HSE University has long supported the institution of student mentors in which senior students help first-year students adapt to life at the university. Starting this year, science mentors have also joined them, taking responsibility for helping students to learn more about academic life at HSE University.
The idea of science mentorship is a response to a desire in the HSE academic community to highlight opportunities for research and popular science projects to junior students. By becoming science mentors, senior students have the opportunity to share their experience and help students approach science.
When I was a first-year student, I thought that science was meant for very smart people and didn’t apply to me. In summer, a professor invited me to work with him, and I realized that it was very interesting, and you should not be afraid to start. After that, I wanted to share my experience and help others take their first steps in science.
The ‘Science mentors’ project is a perfect way to introduce science to as many people as possible. HSE University is a perfect place to implement this project. Senior students are perfect drivers for this project.
I am here to promote science, break down stereotypes and just be one of the drivers of this wonderful project.
From September 10 to 22, 41 meetings were held both in person and online. These meetings, which had been in development since May, gave students the ability to learn about opportunities that are open to them for finding and developing an interest in research, as well as to ask questions.
In addition, during their meetings with first-year students, science mentors sought to address common myths about academic life.
The meeting was held to show young researchers that the scientific environment is actively developing at HSE University, to help students plan their research career from the very beginning and to feel confident in following their goals. All the students turned out to be keen and ambitious, so the meeting was very productive. Everyone was engaged in the discussion and asked a lot of questions.
Meetings of science mentors with first-year students are necessary to involve new students in HSE academic life. We felt a bit nervous as such meetings were held for the first time at HSE faculties. It turned out to be very cool; first-year students in the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology are very active, motivated, and after the meeting, both mentors and junior students felt inspired by their interaction and new opportunities.
My impressions after meeting with science mentor Kira were only positive. During the Zoom conference, she shared a lot of useful information and introduced us to research life. It was especially valuable to hear her share her own experience on how she joined research work and wrote emails to professors asking for cooperation. She gave us clear instructions on what you need to do if you also want to try. She also talked about working in laboratories, taking part in summer schools, getting scholarships for achievements in science and much more. I became interested and have already started following news from HSE research departments.
I want to thank Kira. After this meeting, my opinion about academic life has changed dramatically.