Navigators Offer 'Warm Hand- Offs" For Students
"Our years at university should be a time when we discover what we're truly passionate about. That was definitely true for me. I worked as a teaching assistant and pedagogical research assistant while I was an undergraduate student. In doing that work, I discovered my interest in helping other students improve their overall academic experience. One of my former professors knew of my interest and suggested I apply to be a student navigator.
"In my role, I get to meet with students one-on-one, online and through special events like monthly cooking workshops and drop-in sessions in the libraries. As recent grads ourselves, students find us approachable. We can relate to what they're going through. Sometimes all students need is someone who’ll listen and validate what they're experiencing. We talk honestly about their academic and personal challenges and I make what we call 'warm hand-offs' to the appropriate programs, services and supports offered by the university and the McMaster Students Union.
"McMaster is a big place and that can leave some students feeling initially overwhelmed, intimidated and unsure of where and who to turn to for help. We're working to foster a culture at McMaster where students are comfortable discussing the real issues affecting them and being proactive in seeking help. At the same time, we're identifying common issues facing many students that Faculties and Schools could address in a proactive and systemic way."