The Digital Corps strives to empower each student employee in everything they do. This can be as simple as writing a “YAY” card to congratulate someone on a job well done or encouraging each student to apply for a promotion at the Corps.
Recently, the Corps has found a new way to empower students and provide leadership opportunities all through conversations, Corps Conversations. These conversations are student-led and specifically for just students. These Corps Conversations also help to instill the Corps’ values, which focus around being student-centered.
What is it?
Corps Conversations started in 2019 as an evolution from past projects known as Ted Talks. During the summer of 2021, the team decided to “rebrand” the project, which meant changing the name to Corps Conversations. And with the new name, came a new meaning to the project:
What Topics can Students Talk About?
Topics range between several things, but typically stick to two main categories: industry preparedness and self-improvement. Industry Preparedness can include topics such as job interviewing or financial planning. Self-improvement, however, is about finding a work-life balance and checking in with your mental health
Lexi Esterle, a Video Team Master, led a Conversation about imposter syndrome last fall. Imposter syndrome is a struggle when you believe that you are not as capable as others believe you to be. You feel like you are a fake, a fraud. It may sound a little silly, but the reality is that many young people experience this.
“When I talked to Addison about doing it, the first thing I said was like, ‘Oh, I think there should be a Corps conversation about imposter syndrome.’ And she was like, ‘OK, do you want to do it?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, no, I couldn’t do that.’”
Topics relating to mental health can be hard to talk about, but the Corps provides a safe space to do so. “This project gives us the opportunity to engage in those discussions in the workplace… I think that is really valuable because you don’t have that opportunity in every workplace,” said Addison Paul, Graduate Assistant.
Paying it Forward
Corps Conversations are also a way for students to take what they know and teach it to others. It’s a chance to learn from our peers in a fun and casual way. There are a lot of people in the office, so it can be difficult to know everything about everyone. Corps Conversations create that space for students to get to know each other and to see what they have learned while at the Corps, college, or internship experiences.
Project Management Master Lauren Monasa explains that “the big takeaway, is just being that everyone here so knowledgeable about so many things that I would not expect them to be knowledgeable about.” Corps Conversations show that you can learn so much from your peers all by having a conversation!