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Experience of being a Mentor/Mentor Leader/Recruitment for 2016/2017

on Thu, 02/11/2016 - 12:08
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Hey all! We've come to that time of the year when interest in becoming a mentor for next year's 1st years is peaking, which is exaclty what this blog will deal with - including the benefits that come with being a mentor,volunteering in general,and how to apply!

Firstly,my own experience as a mentor,and now a mentor leader, has,so far,been one that has benefitted me greatly both in terms of the skills that I have acquired from the programme,and in terms of being able to actively participate in one of the largest volunteering programmes in the college,which is a very gratifying experiece,as volunteering usually is!

There are plenty of reasons as to why you should get involved in the mentoring programme. Not only does it help you develop as a person and help you to better understand the needs of others ,but it also allows you to help First Year students find their feet in during the first few weeks of University. I have learnt a lot from mentoring these past few months. When I started University, I found it very daunting and having a mentor helped. I tried this year to help the students in my mentoring group as much as possible, by letting them know of different events taking place on the campus throughout the year and letting them know that if they had any questions they should feel free to let me know. I found this a positive experience , and I got lots of questions back just about small things like timetables, tutorials,and study tips. I found that  it helped that all of my group were doing a similar course to me, as it made it easier on both me as a mentor and them that I was able to answer more subject specific quesions. I would encourage every first year to become a mentor because it is a wonderful opportunity to help incoming first years get to bearings with their new surroundings, because all of us have been in situations where we find ourselves uncomfortable or too shy to speak up and make new friends.

The mentor programme has given me a chance to help first years and a sense of accomplishment. As the first few weeks of Uni life can be daunting I felt that having a mentor in first year was personally reassuring in the fact that  you had someone to go to for help instead of annoying the lecturers. I decided to become a mentor to give back to the experience I had in first year. The group of first years you are assigned with may not necessarily make use of your help but its the fact that you are there that counts! Go for it  
Being a first year mentor is a a great experience and I would highly recommend it. You learn so many new skills,such as leadership and a great sense if achievement. You make so many new friends and meet some amazing people. It's also really great to give back to what you got out of the system, my mentor was really accommodating and I wanted to be able to help first years settle into the new environment. Over all, I highly recommend becoming a mentor,you
won't regret it. 
Here's some information about the application/recruitment process:

Recruitment for the Student Connect Mentor Proggramme has started and applications will be accepted until the week before Easter.

This year's training will begin after Easter which entails a 3 hour session with Mike in the evening. Dates/times will be disclosed later.

You will need to be available for the first day of first year orientation,which typically is the last week in August, for your first meeting with your 1st years!

Here is the application form:

Thanks so much for reading!