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The Step Inside mentoring program at TUM:

A profound insight into student life

Step Inside Mentee Isabella Flor
Planning to study at TUM: school pupil Isabella Flor participated in the mentoring program "Step Inside". (Photo: Maren Willkomm)
"What do you want to do after completing your Abitur?" Many school pupils have no real plan for their next steps in life, often even shortly before they leave school. The mentoring program Step Inside at TUM is supposed to help them with that.

Step Inside aims to provide orientation in the jungle of offers available – and perhaps finding an answer to the question on what to do next with the help of TUM students. TUMstudinews spoke to mentee Isabella Flor about the program.

Isabella, why did you participate in the program?

Isabella Flor: I am only 16 years old, and I am still at the grammar school in Starnberg. I already know that I would like to study at TUM; but I haven’t decided on the field of studies yet. I already had a few ideas; for example Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering. I hoped that the mentoring program would give me an insight into the subjects and make it easier for me to decide on the right field of studies after leaving school.

How did you hear about the mentoring program?

My older brother is a student at TUM, in his second semester, and he informed me about the program. I applied and indicated my study preferences. Then, I was matched with a mentor who studies Electrical Engineering.

How does the program work?

There is a kick-off event where you get to know your mentor. After that, you are relatively free to decide how you want to structure the following half year together. My mentor and I met up in Munich a few times. He showed me the Main Campus, some lecture halls, and the area around the university. Besides, there were two regulars' tables where all mentors and mentees met and you could also talk to other mentors.

What did you like in particular?

My mentor showed me eCARus, a project in which over fifty students are working on two electric cars. We visited the premises where the cars are built. That was really exciting.

Would you recommend the program?

Absolutely. The program gave me a deep insight into student life and it's great to be able to ask questions to students personally. It was interesting for me to find out what it was like to start studying at seventeen – or how to get into contact with other students. My mentor also offered to help me with the registration and application procedure at TUM.

Now, do you know what you would like to do after the Abitur?

The program has strengthened my ambition to study at TUM. The atmosphere among the students is great. I am enthusiastic about the many opportunities TUM has to offer, to get involved and to work with fellow students from different fields in very different programs. Also, the exchange with my mentor showed me that Electrical Engineering is not really for me. Now, I am pondering whether to go for Mechanical Engineering or for Computer Science.

(Interview: Sabrina Czechofsky)

Isabella Flor (16) lives in Starnberg and is currently attending Q11 at the grammar school in Starnberg. Her brother is already studying Mathematics at TUM, in his second semester, and he inspired Isabella to study at TUM as well. Next year, after completing her Abitur, she wants to take up her studies at TUM. The application deadline for the new phase of Step Inside is July 15, 2019. More information: The Step Inside mentoring program at TUM