When I committed to Rutgers, I did not know a single student. A lot of my first year involved me immersing myself in the Rutgers community and finding my way around. One program that made this transition easier was the First Year Integration (FYI) program. The FYI program is a peer mentorship program through the School of Engineering to help guide first-year students and make their transition from high school to college easier. I was paired with my mentor, Merve. Merve was a year older than me and was studying Industrial Engineering, the same major I was interested in pursuing.
What helped me the most was I knew that I could rely on Merve for any questions I had, from how to register for my classes to what busses I needed to take to class. She was a built-in resource and helped guide me through managing my time and gave me tips on how to succeed in my first-year classes. Merve also answered my questions about career paths available inside our major. In addition, FYI hosted events where I was able to interact with other first-year students and mentors to expand my network throughout Rutgers. Although she graduated, I know that I can still reach out to Merve for advice to this day.
Because of Merve’s influence, I turned and served as a mentor for my next year. I was paired with Jeremy and Jessie! Both of them were first-year students and unsure of what major best aligned with their passions. Through this program, they were able to connect with other mentors besides me to explore all Rutgers Engineering has to offer. Like Merve, I was able to pass on some tips and tricks that I learned in my freshman year. FYI provides an environment where you can ask any questions such as where to use your meal swipes, what clubs/organizations are having fun events, and general questions you wouldn’t go ask a dean. Now, both of my mentees are serving as mentors in this program! I would not be where I am without Merve’s advice and volunteering with the First Year Integration program!
-Meghan ISE ‘21