Anna Carretero, the president of the Human Resources Association (HRA) gives Transpose Magazine the opportunity to learn more about one of their most successful projects: The E-Buddy System. (SUBTITLE )
Hi Anna, thanks for coming here and giving us the chance to interview you.
It’s my pleasure! Thanks for giving us this interview. I love your magazine and I think that the work you do, not only talking about fashion but also related to other topics such as gastronomy, traveling, films, lifestyle and day-to-day life on our campus is a fantastic concept.
What is the E-Buddy Project?
The “E-Buddy System” is an initiative from ESADE’s Human Resources Association (HRA) as a way of helping incoming first year students adjust to life in ESADE and Barcelona as we know from our own experience how challenging it can be to adapt to a new life in a different city. The project consists of a mentor and a mentee who interact with each other in various ways during the academic year.
What is the main objective or purpose of the project?
The main objective is to create a sense of community and fellowship between students. We also aim to help those students who don’t know anyone in the university to meet various people from different courses and sections.
Why did you choose this name?
The idea was to integrate our university symbol, which is the blue “E” because no matter where you see it, you know it means everything that ESADE represents as an institution. In this way, we make new students feel that the E-Buddy system is something made by students and for students.
Describe with no more than 3 words the advantages that people obtain participating in E-buddy? BETTER UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE (DESTACADO, ENTRE COMILLAS COMO EN LAS ENTREVISTAS)
Has this project been around for a long time?
The “E-Buddy System” was created in 2017 when the association was created. Last year it was tested with a few students in order to see if it was useful and if students wanted to participate in it. When we saw that a huge amount of students wanted to take part in it, we expanded it and offered this mentorship experience to all 1st year BBA students.
How many people participate in this project?
Approximately 320 students participate in this project including mentors and mentees.
How do you manage so many people?
Firstly, we keep track of attendance during the events and a performance control of mentors and mentees. It’s not really difficult to manage so many people because the project is held through events. Therefore, we don’t focus on each student having a responsibility and fulfilling it, it’s simply that at the end, all mentors who have willingly fulfilled their responsibility will be given a credit. Obviously, we take care of giving them the tools so that they can find it easier to fulfil their responsibilities, either by convincing their mentee to participate in the events, or on their own. We control the students’ performance in order to assure that everyone is satisfied with the service.
When you pair the mentors and mentees, which grouping criteria do you follow?
All students answer different questions regarding their hobbies, preferences, behavioural questions… When we have those questions answered, we try to match those students with the most similar answers, giving special importance to the language and the country they come from.
What do you think can be improved?
The matchmaking between the mentors and mentees is being improved this year. It is difficult to match people when using many questions, so we are trying to reduce the number of questions while at the same time trying to automate the process.
There are a lot of people that don’t know anything about this project, how would you convince them to join?
I would convince them by saying that it’s a very useful project for those students who are new in ESADE or even in Barcelona and don’t know anyone here, and that students of 2nd and 3rd year have the opportunity to help them and make their 1st year experience better. It’s also a way of making new friends from other courses and other sections.
Could you tell us about any new projects or activities that you are planning to do in the future?
We are planning to expand the “E-buddy project” to ESADE Pedralbes and trying to make more activities in order to help students be more involved in the project to meet different students and do different things.