Tutors are the lifeblood of the Knack platform. They always have been.
From the start, we’ve considered Knack Tutors to be members of “The Knack Pack”. Over the years, we’ve watched many of them graduate and go onto successful careers—it’s one of the most fulfilling parts of what we do.
Alejandro Pereira is one such tutor. After joining Knack in 2020 at the height of quarantine, he’s become one of our top performers, completing more than 270 hours of tutoring. As he prepares to graduate in a couple of weeks, we asked him to reflect on his time with Knack and any advice he has for students.
This is what he had to say.
Tell us about yourself!
I was born in Venezuela, but I moved to Florida when I was two. I’m currently a student at the University of Florida, where I’m majoring in Biology and Psychology. I like being able to use biology to understand the biological world we’re surrounded by, and psychology was actually a personal adventure to help me work on my interpersonal skills. After I graduate, I’ll be pursuing a PhD at the University of Georgia.
How did you first hear about Knack?
I actually first heard about Knack in two ways! A TA of mine actually first mentioned it in a GroupMe message for our class. I appreciated how their answers were always thoughtful and concise, and they said if we wanted similar responses to check out Knack. So naturally I went and checked it out on my own! Not long after, I got an email from UF announcing the Knack partnership and letting me know free tutoring was available. Coincidentally, I happened to be looking for a job, so I applied to become a Knack Tutor. The rest is history!
What was your experience like working with Knack?
Great, period. The only thing bad about it was how addicting it was to help people. As a Knack Tutor, I was able to offer the students I worked with a lot more than a tutor who went to a different school. I had a lot of the same teachers as my students, which made it easier to not only understand what they needed and where they were coming from, but it also made it more personal. It was easier to break the ice. People feel more comfortable and can relate to who they are as a student and as a person.
The peer-to-peer technique works. The positive reinforcement I got from the student reviews and feedback was great, and that constructive criticism really helped me.
I also always loved how the people working within the company were close to my own age. We share similar values, and I felt welcome as a Knack Tutor even though I didn’t have any tutoring experience prior to it. The requirements for Knack were simple, but realistic, and it gave me an opportunity to do more.
Do you think Knack has impacted or helped you in your post-collegiate career/life? If so, how?
Yes! Needless to say, it’s great job experience and being able to add it to my resume was highly beneficial. Saying that you’re a Knack Tutor shows you’re self-sufficient, organized, and have a deep understanding of the material, which really helped me as I was interviewing for graduate school – every interview I had asked about it!
Aside from all that, Knack also helped me improve my confidence and communication skills. Talking to people was great, especially in different avenues, like in-person or remotely. It helped me develop my interpersonal skills and working with a range of people from different backgrounds was valuable. I got to contribute to an actual community, and I even made new friends.
What do you think is Knack's defining feature, or what sets it apart most?
The institution angle. Since it was offered directly from my school, that’s obviously less money out of students’ pockets. I also think that because it’s offered directly through the university, Knack is more curated to students’ needs. Students have the chance to find the right tutor, and tutors have the authority to write their bios, and set their own schedules.
I didn’t feel like I was scratching to get to somewhere I wasn’t welcome.
Knack offered an environment where I could thrive in.
Any advice to current or incoming students - on Knack or not?
If anyone is considering becoming a tutor - whether you’re experienced or an amateur - Knack is the perfect start. It’s engaging, welcoming, and has a community aspect.
Don’t be afraid. Go out and do it.