The Office of the First Year (OFY) welcomed 150 associate advisors to their first orientation on June 12. The new cohort of upper-level students will work closely with first-year advisors to guide the Class of 2026 on all things MIT, from accessing resources to hosting the First Year Hub and Drop-In events. This year’s AA Captains, Sherry Nyeo ‘23 and Paige Dote ‘24, facilitated the event on Zoom starting with an overview of the OFY website’s Countdown to Campus, which chronicled what the incoming students have been busy doing over the summer. They also discussed some critical skills needed, active listening and resourcefulness, to effectively advise. The event’s highlight centered around “What they wish they knew as a first year.” Each associate advisor submitted a list of five responses in advance that Sherry and Paige compiled and shared at the orientation. Some of the recurring keywords/phrases that emerged were “friend, professor, upperclassmen and club”, highlighting the vast importance of how the people of the MIT community make up some of the strongest resources on campus. A network of people continues to be increasingly important for first-years to succeed academically and personally. One of the vital resources associate advisors can provide their advisees is their hindsight, which is why reflection on their experiences will continue to be a focus of future trainings for associate advisors during the year.
—Leslie Bottari, Office of the First Year