As teaching has moved online, students may find it increasingly difficult to focus on their thesis and other academic requirements as they manage the emotional stress and isolation. This project aims to pair up current CEU students with alumni “buddies” in order to help students maintain a writing routine and focus and submit their thesis on time.
In AY2019-20, during the first wave of COVID-19 lockdown in Hungary and Austria, 45 alumni "buddies" were successfully paired up with students. Read their story.
Roles: A “thesis buddy” is an alum of CEU who has offered to support students through their thesis writing period. Buddies are not intended to replace official thesis supervisors, nor are they expected to provide significant feedback on the actual thesis topic. The role of a buddy is more of a support person that can check in with the student on a regular basis, occasionally proofread, and help the students reach milestones and overcome writer’s block if necessary. If the alum happens to have expertise on the subject and is willing to provide more substantial feedback and proofing, it is welcome but not obligatory.
Duration: The project is expected to last until June 1, 2021 but can be extended by mutual agreement. If a buddy can no longer support a student and needs to terminate the relationship earlier, the student and the Alumni Volunteer Programs Coordinator should be notified at least two weeks in advance. If a student or a buddy become unresponsive, please notify the Alumni Volunteer Programs Coordinator.
Assignment: Generally, students and alumni will be paired up by CEU departments to provide the most relevant experience. While we will do our best in that regard, we cannot guarantee a complete match. Alumni and students will be informed via email of who their assigned “buddy” is and will be encouraged to get in touch with one another directly. By signing up for the project, all participants agree to their personal data (name, email, CEU affiliation) to be shared with all interested parties. Alumni agree to their profiles (name, CEU affiliation, bio and picture) to be published on a dedicated CEU webpage.
Frequency of check-ins: It is up to the student and their buddy to set up the frequency and mode of their check-ins. However, we recommend scheduling check-ins at least once a week. Work out a schedule that you can stick to and make adjustments as necessary.
Feedback: At the end of the project, the Alumni Relations Office will ask for short feedback from both students and alumni.