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Being a Student Communities helper

There are other opportunities to get involved outside of your department. In this article, Tamlyn outlines an example of one at York.
Students doing crafts

Many universities hold student induction programmes for their new undergraduate students. Here at the University of York, we have an induction programme called Step Ahead. We tell you all about it below.

Step Ahead

Step Ahead takes place at the University of York just before the start of the academic year. It is an induction programme aimed at new undergraduate students who belong to groups currently underrepresented at University and is designed to help them have the best possible start to university life. Step Ahead aims to help new students to:

  • Meet other new students and establish friendships
  • Become familiar with the university campus
  • Get tips from current students about studying at York
  • Receive advice on a wide range of topics from staff in key university departments
  • Feel more prepared to start university
  • Get answers to any questions you have about university life

New undergraduate students who are eligible for a place on Step Ahead receive an invitation and it is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and find out more about the university before you arrive. This helps boost your confidence and enhances your communication skills before you even begin your course.

Being a Student Helper

Once you have been on Step Ahead, you are eligible to get involved again from your second year, where you are able to apply to become a student helper, not only at Step Ahead but also for the Student Communities events that happen throughout the academic year. Getting involved as a helper means you contribute to making a positive difference to new students’ university experiences. At the same time, you can enhance your chances of future success by develop skills in:

  • Team work, as you work closely with other Student Helpers and university staff.
  • Social and cultural awareness, as you support new students from a range of backgrounds
  • Problem solving, as you will need to use your initiative to solve and unexpected challenges you may encounter

The skills you develop as a Step Ahead Student Helper can contribute towards our university’s York Award and York Future Scholarships applications.

Over to you

Think about the last time you worked as part of a team, whether this was in your everyday social life, work or in an educational setting. What did you enjoy about it? What did you find challenging? How would you do team work differently next time?

Tell us about this in the comments below.

© University of York
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