Saturday, 10th of September was an exciting day for the IE community in Segovia, as first-year students were welcomed by second-years through the Mentorship Society Kick-off Event. The Mentorship Society is a program within the university, established to guide first-year students in making the most of their freshman experiences. Incoming students (mentees) are provided with a sign-up form over the summer to be matched with a mentor similar to them – hobbies, degree, and campus are considered among other criteria. Once the school year begins, mentors and mentees have the opportunity to meet in their free time, and through planned events such as the kick-off event.

The Mentorship Society provides first-year students with extra support when preparing for, and beginning their first year of university. Mentees have the opportunity to make a friend who has been in their shoes, and receive advice from beyond the classrooms. The program allows students to further immerse into the IE community, and establish lifelong networks between mentors and fellow mentees.

“I thought the Mentorship Society was a great opportunity to meet other first years,” Lana Francella, first year dual degree in law and international relations student, shared her experience with the kick-off event, “collaborating with other mentees during the kick-off activities provided good insight as to what the entrepreneurial mindset at IEU is really like. It gave me something to look forward to for the coming school year.”

After signing into the event through IE Connects, and collecting their mentee t-shirts, students were ushered into the Aula Magna by their mentors – where everyone eagerly anticipated the event’s start. Throughout the afternoon, mentees were introduced to the student experience by the leadership team, who shared their respective experiences in Segovia and general pieces of advice.

Following this, mentorship teams were united into groups of up to 15 people, where students worked collaboratively on a ‘Shark Tank‘ simulation. Similar to the TV show of the same name, students put together an innovative pitch targeting one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, Pool A constituted of seven teams, and their assigned task was to target the issue of food waste – steered towards SDG number two: End Hunger.

With 40 minutes to brainstorm, students were on their way to pioneering revolutionary ideas and working towards a better tomorrow for us all! Afterwards, each team had thirty seconds to present their idea during the pitching session. Teams also explained how their solution addresses the issue and why others should vote for their idea to be “funded”. Following the vote, students headed into the Aula Magna once more, where the winning teams were announced. The prize-winning ideas ranged from the Med You pill targeting good health, the Super Pill for ending hunger, Ecozone for climate action, and the Sustainable Fishing Boat for responsible consumption and production.

As the event approached its end, the mentorship team once again expressed the importance of the Mentorship Society. The team reassured mentees of their support system within the society and in the friends made during the event. This was a gesture greatly appreciated by the mentees, who felt more comfortable in their new environment after the event. Finally, students had a further opportunity to socialize and network as everyone enjoyed pizzas in the courtyard – a remarkable end to a phenomenal event enjoyed by mentees and mentors alike.

“Although the event was a bit disorganized and chaotic at the beginning,” Atieno Sihanya, a mentor in her second-year of the dual degree in law and international relations expressed, “I enjoyed the opportunity to hang out with my mentees and watch them bond with other first years. I really liked the idea of having t-shirts, and the chance to win prizes. It was a fun afternoon!”

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