The IE School of Human Sciences and Technology (HST) Mentor Program is designed to create strong bonds between HST current students and alumni. This connection guides students through their experience at IE University, and provides mentors with leadership and organization skills.
Masa Haikal, a mentor for students in the Bachelor of Behavior and Social Sciences, tells about her experience.
I’m happy to be one of the four students chosen to be mentors in the HST Mentor Program. As you all know, the Bachelor of Behavior and Social Sciences is a new degree program at IE University, and our class was the first intake in 2018. We know how important it is to guide the new students during this experience, so the purpose of the program is to improve the first-year students’ experiences, build a bridge between the Madrid and Segovia locations, and foster a strong community among the students in the program.
We took part in training sessions led by Laura McDermott, the founding lead of the HST Mentor Program. In these sessions, we designed, prepared, and delivered value-added activities for our groups. The most interesting part is how the sessions were created, using human-centered design and design thinking techniques.
Mentorship in times of corona
During our training sessions, we planned activities for the students. However, the pandemic escalated really quickly, forcing most students to go back home, so we needed to adapt. Our interactions with the mentees became fully virtual as we had to cancel the activities that we had planned. Instead, we came up with interactive ways to engage with students online. Honestly, this was a challenging experience—we had to get around 50 students together on one call while taking all of the time differences into account.
After many attempts, we managed to organize some informative events where we talked to the mentees, explored their concerns, and provided them with tips on how to make the most out of this degree. To expand the range of experiences that we could offer as mentors, we invited more behavioral science students from our class to share their experiences and career interests. This made it easier for the mentees because they heard multiple students talk about their very different experiences within the field of behavioral science. One of the most frequently asked questions was about the transition of moving from Segovia to Madrid, and even with that question, we had a huge range of perspectives and this gave the students a general overview of the transition.
Being a mentor has not only helped me build my leadership skills, but I’ve also been able to build meaningful relationships with alumni from the behavioral and social sciences degree, and I am grateful for this opportunity.
For more information about the HST Mentor Program, visit the website.