Skip directly to content

Becoming a Student Connect Mentor

on Thu, 02/23/2017 - 12:23
Blog Topic: 

Becoming a Student Connect Mentor

 

There would be no Student Connect Mentor Programme if it were not for fantastic students stepping up to the mark and taking on the role. The programme is run through a tiered system. It begins with Una and the team who represent the connection to the academic staff. Una coordinates with the two Programme Coordinators, who in turn work with the six Mentor Leaders. The Mentor Leaders each have a group of Mentors that they work with and of course, the Mentors are the direct link to the First Year Students. So, apart from Una, the entire programme is run by students looking out for other students!

 

Becoming a Mentor is rewarding and fulfilling. The programme aims to foster and encourage friendship within a mentor group from the beginning and lets new students know that they have a peer to whom they can go in confidence to help them with any issue they may have. It is a platform that allows you to share the knowledge you have gained about our campus and college life during your time here with new students on campus. As a mentor, you meet first years on their first days in NUI Galway and show them around, answering any questions they may have. But it doesn’t stop there, mentors remain a point of contact for first years for the remainder of the academic year, with weekly check-ins and blog posts containing hints and tips on various aspects of college life. Mentors receive training on how to best carry out their role, and for their contributions are eligible to receive an ALIVE Certificate for volunteering – a great CV filler! The Mentor Programme runs events throughout the year, like movie nights and charity bake sales, and this year, for the first time there is going to be an amazing “First Year Ball” in March, all thanks to the work of the mentor programme!

 

Some of the current student mentors had this to say about their experiences so far:

 

“I became a mentor because I wanted to help make the transition from home to college a bit easier for the incoming first years. Obviously there are huge changes between living at home and moving away to college so I wanted to be a contact for new students to answer their queries or point them in the right direction if I didn't have the answer. I have learned a lot as a mentor. The training we received taught me how to be there for someone but to remain professional, to help without becoming involved and to be kind and have confidence.”

 

Other mentors remarked that they developed skills like leadership skills and communication skills and that they found taking on tasks that may have been outside their comfort zones to be challenging and rewarding!

 

By being involved with Student Connect, mentors said that they became more aware of all the great events happening on campus day to day and became more involved with stuff that interested them.

 

The most frequently used word by mentors when asked to recount their experiences was “Fun”, and that is what it is all about, making the transition from secondary school to third level easy and enjoyable. There are so many benefits to becoming a student mentor, you get to meet new people, get involved on campus and develop some key skills, all while having a bit of fun along the way.

 

Are you interested in becoming a student mentor?

If you are a current first-year student you can contact your own mentor and they will point you in the right direction. If you are further along in your college career and do not have direct access to a current mentor, you can email una.mcdermott@nuigalway.ie , stating your interest. Otherwise, if you know a current mentor or mentor leader, get in contact with them and they will sort you out!