Lucy Ghent, a Student Mentor and Cardiff Award student talks about her experience of being a mentor and how it’s a great role to do alongside your Cardiff Award as part of your extra-curricular hours ………..
In today’s competitive job markets, students need to be able to demonstrate to employers that they have transferable employability skills, such as communication, leadership, organisation and time management. That’s where the Student Mentor Scheme comes in – being a Student Mentor is a fantastic opportunity to develop and evidence the skills employers look for the most in candidates.
As a mentor, you’re assigned a small group of first-year students from your academic school to help them to settle into university life. We all remember what it was like starting uni, feeling both nervous and excited, and having questions but not being sure who to ask. Talking to a friendly Student Mentor who has been through a similar experience can really help, and removes some of the pressure first-year students have of not knowing who to turn to with their queries. You choose the time to run your sessions, how often you’d like to meet (usually weekly or fortnightly) to suit your timetables, and what topics to cover. Popular sessions are things like budgeting, academic referencing, housing, and student life in general – but it’s completely up to you and your group what you cover and when.
You’re also given loads of support from everyone involved in the scheme: you get extensive training, weekly emails from the Skills Centre, Mentor Management Meetings, support from staff and your Mentor Consultant and a module on Learning Central containing an abundance of valuable resources, so you never feel unsure of anything.
Doing the Cardiff Award programme alongside mentoring is really beneficial for evidencing all the effort you put in – everything from planning and running the sessions to attending mentor training and meetings can count towards your hours, so it’s a great way of showing your skills to employers. Furthermore, being a mentor helps to gain valuable experience to use for competency-based questions in interviews: it shows great leadership skills in running the sessions, problem-solving by answering any tricky questions or adapting sessions to suit the number of mentees, and communication skills from working with a variety of people, just to name a few!
Not only is mentoring an excellent way of boosting your CV and developing those key employability skills, it’s also a really rewarding experience that allows you to help others and build your own confidence along the way. The sessions can be as fun as you make them, and receiving positive feedback from your group gives you a fantastic sense of achievement. I’d recommend taking part in both the mentoring scheme and the Cardiff Award to anyone!
Find out more
Read more about the role of a Student Mentor and how to apply via the intranet page
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