Academic Study Skills Manager, Ann, tells us all about the annual celebration of our Student Mentors, Consultants and Ambassadors…
Firstly, let us say CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s cohort of Student Mentors, Mentor Consultants and Ambassadors! The annual celebration evening was our opportunity to celebrate you and all of your hard work, so let us also extend a huge thank you for the help you have given to students across campus.
Students and staff come together
Opened by Simon Wright, Academic Registrar, and officiated by Dr Andrew Roberts, Dean of Education and Students, College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, the celebration took place on Thursday 16th March. Students from eleven academic schools came together to receive certificates and trophies for the hard work and commitment they have demonstrated to the Mentor Scheme this year.
Over 200 guests and prize winners attended to reward our Student Mentors for the positive contribution they make to the student experience.
Celebrating the experience
The first guest speaker of the evening was Ms Sherifa Issifu, a final year student from the Business School. Sherifa was Cardiff University Mentor of the Year last year and has returned to the scheme this year as a Mentor Consultant. She spoke about why she became involved in the Mentoring Scheme, how it had helped her in her first year and how becoming a part of it enriched her student experience.
We also had the pleasure of welcoming back Ms Annabel Hooper, this year’s Mentor Alumni. Annabel was Mentor of the Year for the School of Social Sciences in 2015 and returned the following year to continue as a Mentor, supporting students and contributing to the development of the scheme. Having graduated in July last year Annabel has now secured employment with the University. It was wonderful to hear Annabel discuss her experiences as a Student Mentor and how undertaking this role had helped her boost her employability, in addition to allowing her to make a positive contribution to the student experience.
What is the Mentor Scheme?
Cardiff University’s Mentor Scheme recruits continuing undergraduate students to mentor small groups of first year students. Our Student Mentors help new students with creating communities within their schools and across the University. The scheme’s success is all thanks to the commitment of our mentors, who put in the time and effort to help ease the transition to university life for first year students. They are on hand to help with all those queries and questions first years often have but do not know who to ask.
Mentor Consultants provide guidance for Student Mentors on the mentoring process and are on hand to help with any issues.
Mentors have a positive impact
A current first year from the School of Mathematics told us this about the scheme:
“What attracted me most to the Student Mentor Scheme was how much my mentor helped me when I first started at Cardiff. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for her I would have most likely dropped out and looking back now, I see that this would have been a massive mistake.”
Mentors love it too
The Mentors too get a lot out of the scheme. Two students from the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, discussed the mentor experience:
“Ever since taking part in the student mentoring scheme as a mentee in year one, we knew that it was something we would want to get involved in. Everyone knows how daunting while exciting first year can be and to be able to help someone through that process is really rewarding. It is a great way to meet new people, especially if you combine your meetings with another mentor as you can share ideas and resources. It also means your mentees meet more people from their course! You can also find out a great deal more about the University itself. There are loads of resources and help available to prepare your sessions – you will never run out of things to discuss! The whole scheme has really improved our skills, such as confidence and responsibility, not to mention that it is a great thing to put on your CV. After taking part in the scheme for a year, we have already applied to be Mentor Consultants to help new Student Mentors with their mentoring and to continue developing our mentoring skills. We both cannot recommend this scheme enough to any student.”
The scheme is growing!
This year 327 students from across the University have received certificates and trophies for their voluntary work on the scheme. It has certainly grown monumentally since its humble beginnings of 40 students on its pilot scheme! This not only reflects its popularity, but the generosity and capacity for Cardiff University students to volunteer and contribute to our University community.
A final thank you
The Celebration Event is about the student mentors and recognises them, their enrichment of the student experience and their ability to make a positive impact on first year transition. A big thank you to you all.
See what the Cardiff University Student Mentor Scheme is all about!
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Ann, Academic Study Skills Manager.
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