The latest enrolment in the 'Students Help Students' School of Student Mentors is over. This year 1,200 students applied, which is a record. We decided to find out why HSE needs student mentors, what students and organizers think about this practice, and what an ideal mentor is like.
The 'Students Help Students' School is a project that has already become a tradition at HSE. Mentors, who are students themselves, help first-year students adapt at the university by involving them in extracurricular life, finding answers to their questions, and helping them meet new friends. Becoming a mentor requires passing a selection process and instruction. This year, there was a record number of applicants, with 1,200 students applying to the School. The Faculty of Communications, Media and Design has been the most active for several years, with 223 applications this year.
Candidates are selected in two stages. The first one, which takes place remotely with students filling out application forms, has completed. The second stage, where they will be interviewed, is beginning very soon.
The School’s main day will take place in early June when future mentors will have the opportunity to systematize their knowledge of the resources that first-year students need most, such as internal HSE regulations, student associations, media and the Student Council. Participants also communicate to each other and can look at possible conflict situations that may happen during group work.
The second part of the instruction involves analysis of the adaptation training session, which mentors will hold for first-year students at the beginning of September.
Beginning this year, the 'Students Help Students' School will also work with international students. Additionally, the practice of media volunteering in the faculties will developed, which will facilitate communication between participants.
What should an ideal mentor be like? We asked mentors, students, and a School coordinator to answer this question.
According to student mentors:
A good mentor is not afraid of responsibility: being a mentor is hard, but I believe it’s worth it. Of course, he or she should be a communicative person who doesn’t get lost in a difficult situation and who is not afraid to ask for help. And of course, he or she needs to unwavering desire to become a mentor that won’t fade away two months after selection
According to professors:
The mentor’s role is a great responsibility: the atmosphere in the class and further academic achievements depend on how well the group sticks together in the first several months. But HSE University is not just classes and homework, but an intensive extracurricular life. Who else can tell first-year students about it if not students themselves?
According to students:
An ideal mentor is a person who is able to create a team out of a dozen strangers, a team with mutual respect, where, unlike in a high school class, people are not divided into small groups. A curator becomes a friend for first-year students, someone whom they can come to with any question, academic or personal
According to the School coordinator:
I believe that a good mentor is someone who is open to any questions by first-year students and can help in finding answers. It’s also essential that a mentor is well aware of the numerous areas and opportunities HSE University offers its students.