This year the Fisher MBA has a new program: The Buddy Program. This program was spear-headed by the Class of 2015, who felt it would be beneficial to the incoming first year class to have a second year mentor – someone to ask where the quiet study room is (in the basement, across from the lockers), or where the best place to grab lunch is (the verdict is still out), or to ask questions about major classes, clubs, conferences, and the internship search.
But the Buddy Program is also about friendship. “We want you all to feel included,” Edwin, a second year leadership and organizational behavior major said. “We want you to be part of the program and help you in any way we can.” Edwin’s attitude has been echoed in the actions of every second year I have met – and I’ve met the majority of them. The second years have made a point to be involved in our orientation and to invite us to club and social events. At Fisher, you don’t come in with 120 friends, you come in with 240.
The first Buddy Program event of the year was this past Friday. Everyone who signed up for the Buddy Program met at the Varsity Club. My buddy, Doris, e-mailed me before the event to introduce herself and to reassure me that she would be at the event. When I got to the Varsity Club, it was packed with MBA’s.
“We didn’t know how many people would show up,” I overheard someone say. A lot. A lot showed up. In fact, so many first years signed up for the program that several second years, Doris included, had two first year buddies. I managed to find Doris and Coralia, another first year, and we talked about our backgrounds, potential majors and career paths, and Doris’s insights on her two (Yes, two. Did I mention that my buddy is brilliant?) summer internships for what felt like five minutes, but was really almost an hour and a half. We left the event with plans to meet for lunch, and word on the street is that there might be a second Buddy event later this semester.
To say the Buddy Program is a success would be an understatement, and although this is a new program, I think it’s one my class, and the classes that come after us, will continue.