Behind the scenes with FUS Orientation Mentors: your first friends on campus!
Orientation Week is finally here: it’s time to get ready for the most exciting week of your journey at FUS! Your Orientation Mentors are ready to welcome you on campus, giving you their full support and help. Read about their thoughts and feelings on their role, straight from this year’s Oms!
What motivated you to become an Orientation Mentor at FUS?
One student expressed, "The main pull for me was the desire to help students and address any difficulties they might face." Delving into personal experiences, another mentioned, "My own orientation experience was unique because of COVID, and I wanted to relive some of the fun experiences like Valle Verzasca. It's a fantastic opportunity to visit such places again and share that with newcomers." On the other hand, another pointed out, "I wanted to get to know the new students, especially since many of my older friends are graduating. This feel like a fresh start."
How would you describe the primary responsibilities of an OM during orientation week?
Being the first positive face on campus is a key responsibility of an OM. "Our main job is to help newcomers understand how the university works. We're their initial guide, their first friend.”, expressed one student. Another one added, "It's crucial to ensure that the students have a good experience. Starting in a new country can be intimidating, and we want to be their first contact within the university to make it less so."
Which events or sessions do you believe first-year students shouldn’t miss during orientation?
One student had a precise answer for that, "The Mix and Mingle is a must-attend. It's the perfect time to meet professors and community members, which helps in bridging any perceived gaps." But this is not the only activity that deserves a mention, as another student pointed out, "I'd recommend they attend everything they can. Every event offers a unique experience and helps in better integration into Franklin's life. A well-organized student won't miss any!"
How does the university prepare and train you for this role?
All of them agreed, "We undergo a week of rigorous training followed by a day off. This not only preps us for the orientation week but also fosters strong bonds between mentors and assistants."
What have been the most rewarding aspects of being an Orientation Mentor?
A couple of students stated that "One of the best feelings is when parents express their gratitude for our help and support. Also, the follow-up messages and questions from students seeking advice is truly heartwarming." Another student added, "To be remembered positively and seen as a friendly face on campus is rewarding. Plus, the opportunity to learn about different cultures and to have a positive impact on the FUS community is priceless."
How can new students reach out to their OMs if they have questions or need assistance later in the semester?
This couldn’t be easier. As a student mentioned, "Each OM group has a dedicated Whatsapp chat. New students can write to us anytime to ask anything. These groups remain active throughout the year and are a constant source of support."
What advice would you give to students looking to become future Orientation Mentors?
A first-time OM had a clear idea, "Be the welcoming face that new students need. There’s so much to explore and do at FUS, so it’s important to show them all the possibilities. After all, this is their new life at FUS."
Remember, OMs have been in your shoes before and are there to help. Their experiences, challenges, and rewards remind us of the essential human touch required in every transition. Don't hesitate to ask them anything that's on your mind! And if you're considering becoming one – you're looking at a journey full of learning, growth, and connections. Welcome to Franklin University Switzerland!