With a disco ball hanging from the middle of the ceiling and panels that magnify sunlight coming in through the windows, the Communication Center aims to be warm and welcoming for both undergraduate and graduate students.
No matter the major, the Communication Center has resources and a support system of people ready to support the academic and professional needs of Tech students. With the all-majors career fair rapidly approaching on Sept. 17 and 18, many students will be stopping by Clough 447 to hone their communications skills.
There are both peer tutors and full-time professional tutors on staff to assist students with any mode of communication, whether it’s written, oral, nonverbal, electronic or visual. All of their services are completely free and confidential.
“Tutoring shouldn’t be serious and intimidating,” said Leah Misemer, one of the Assistant Directors. “I think it’s important that we look at many different facets of communication.”
Peer tutors come from a range of second to fourth years and from all different majors, ranging from LMC to CEE. No matter which subject students might need help with, there will be at least one person with experience relevant to their needs. For instance, some students come in seeking help with their introductory English classes, while others need help writing a lab report for chemistry.
Similarly, professional tutors are also available for various tasks. In addition to normal tutoring, they also focus on development for the center and conduct practice-based research. Tutors can help individuals build portfolios, revise lab reports, craft speeches and rehearse their presentations.
However, the space is not just limited to tutoring. One unique aspect of the center is its rehearsal rooms that can be booked for groups to practice presentations in.
In addition, the staff regularly conducts workshops for resume writing and more. Just recently, Lead Peer Tutor Natalie Zukerman hosted a “Writing for Engineers” workshop. Workshops like this can also be requested by large groups such as fraternities and sororities.
The Communication Center is a place many students annually visit during this time of year to sharpen up a resume, draft a cover letter or simply practice a short “elevator pitch.”
“Your resume should be scannable and skimmable and the [cover letter] should complement it. Think of the two as an application,” said Misemer. “The resume is the ‘breadth’ and the cover letter provides the ‘depth’.”
“It’s really about considering the audience,” said Keely Mruk, a peer tutor. “Just tailor yourself to the application. Pulling language directly from the job posting is really smart. A lot of students think that’s cheating, but that’s just part of considering the audience.”
However, a resume and cover letter is not the only opportunity to communicate your interest to a potential employer. Misemer recommends practicing an elevator pitch to help network and says that the Communication Center is a great place to practice.
“Basically, an elevator pitch is enough information to hook the employer in two to three sentences,” Misemer said.
Not only can the staff help with creating an elevator pitch, they can also teach you how to use nonverbal communication like body language to help get your message across.
The Communication Center can be visited weekdays from Monday through Friday, with varying hours. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome at any time. More information can be found at communicationcenter.gatech.edu.