M.A. Olympic Studies
M.A. Olympic Studies Alumni Circle - Sharing the Knowledge
The Olympic Studies Alumni Circle (OSAC) is a pillar of the international study programme M.A. Olympic Studies and works in close collaboration with the Managing Board of the M.A. Olympic Studies, based at the German Sport University Cologne. The OSAC welcomes new participants, alumni, professors and academic staff to join. The OSAC’s purpose is to create a community committed to successful long lasting relations between participants as well as to sustain an ongoing identification with the M.A. Olympic Studies, the German Sport University Cologne and the partnering institutions of Loughborough University and the Autonomous University Barcelona. The OSAC aims to uphold an international network of alumni, distinguished for their genuine interest in the Olympic Movement, commitment to open dialogue, and dedication to critical reflection. The founding of the OSAC is based on the respect and responsibility toward the M.A. Olympic Studies participants as well as on the wish to create a long lasting heritage on studies on the Olympic Movement.
Based on the philosophy, ethics and values of the M.A. Olympic Studies programme, the OSAC will strive to:
- Transfer experience and knowledge between former and current participants of the M.A. Olympic Studies.
- Initiate activities that help foster the creation of a network among participants, alumni and the academic staff members of the M.A. Olympic Studies.
- Develop the initiative to link the OSAC with ongoing academic activities of the academic world and in particular the Olympic Studies Centre Cologne.
- Keep OSAC participants informed of activities, events and developments via regular contributions to the M.A. Olympic Studies Newsletter.
- Offer participants a mentor for informal guidance throughout their participation in the M.A. Olympic Studies programme.
- Encourage and enable alumni to be volunteer ambassadors for the course worldwide.
The OSAC is governed by a board sincere in its representation of participants and alumni, effective in partnering with the Managing Board of the M.A. Olympic Studies and loyal to its ethos of ‘Sharing the Knowledge’. The OSAC Board is comprised of current participants, alumni, a representative from the academic staff of the M.A. Olympic Studies, as well as the Executive Director of the M.A. Olympic Studies. There are seven OSAC Board members in total. The OSAC Board consists of a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Representative of the Mentoring Programme, a Public Relations Officer and three additional Board members. The function of the OSAC Board is to govern the AC by democratically establishing policy, programs and initiatives that can help provide guidance for the OSAC in its efforts to represent the interest of OSAC members to the Managing Board of the M.A. Olympic Studies. Positions on the OSAC Board are open to any interested OSAC members.
Once a participant is officially accepted and enrolled on the M.A. Olympic Studies programme, she/he has the option to become a member of the OSAC. Being a member entitles you to contribute to, participate in, and benefit from all the OSAC programs, events and activities.
Mentoring programmes are an effective means to reach participants’ individual expectations and experiences connected to a study programme. This is why the M.A. Olympic Studies Alumni Circle (OSAC) believes it important to integrate mentoring into the international study programme M.A. Olympic Studies.
Mentors are supportive individuals who develop trustworthy relations with participants by providing them sparring and guidance to help maintain the most encouraging environment possible for the participants throughout their experience on the MA Olympic Studies programme.
Mentors will not take the role of the academic staff members and will not take decisions for a participant. The role of the mentors is voluntary, a genuine motivation to share their valuable experience on the programme with participants who have just joined the programme and/or with those who are looking for best practice orientation in their final stages of completing the programme.
Amongst possible support options are:
- Supporting to find the relevant academic staff member to approach.
- Giving advice to strengthen synergies between study, work and private life.
- Thinking through a problem at home or at work whilst abroad on an Olympic Studies module.
- Preparing for a new module in a place and culture you are not familiar with.
- Encouraging and advising current M.A. Olympic Studies participants on stablishing study groups and study visits outside of the modules.
- Expanding the personal networks of participants
Becoming a Mentor
Ideally, a mentor has graduated from the programme. It is also possible to become a mentor if a participant has successfully participated in all on-site modules of the M.A. Olympic Studies. Prior to becoming an OSAC mentor, there are a few things to consider and understand about the role of a mentor. Can you make the time commitment? What kind of participant could you work with? Why does mentoring interest you?
In order to make a positive difference for a participant, mentors not only have to keep themselves up to date with the M.A. Olympic Studies programme, they also have to be capable of performing many different functions: role model, sparring partner, delegator, and friend. Successful mentors willingly assume many of these functions at different stages of a mentor-mentee relationship, and competent mentors share some fundamental qualities:
- A sincere desire to be involved with and to guide participants
- Active listening skills and empathy
- Respect for the participant and their situation
- Addressing a person’s opinion in a respectful and constructive manner
- Ability and flexibility to see different solutions and possibilities
By displaying these qualities, the mentor makes a significant contribution to the positive image of the M.A. Olympic Studies in line with the philosophy, ethics and values of the programme.
Mentors are invited to the post of mentor by the Representative of the Mentoring Programme after nomination through the OSAC Board.