For students transferring from a community college to study business as a UC Riverside undergraduate, navigating their first quarter—with all classes and programs conducted online due to COVID-19—is a challenge. Fortunately, UCR’s Business School Transfer Mentors—a team of seven current students who also previously transferred to the university—began reaching out in full force to 350 new student colleagues over the summer to assist with the many tasks involved in embarking on a successful school year.
“Transitioning from a community college to a four-year university can be an overwhelming experience,” says management student Jackie Maslow ’21, a lead transfer mentor. “So, our program emphasizes the importance of designing a balanced course schedule.”
The mentorship program provided a pre-orientation workshop offering basic tips for first-time registration; reviewed the usefulness of Google Calendar for managing students’ time, studies, and activities; and presented an overview of internship and study-abroad opportunities.
The program also offers a Business Core Class Survival Guide. “The guide is an in-depth exploration of each core class and includes tips from students and current professors,” says Diana Garcia ’22, who is studying information systems and is also a lead transfer mentor. In addition, the mentors are available during daily office hours to provide further assistance and answer questions.
“Once students transfer into a four-year institution, they have to hit the ground running. The mentor program is a way to have a buddy running alongside them, supporting them along the way,” says Elizabeth Tisdale, professional academic advisor for UCR undergraduate business programs and the Transfer Mentors advisor.
“It is important for students to seek mentorship in every step of their professional development. A mentor can provide a mentee with firsthand knowledge, which translates into personal and professional skill sets that will facilitate success throughout their professional journey.”
Looking forward, the mentors will offer a tech workshop to help students optimize their online workspace, and they are planning weekly “T’Talks”—live videos on Instagram spotlighting and collaborating with business organizations—and organizing virtual events with alumni.
The program has also equipped the mentors with abilities they’ll use in their careers. “By curating workshops and social events, we’ve been able to sharpen our organizational skills and develop close relationships with our peers and the School of Business faculty,” says Maslow.
“This program has brought a group of us together during an incredibly challenging time,” adds Garcia. “We have been able to support each other while ultimately serving our fellow student population and helping them to succeed as we have.”
Follow the Transfer Mentors program on Instagram: @ucr.business.transfermentors.