In Brief

Navigating Toward Success

Peer tutoring helps business students achieve academic success

Two women talking.

As a peer-to-peer tutor for the OU business school, Kai Wilson helps fellow students master key elements of the business curriculum.

icon of a calendarApril 7, 2020

icon of a pencilBy Liz Lent

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Oakland University business students can take advantage of a full roster of peers ready to lend a hand through the school’s peer-to-peer tutoring program. Academically high-achieving students work in tandem with their classmates to facilitate learning in a way that reduces stress, builds confidence and yields positive results.

Accounting senior Kai Wilson learned about peer-to-peer tutoring in her business school orientation and jotted it down as a possible resource for her own academic needs. Over time, the Dean’s List student and member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society turned her attention toward helping classmates and remembered the tutoring program.

“My first thought was that this would be a great way to review material,” Wilson says. Enrolled in upper-level accounting courses, she viewed tutoring as a way to stay fresh on the information she learned while assisting fellow students address it for the first time.

Peer-to-peer tutoring is available for a range of required business courses including accounting, economics, finance, mathematics and quantitative methods. To be successful in business, students must be able to master these elements. Given the increasing importance placed on mathematics in the business world, demonstrating a strong grasp of calculus and other mathematical concepts can make a major difference in landing that dream job.

For Wilson, whose goal is to become a certified public accountant, tutoring is a rewarding experience. “I got to talk to a lot of students who I had never spoken to before, and I felt like I was useful to them. I was able to tell them what to expect in different classes and that relaxed their nerves.”

Part of that relief comes from students feeling comfortable asking their peers questions without embarrassment. “Going to a professor who knows everything on a subject can be intimidating, but with tutoring, you’re just talking to another student,” Wilson says.

Beyond simply assisting students through a major test or difficult homework, Wilson also aided her peers in developing skills they could apply down the road. “I was able, for example, to advise them on how to use their textbooks better,” she says. For young students who are still navigating the rigors of college, learning how to use the tools at their disposal can make a difference in their success.

As she prepares for graduation, Wilson believes her peer-to-peer tutoring experience will be beneficial in her job hunt. It has already proven useful during her internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers. The confidence she gained sharing her skills, talking with others and managing her time, confirms that helping others is a great way to help one’s self.

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