myself learn how to professionally represent themselves socially and in writing. My advice to my peers is to always look up, never down. Slips and stumbles are a part of life; accept them, but don't let them define you.

XOCHITL CASTEL

(So-Chee) is the easiest way to pronounce my name. I’m pursuing my Bachelor’s of Architecture degree here at IIT. Born and raised in Chicago, I have an enthusiastic interest in the city’s architectural and cultural history and its impact on design across the world. I have been involved in many architectural organizations and programs since high school, such as the Chicago Architecture Foundation, that has awarded me with countless opportunities which have augmented my professional communication skills. Currently, I am involved with the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) on campus which aims to improve the lives of minority architecture students in many aspects and LIFE/HACE which focuses on providing opportunities to Hispanic students and allies. I love working as a Peer Career Coach because I get to help students prepare for their professional experiences, all while being inspired by their own enthusiasm. One piece of advice I have for students is to remember that life goes on (even if you miss one homework assignment!), learn from your mistakes and keep looking forward!

Contact

Hermann Hall, 113
Email: PCC@iit.edu
See coaching availability on our Calendar.