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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds I’ve been involved in several student assistantships. First of all, I think, three years ago, I started with a challenging task of being a mentor for first-year students. And after that, I decided to continue teaching activities. Since April 2014, I’m an employee of the Student Support Desk at the Faculty of Economics and Business.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds As a member of this desk, it’s important to help students. They come by. They can reach you via email, via telephone, or they just can come by at the Student Support Desk. And the problems are really diverse. They can have practical problems with enrollment for courses, but it can also have to do with personal circumstances. And it’s important that you’re– yeah, answering their problems and that you could support them.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 seconds A student assistantship is very beneficial for me. First of all, you know how important it is to have efficient and effective supporting activities in such a big organisation. Moreover, it’s a contribution to your CV. I’ve already encountered that during my interview process of potential employers.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds I think it really benefits our organisation because students teach students. And I think, then, it’s quite different than there is just a lecturer of around 40 or 50 years old. Because when you are a student, you know where a student is interested in. My name is Teunis Dokter. I’m studying at the Faculty of Arts. I’m doing the pre-masters programme at this moment for computer-mediated communication. And as a student assistant, I work for Nestorsupport, which is part of the CIT. And I also am currently involved in the University Council for Lijst STERK. Nestor is our educational software, which helps students and staff to organise our education digitally online, and it’s a very innovative way.

Skip to 2 minutes and 41 seconds We also, for example, support exams, digital exams, and we have the idea that it’s going very well with that. The University Council is a co-determination council and is, in fact, in constant talk with the board of directors of our university, and it co-determines the policy, not all policies, but part of the policies. And it’s a part where students’ interests gets represented.

Skip to 3 minutes and 13 seconds Well, I think that these things are a very good thing to do for my development, for example, because these activities contribute a lot to your soft skills. As a student at a university, you’ll learn a lot about your, well, your study, your field of study, academic research, for example. But soft skills are very important as well later on, for example, for employability. So if you develop your soft skills more with student assistantship, for example, then you have a better chance, I believe, of getting a very nice job later on.

Skip to 3 minutes and 54 seconds Well, this is a very complex question. I think that the benefit for our organisation has– well, there are a lot of benefits. For example, you get to know new talents, for example, early on. Another thing is that student assistants are often more engaged and active in the organisation than outsiders.

Skip to 4 minutes and 19 seconds Well, maybe this is not the best benefit, but I believe they are also very flexible and a cheap form of labour. And besides, you get a very nice cohesion between staff and students. I was a student assistant for a professor for a full year. And in the first semester, I did small study groups for our students. The professor gave a lecture, and I gave some small study groups afterwards, just to interact with the group and see how much they learned and if there were any questions.

Skip to 4 minutes and 56 seconds Well, I actually really, really liked it, the interaction with the students, to see what their problem was and trying to help them with it. So the interaction mostly, but also the fact that you are also sort of reflecting on yourself and what you’re trying to do, because it’s a learning process doing that. Also, the grading part. It’s quite difficult to do it in the beginning, and then you’re just learning as you get along. So it’s the interaction with other people but also the interaction with yourself and the introspection. I’m a student assessor, and that means that I advise on the university level, on the higher level of the university above the faculties, on student affairs and educational policy.

Skip to 5 minutes and 40 seconds And I also form a bridging role between the University Student Council and the executive board of the university.

Skip to 5 minutes and 53 seconds Well, I would like to do something on educational policy in the future. So yeah, it’s like an internship. You can compare it a bit to that. And yeah, I kind of advise on the education policy, and I hope to do that in the future as well.

Skip to 6 minutes and 10 seconds One of the things to wake up for is that within the university we have a lot of people that want the best for the university. They want the best for the research and the education. And they are very open for discussion about that in ways we can improve the university as a whole on both side of levels. And that’s a very nice environment to work in, and that’s one thing I would like to wake up for. Well, hi. I’m Ilse. I am the chairman of the EBF, and the EBF is the Economics and Business Faculty Association. So we organise events for students who are studying here, which are in the field of recreation, study, and career.

Skip to 6 minutes and 48 seconds And I finished my bachelor in business administration last year. And because this is a full-time year, I’m not studying this year.

