Student societies and organizations are playing an increasing importance in an academic environment, whether that would be research or applied. They are often full of motivated people that want to enrich their experience or some, perhaps, just need some extracurricular activities on their resume. However, it is of vital importance for an academic institution to continuously support exactly these initiatives – the ones that help students prosper.
When taking a closer look at the study environment at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, one could easy meet EVA – the Excellence Association Amsterdam, being busy with the support of extracurricular activities on campus. What then would be the first word association of the organization? Well, obviously excellence. That is, to be able to exceed and self-develop yourself. However, our organization does distinct clearly as it is not only about self-actualization.
First and foremost, through different activities on campus and even beyond, we are constantly learning and developing skills like creativity, openness, teamwork and leadership. Furthermore, we have the potential to advance our technical knowledge in various areas due to our diverse background. All of the aforementioned give us the power of innovation – innovation combined with willingness for social commitment and value added organizational operations. As a major aim for us is to deliver value to the communities we serve, a Mentorship Scheme has been drawn up. While empowered by our skills, motivation and eagerness to shape our future we also find ourselves responsible for the development of our fellow students – yes, including these externally of the association. Being ready to invest our time and effort, the Scheme is a program with socially responsible manner through personal development and growth.
Above all, the process is to involve a two-side relationship – between a mentor and a menetee – in small groups of maximum three to five people. It aim at relationship’s longevity , with students both internally and externally, on more personal level, allowing us to truly understand and perceive correctly our mentee’s needs, values and visions. We would be there to help them in personal issues, academic difficulties or professional advises. The more a mentee gets involved in the process, the more one would feel the added value of the process and would be interested in joining as a mentor. Except the attention, advises and help the mentees will receive, the mentors will also truly benefit from the program – broaden their horizons, networking and simply the reward of making something happen for someone else.
If you are still not quite sure about the Mentorship Scheme’s success that is not all we would offer. Currently we are also working on an Alumni network for every student who has completed Excellence or Honours programs at the university, which will be closely related with the aforementioned program. Using the skill of people at a final stage of their degrees, Masters of even professionals will unlock wide range of opportunities for each of the ambitious Excellence students. The existence of such group will enable fresh flow of knowledge and experience that could be further transformed into innovative solutions. Moreover, the connections that could be made between professionals and current students will be of great value for the latter, allowing closer look in a chosen industry, networking with people from the field and career advises from first-hand source.
Having all that said, I am looking forward to the start of the project, truly sure about its positive outcome. At the end of the day, everything we do is even more rewarding when we take the time to get involved and see our achievements bringing value to the public.