My name is Sahil Budhrani and I am a 3rd year international student majoring in Economics and Management Science, while minoring in Finance at TRSM. This is my first year as an Academic Peer Helper (APH) at the Academic Success Centre (ASC), and this is my first on-campus job at Ryerson.
I realized that I wanted to be a part of the APH team when I was in my first year at TRSM. One of the main reasons I am an APH today is because of the support I received when I attended tutoring sessions. Coming from Panama, I struggled to adjust to the university culture and showcase my abilities in class. I found that all tutors were extremely focused throughout the year and they did their best to make sure students succeeded. Attending those tutoring sessions and constantly visiting the ASC helped me gain confidence, taught me how to learn and study efficiently and, most importantly, assisted me in achieving the grades I have today so I can help tutor other students.
What Academic Peer Helpers Do
The staff and tutors at the Academic Success Centre share a common goal with all students: to boost students’ academic performance and help them become the best students in the business field. We are trained to use different techniques that students use while learning, and how important it is to adapt to all these learning styles.
My main tasks as an APH involve facilitating learning for students through small group sessions to help them gain more confidence in what they are learning. In order to help students learn, all APHs attend regular team meetings to obtain feedback and gain insight on student and program needs. After the team meetings, APHs review course materials and prepare for upcoming weeks.
In addition to assisting students with their academics, we also aid students in their transition process to TRSM and university culture. This may be through providing specific information about resources and supports that students might require. Because of all these responsibilities, the most important role for an APH is to be a representative of TRSM and to serve as a positive role model for students.
Being an APH has unquestionably had an impact on my life and my future career. From a professional perspective, it has allowed me to build a larger network within TRSM and the university.
Another way I have grown professionally is through continuously taking on new challenges as an APH. Every shift requires me to adjust my facilitation methods because different students learn and study differently. Being an APH has also allowed me to refine my communication and interpersonal skills, through constantly interacting with students and other peers. I have also improved my ability to make decisions and solve problems. But most importantly, I have learned how to plan ahead, prioritize work and meet deadlines.
The experience of being an APH is definitely an enjoyable one, even though it might be hectic and challenging at times. It is essential to recognize that the work ethic, relationships and overall experience are worth every bit of effort you put in. Knowing that you helped students succeed and helped them improve their university experience provides fulfilment that makes you want to keep helping others. Overall, my time as an APH has been a terrific experience. I look forward to the opportunity to help fellow students in the future.