Often, when we find ourselves confused and going astray, we need a mentor to give us a helping hand. We need someone who can tell us what we should do, how do we overcome a certain problem, and most importantly: We need a friend with whom we can share our problems. This is why we have the Mentor Committee at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Economics and Business.
The Mentor Committee plays a very vital role in students’ life at this faculty. Right from the beginning of the new academic year, they help organize the Intreeweek (Introduction Week) for new students. This helps a lot for students to make new friends, facilitating valuable relationships over their university life. In other words, the Mentor Committee is playing a role in the transition from high school life to university life for a lot of students, and this is a very important phase to ensure that students kick off their academic careers here.
The Intreeweek is designed to make sure that students get very well acquainted with the city of Amsterdam. It is a five day period filled with activities and events. Students are divided into groups and these groups go to different parties and events together. Every group has a pair of mentors, or as they are lovingly known, “parents”. These mentors have a schedule which they follow accordingly. The events and parties during Intreeweek can mainly be categorized into social and cultural. Social events include visiting the “coolest places in town” such as some popular bars and night clubs, where the students can go for a fun night out with their friends. It also includes some great places to hang out around the city for a laid back weekend, or a few nice lunch spots for a delicious brunch. Cultural events focus more on the history and historic significance of the city of Amsterdam. Some of the world’s best museums, such as the Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum are located here, and many new students look forward to visiting them. The Mentor Committee makes sure that these students get a taste of Dutch culture, which enables them to appreciate the city they will be studying in even more. An impression of the Intreeweek outline is shown below:
After the Intreeweek, students kick off their academic life at the University of Amsterdam. Of course, Intreeweek mentors help out their “children” with any possible questions about academia, but it is much different when students actually face problems as they study. That is why the Mentor Committee organizes “Social Mentors”. If you are reading this and are a first year Bachelor student at the FEB, you will most definitely have a Social Mentor as well. The point of being assigned to one is that they will be able to help you hands on with whatever problem you may have. Also, they provide valuable tips and tricks to help you get through university life. If you have any problems with housing, the city office or anything, they will be more than happy to help you out, or at least guide you in the right direction. They can also hand out past exams for you to do well in your courses.
Finally, the current Mentor Committee is made up of six industrious and hard-working people who make it possible for new students to assimilate into the city and university life. These are the names and the roles of the Mentor Committee members:
Desislava Zheleva: Chairwoman
Marcelo Pira Beckerling: Vice Chairman
Richard Hartweck: Treasurer
Anastasia Kovalenko: General Member
Eugeniy Mironov: General Member
Alfonso Garza: General Member
These are the people who make the university a better place and who try their best to make new students feel at home. This is very crucial because for fresh undergraduates who will be here for the next three years of their life, it is very important that they feel welcome, and the Mentor Committee does exactly that.