Tutoring in the COMM Center: A rewarding way to help others

Many San Jose State students, like myself prior, may never consider tutoring during their undergraduate career. Now, that may be for reasons such as a lack of confidence in one’s academic abilities, the self-imposed belief that you might not be chalked up to tutor, or simply due to time constraints. I hope that what I’m about to share will help change your perspective!

Never having personally tutored anyone in my life, I was wary of bringing myself to apply as a Writing Consultant in the Communication Center. My grades were good, but that alone wouldn’t qualify me to be an effective tutor. What ultimately encouraged me to apply, interestingly enough, was the simple idea of being able to connect with and help others with their writing and speech assignments. This would not be an opportunity to show off my public speaking skills or writing eloquence, but rather the chance to make a difference in my school’s community and offer myself as a resource. Whether or not we as tutors ourselves have sought out tutoring services at one point or another, we should be at least be able to understand that public speaking and essay-writing can be difficult and nerve-wracking!

If you’re on the fence about applying to be a COMM Center tutor next semester, I’ll leave you with my (naturally) unbiased take on the experiences I’ve had so far. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to connect with a number of students and help develop their writing, be part of a positive environment and culture here in the COMM Center, and ultimately learned how to better my own writing and speech-development as a result. I could not be more appreciative of both my decision to apply and my acceptance as a tutor, and I hope you would consider it as well.

“Come in with an open mind and be outgoing!” Advises tutor Megan Jose, “You’ll be surrounded by friendly people in a place you can hopefully consider another home.”

Tutoring isn’t for everyone, but it is a challenge that I think has the ability to enrich both your interpersonal skill set and undergraduate experience overall. For me it was a simple decision in the end: I believe helping others is a great way to help yourself.

As Vincenzo Dorio concludes, “Tutoring has been one of the most fulfilling experiences on campus for me. It’s a fun, engaging, and rewarding opportunity to give back to the campus and department that I’ve been a part of these past few years.” 

— Philip Bair, Writing Consultant Fall 2017


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