By Kateryna Kadabashy
Being a student at American University of Sharjah can be challenging. Sometimes it is a matter of adaptation, while at other times it is about learning how to handle certain issues. Both situations are a perfect chance to visit a Peer Advisor at the Academic Support Center (ASC).
Peer advising is one among the many academic services offered by ASC. The center employs four academically high-achieving students to work as Peer Advisors, one from each college on campus.
Peer Advisors are a great source of advice, because just like you, they are AUS students, too. ASC Director Dr. Mehvash Ali shared the inspiration behind starting the Peer Advising program: “AUS students consider their fellow students to be their primary source of academic advice. The ASC Peer Advising program maximizes on this existing relationship by offering an opportunity for students to learn from some of the most successful students in each of the four colleges.” Peer Advisors can share study skills, such as maintaining motivation, setting goals, taking notes and revising for exams. They can tell you more information about majors available on campus. They can help you discover extracurricular activities and services available on campus. And last but not least, they can give you strategies on how to maintain a healthy life-study balance.
Dr. Ali said the program is beneficial in other ways, as “being a Peer Advisor is also a great opportunity to develop leadership and interpersonal skills for the Peer Advisors themselves and is therefore a win-win situation.”
Peer advising services are available to all AUS students, regardless of their academic standing. As ASC Advisor Nora Arafa puts it, “Peer Advisors are a friendly face and a knowledgeable resource for our students seeking advice on succeeding at AUS.” In fact, you might already know some of them, if you have ever attended workshops organized by ASC and presented by a Peer Advisor. Just in case you haven’t, here is a short introduction to each Peer Advisor, so you could put a “friendly face” to a friendly name.
College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) Peer Advisor Naqiyah Karachiwala
Naqiyah is a junior majoring in design management, who switched from mass communication to CAAD. She is especially skilled in self testing, time management and self-study skills. Naqiyah loves reading and participating in on-campus activities.
College of Engineering (CEN) Peer Advisor Taha Ameen
Taha is a junior double major in electrical engineering and mathematics. He is especially skilled in time management, smart studying, note taking and predicting exam questions. Taha believes that “education is a tool we can use to collectively change the world.”
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Peer Advisor Kateryna Kadabashy
Kateryna is a senior double major mass communication concentrating in journalism and international relations, with a minor in psychology. She is especially skilled in motivation, public speaking, general education requirements and managing majors and minors. Kateryna loves pets and chocolate.
School of Business Administration (SBA) Peer Advisor Raneem Osman
Raneem is a junior in finance who is minoring in actuarial mathematics. She is especially skilled in motivation, time management and coping with stress. Raneem is a freelance makeup artist and blogger.
Every Peer Advisor has specific office hours during which you can meet with them. All you need to do is visit the ASC front desk to book an appointment. Do not worry about being judged or somebody finding out that you visited a Peer Advisor, as the ASC trains these students and makes sure that your privacy is guaranteed.
To book an appointment with an ASC Peer Advisor, call 06 515 2180 or visit the Academic Support Center in the Main Building.