Interview with Sanctia Vitae – Senior Mentor Officer

Interview with Sanctia Vitae, Senior Mentor Officer at EVE University

Hello Sanctia, you are part of one of EVE University’s oldest programs, the Mentor Program. Tell us a bit about your EVE history and how you ended up with EVE University.

Hello! Thank you for having me. I began playing EVE back in late-2008. I made a character just to get into the game and explore what my cousin was so involved in. Things were quite different back then, and I wasn’t really grasping the concepts of gameplay, let alone actually flourishing. My cousin had invited me into his corp, a fairly small group of miners and industrialists. They were very nice, friendly, and knowledgeable people for sure, but they weren’t really set up, equipped, or skilled in coaching a complete newbie like myself. I ended up dropping out of the game from a lack of interest and focus.

In mid-2009, my curiosity of the game began to grow again and I renewed my subscription. This time, I made a new character and decided to explore things on my own, from scratch. I flew around casually, picking up missions here and there, and just poking my nose into what I could. It didn’t take long until I realized that I, again, had no idea what I was doing and needed help in order to move forward. Whenever I saw anyone asking for a good corp or for help with figuring things out, the same recommendation kept popping up: EVE University. I thought, “sure, why not?” and applied.

Before I knew it, not only was I a student participating in the grand pilgrimage of moving my things to Uni space (Aldrat at the time), I was participating in classes, fleets, and even found myself a Mentor. I kept learning, trained skills to better perform in missions and support for war fleets (ECM 4 life), and worked my way up to Graduate. I was enjoying my time in the University and socialising with the friends I made. The Uni had provided me with so much; way more than I could have ever hoped to learn in the same time alone. I wanted to give back. Recalling my wonderful experience as a mentee, the choice was obvious. I became a Mentor.

I volunteered with the Mentor Department for nearly a year before eventually moving on to the rest of New Eden, my head held high and spirit strong. Since then, I have been playing on and off. Fast forward to mid-2021, my love of the game pulled me back in full time. My cousin’s old corp had mostly died off; its members either moved on to other ventures or quit entirely. I wasn’t too sure of what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t too familiar with all the changes since I last played. Thankfully, I knew of just the corp to help with these sorts of things. And, naturally, once I found my footing I knew what it was I wanted to do: I volunteered as a Mentor once again.

Talking of the Mentor Department, what does the Mentor Program mean to you?

The Program offered by the University is a unique one that works in concert with the other education-focused departments. Though each one is equally important, I hold the Mentor Program near and dear to my heart. As I mentioned before, I was a mentee at one point in my EVE career. While I may not remember every detail of every interaction from 14 years ago, I remember how it made me feel–being both a mentee and Mentor–with fondness. I remember being able to ask my Mentor even the simplest-sounding questions without fear of being hassled or teased. I remember the guidance and direction he provided when I felt lost. The connection I had with my Mentor helped to shape the experience I had early on into an overwhelmingly positive one. Really, I could say that the biggest reason I continue to play EVE is because of the Mentor Program.

It sounds like becoming a mentor can be a lot of fun and be very fulfilling. In your eyes, what makes a good mentor and how does one become a mentor?

Naturally, I wanted to pay forward the experience I had. As a Mentor, I strive to provide the same environment that raised me: ensure that my charges feel at home, supported, seen and heard, and free. For all Mentors, I think it is important to remember that you, too, were a new player. Stay flexible. Your new mentee may have started with an interest in abyssals and PvP, but suddenly finds themselves fascinated by something as harmless as wormhole rescue. Then that could change the next week to industry and mining! Let them explore! Let them feel out different avenues of content at their pace, all the while providing support, information, and advice as they need. Additionally, it is a good idea to keep notes on your mentees. We’re human, and it becomes easy for information to bleed over as time goes by. It’s not impossible to unintentionally forget something about one of your quieter mentees in the chaos of a noisier, more active one. I of course say that with all the kindness and love. For any prospective mentees reading: be chaotic! Be loud! It makes things fun for all!

We welcome those with Sophomore and Graduate titles to apply to become a Mentor, although Sophomores may be asked to provide references and additional information in lieu of the Graduate title. You don’t have to be an expert at the game, or any one subject for that matter, but we do ask that you have a decent grasp of the concepts and basics.

I remember when I was a mentee, I found it very difficult to know what questions to ask my mentor. Any advice for new or returning players on what they can ask their mentor and how to best learn about EVE?

The best advice I can offer would be to ask any question that comes to mind! Seriously, there are no dumb questions, except the ones not asked. Not sure how the fitting window works? Ask! Overwhelmed with how the market is structured? Ask! Not sure where to start or what to do? Ask! To answer the question posed to me here, you can ask us what we did when we were learning. Ask us what we do now. Most of us have stories to share, and some of them might inspire you to try something out.

If you do find yourself unsure of how to ask a question, or even what question to ask, just work it out. Think of it like trying to remember a word; while you may have forgotten it, you know what you’re trying to say. Even if you don’t know the exact terminology, using synonyms in a sentence or just talking about what you’re thinking can help your Mentor narrow down the issue.

Another avenue a new or returning player can take on their own is to browse the UniWiki. Literally browse it. Go to a random page or start on a topic you may have already heard about, and let yourself fall down a rabbit hole. Not only will you gain awareness of various subjects, but at least one of them should inspire a question or two.

Lastly, I would recommend patience. EVE is a long-haul game, and there is probably a literal ton of information in and around it. It would be impossible to cover all of it in a week, nevermind being exposed to it in that time.

Interview done by Hippla – August 2023
If you want to become a mentor yourself, head over to the UniWiki – How to become a Mentor.

2 thoughts on “Interview with Sanctia Vitae – Senior Mentor Officer

  1. I also felt that it was necessary to have a “face” on screen, but other individuals decided to just show their in-game character photos, which I found kind of strange. I can’t remember ever supporting or casting a ballot for a candidate whose visage I didn’t recognize.
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