Skip to 7 minutes and 0 seconds Within the function, you learn to work in a team. During one year, you work very closely together with your board members. And you get to decide about strategic decisions, and that is something, yeah, you do not practise during your study. Well, we have, of course, a budget, and we have to divide that among committees, among events. We have to make sure that there are enough companies who will participate in events. We have to make sure that the organisation, or the association, is going towards development. And that are all challenges, which, yeah, stimulates you to work together and to make most of your year.

Skip to 7 minutes and 45 seconds Well, we make it possible that events are organised. And we have over 150 active members, and they are all very committed to organise their events. So that makes it possible to get important speakers to Groningen or important companies, big companies. And students here who are studying here at the faculty can get the opportunity to get in contact with these companies. I’m Rebekka. I’m 20 years old. I’m in the third year of the study of business administration and the track technology management. I’ve done several student assistants at the course Management Science. Well, for example, at the course Management Science, I’ve given the tutorials and next to that the practicals.

Skip to 8 minutes and 32 seconds And the practicals would be we learn the students how to deal with Excel. And the tutorials are more about the model building and more mathematics.

Skip to 8 minutes and 47 seconds In a student assistantship, I think I really can develop myself. I learn how to deal with all kinds of people and how to stand in front of a group of students or other people and how to give better presentations, take responsibilities. And that’s why I’ve chosen to do the student assistantships.

Skip to 9 minutes and 13 seconds I think it’s really nice that there are student assistants, because while they’re also students and they know what’s going on. And they know in what way you want to study yourself, so you can make it a better way to study for all the students. So I’m Jorrit Hoekstra. I’m a master student at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. And I’m a student assistant for Management Science in a more of a coordinating role and a student assistant for financial accounting. As a coordinator, I coordinate other student assistants in the course of Management Science, just make schedules and make study material for the students.

Skip to 10 minutes and 0 seconds Study at the university is not only about learning the courses, the courses you take. But it’s also about getting to know yourself, what kind of a person that you are. And yeah, getting to know your points of development, your things that you have to develop yourself more in. Well, another benefit of being a student assistant is really getting to know a lot more people, because each year in a course you have a lot of student assistants. But yeah, people graduate. So yeah, every year you need new people, so you get to know new people. Yeah, that’s a real big benefit for me. Well, I’m a student assistant for Nestorsupport.

Skip to 10 minutes and 43 seconds So we support Nestor, and we help, well, mainly teachers but also students that have questions about the system. But we also support a lot of other systems and, for example, digital exams. We are involved in the developing of programmes, of new websites, updates, and we test these updates as well. So it’s a lot of different tasks.

Skip to 11 minutes and 9 seconds Well, we work in a team with students, I think 25 or something. So you really learn how to work in a team with people that are– of course, everybody’s different and has different backgrounds. And that’s something I’m really learning, I think. And also to think really analytically because we have to solve a lot of problems, and you need to know what’s going on and really take it step by step. And yeah, that’s something, I think, can be beneficial.

Students sharing their stories

Listen to the interviews with various student assistants, board members and students involved in the governing bodies of the university. The students will share their experiences, their motivation and why they think their involvement is beneficial for the organisation with you.

The following 8 students will steal the show in this video:

  1. Sanne Rijpma - Student assistant Academic Skills course & Student Support Desk
  2. Teunis Dokter - Student assistent Nestorsupport & Student representative University Council (2:06)
  3. Arianne Anker - Student assessor faculty board, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (4:28)
  4. Jort Diekerhof - Student assessor, Executive board of the University (5:16)
  5. Ilse Grasmeyer - Chairman Economic and Business Faculty Association (EBF) (6:41)
  6. Rebekka Kloppenburg - Student assistant Management Science course (8:14)
  7. Jorrit Hoekstra - Student assistent, Coördinator Management Science course (9:31)
  8. Milou Noordveld - Student assistent Nestorsupport (10:41)

You can listen to all of them or fast forward to the student with the function you find the most interesting.

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This video is from the free online course:

Becoming a Student Assistant: Teaching and Mentoring

University of Groningen

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