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Why you should book a career coaching session with a graduate peer

A graphic with the text "Grad Career Peer Coaches" and the UMSI logo, alongside headshots of Abhishek Shah, Anantika Sethi, Joanne Huang and Munjot Singh. Icons appear with the text "Resume review, mock interviews and more!"

Thursday, 02/22/2024

The job and internship search can feel like being a contestant on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The clock is ticking as the semester marches forward, and each step of the process — from searching job sites to resume updating to cover letter drafting to interview prepping to thank you emails — presents new questions about how to proceed. 

When the stress starts to build, you can phone a friend: a fellow graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Information. 

Through the Grad Career Peer Coach program, UMSI offers the opportunity for current Master of Science in Information and Master of Health Informatics students to schedule one-on-one career coaching sessions with a peer who has successfully gone through the internship search process. 

“Students find value in talking with someone who has related experience in the field and firsthand experience applying what they've learned through UMSI coursework to 'real-world' jobs,” says Krystle Forbes, assistant director of graduate career education at UMSI. 

While career education experts in the Career Development Office are available year-round to advise students, peer coaching gives students the additional opportunity to connect with someone who has recently been in their shoes. “Peer coaches can talk a little more informally about work in the field and reflect their own best practices for getting internships and jobs,” Forbes says.

The most common services include resume review and mock interviews. Career peer coaches can also help applicants reflect on their experience and strengths to determine next steps in their professional development. 

Appointments are typically 30 minutes long — with mock interviews lasting 45 minutes — and take place virtually. Students are encouraged to bring questions to coaching sessions, but Forbes says not to worry if you don’t know the right questions to ask. “The peer coaches are responsive if a student is looking for more of a conversation,” she notes, or even a “working meeting” to accomplish tasks related to their job or internship search.

Repeat sessions are welcome. “Students who do have repeat sessions find a lot of value in having a continued conversation and following up for accountability on action items and discussion points,” she says. 

Get to know the Grad Career Peer Coaches below, then sign up for a session via CareerLink.

A photo of Abhishek Shah
Abhishek Shah (MHI ’24)

“With a background in pharmaceutical consulting and research, I've led projects with healthcare firms as an intern and honed my database management and analysis expertise during my tenure at Michigan Medicine. As your peer coach, I offer a unique blend of healthcare insights and data-driven support to guide and coach you.”

A photo of Anantika Sethi
Anantika Sethi (MSI ’24)

“I worked previously as a lead no-code/low code & innovation design specialist at Mondelez International and summer 2023 UX design intern at Amazon. The jobs and internship hunt will be challenging, and I’ll be happy to support and help you navigate through these hurdles to get closer to your goals.”

A photo of Joanne Huang
Joanne Huang (MSI ’24)

“Previously a product design intern in VR at Meta Reality Lab, I'm passionate about elevating spatial experiences with XR interactions. Additionally, I specialize in helping people identify their strengths and develop tailored job search plans.”

A photo of Munjot Singh
Munjot Singh (MSI ’24)

“Drawing from my professional journey as a data analyst at Razorfish, I understand the challenges that come with job searching and finding the perfect fit for one's career. It's all about growth and support, and I'm here to lend a helping hand to those seeking guidance and opportunities to excel in their careers.”



— Abigail McFee, marketing and communications writer


Current MSI and MHI students can sign up for a career peer coaching session via Career Link.

Career coaching and advising at UMSI