A built-in support system from the start

Sabrina Chan, Jerry (Zhan) Feng, Mohamed Jaffer, Yammunna Nagayaindran, Rajvi Patel and Adam RowlesMaking the transition from high school to university can be daunting. All six of us had common fears like ‘am I going to be able to find friends?’, ‘will I be able to succeed in a new setting’? All of these thoughts were valid concerns that were amplified when joining a prestigious program like Accounting and Financial Management (AFM).

Coming into the program, our entire Crew though the culture would be competitive (since everyone competes for the same co-op jobs). However, after meeting our Crew members, we began to learn that rumor was just not true. Being placed in a Crew of six students in our first year has fostered a supportive environment for us to grow. No longer are we trying to figure out everything alone, we have been given the opportunity to have a built-in support system from the start.

As a Crew, we can support each other unconditionally with no ulterior motives. This connection is built beyond the classroom, as we often turn to each other for advice on anything from fashion to improving follow up emails. We recognize that we are all in the same boat and should focus on pushing each other to succeed instead of holding each other back.

No matter who it is, or what the reason, it is our responsibility as peers to ensure we all succeed. One example of this was at our first networking session. Naturally, we were nervous, this would be our first taste of the professional world. Instead of being alone in the process our Crew decided to work together and support each other throughout the networking event. Even though we were competing for the same positions we understood having each other’s backs was more important. As Vanessa Hudgens once sang ‘we are all in this together’. As Crew members, we need to remember and understand that credo as we continue to grow and progress through the AFM program.


Individuals perform better and get more from their experiences when they are supported by a group of their peers. That’s why learning teams are used at Columbia Business School, work teams are used at Google, and training teams are used by Olympians. SAF Crews are groups of 5-6 students that support each other through the first year SAF experience. Crew members build strong working relationships with each other, attend events together and support each other’s professional awareness and academic success. Find out more about SAF Crews.

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