Alyssa Best's dream job is working as a merchandiser for J. Crew. When she's not working toward her degree, she enjoys watching Netflix and reading.
Alyssa gives back as a peer mentor for Common Threads Learning Community
Inspired by her freshman year experience in the Common Threads Learning Community, Alyssa became a peer mentor to share her knowledge of the apparel, merchandising, and design major.
“The peer mentors all seemed to be there for the purpose of helping us, which is what pushed me to interview for the position,” Alyssa said about the peer mentors she had. “I wanted to help younger students.”
Alyssa works with other mentors to plan fun activities for students in the learning community. From deconstructing T-shirts to learning how to build a website, she wants students to be successful in their major while getting to know one another.
“We try to make events as relevant as possible to what they’re learning in their classes,” she said. “We’ll get the syllabi for what classes they’re in, and we’ll do study nights based on what test they have coming up, or help nights based on a project they’ve been assigned.”
Alyssa is happy to help students navigate their courses. Though the apparel, merchandising, and design major can sometimes get overwhelming, she says part of being a peer mentor is making sure students stay confident.
“We’re there to support them,” she said. “We want to show them that they’ve chosen the right program, they’ve chosen the right place, and now they just need to do the work to accomplish their goals.”
Through her own challenges as a freshman in apparel, merchandising, and design, Alyssa relates to students just starting out in the major. She hopes that by learning from her mistakes, her mentees can have a stronger start to their college experience than she did.
“I didn’t have a perfect freshman year,” she said. “I think it’s helpful for those in the learning community to learn from the mistakes we’ve made and grow from them.”