Hey First-Year BBA Students: Here’s How To Get The Most Out Of Your Peer Coach Relationship


By Tracy Sonnabend, BBA '19

This year I’ve been serving as a peer coach for my fellow BBA students, and it has been a great experience.

For some context, the peer coach program is part of the BA 100 course here at Ross, which focuses on helping first-year students transition into the Ross BBA program.

Peer coaches help first-year students foster a great relationship between an experienced Ross student and a first-year Ross student. Freshmen in BA 100 learn that they can come to their coach with questions about anything — from questions related to academics to questions about social life to questions about sporting events at Michigan and everything in between.

If a coach can’t answer a question, he/she reaches out to other coaches in BA 100 and can always point the student in the right direction. Coaches are dedicated to helping their mentees have the most seamless transition to college and the best first-year at Ross possible.

Not only does the friendship created by this program last throughout the one year in which the mentee and coach are paired, but it is a friendship that continues for the duration of college and beyond.

As a peer coach myself, I have been able to better my listening skills, which helps me throughout every relationship that I have in life. I keep in touch with the mentees that I have had from the past three years, and it has been exciting to see my peers grow throughout their experiences at Ross.

Here are my tips for how first-year students can get the most out of their BA 100 peer coach mentorship:

Be invested in the relationship

First-year students can get the most out of the peer coach relationship if they are open and believe in the program — students must be invested in the relationship for it to be successful.

Come prepared with questions

It is helpful for peer coaches if students come to one-on-one meetings with any questions they have. Meetings between a coach and coachee almost always last about 45 minutes, so coachees should come into the meeting knowing how long they will be involved in conversation. They should be open so that the pair can have a meaningful and naturally flowing conversation.

Look forward to the long-term benefits

Not only does a freshman’s coach become a great friend and resource throughout college, but each team of six students establishes a strong group bond. Throughout everyone’s Ross education, students are involved in many group projects. The BA 100 team is the first of these teams, and therefore the students involved in each group establish a great connection. They are all going through the same experiences and use each other as a guide to transition seamlessly into college life.

For first-year students in the Michigan Ross BBA program, the peer coach mentors assigned during the BA 100 course are a great resource, you just need to make sure you take advantage of it.

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Tracy Sonnabend
BBA '19

About Tracy

Tell us about your internships

I was a summer analyst after my sophomore year at a real estate company called Silverpeak Argentic. After my junior year, I was an intern at a different real estate company called Spring 11.

Who are your favorite Ross professors?

My favorite professors at Ross have been Lori Rogala, Cheri Alexander, and Peter Allen. I went to each of these teachers for extra help, and I was able to establish a relationship with each. They are all so dedicated to their students, and it is so clear how much they are passionate about what they are teaching.

Tell us something else we should know.

I have a dog named Arbor!

More about the Ross BBA Program

More about the BA 100 Course