Ann Mc Manus, Our Student Mentor Programme Manager tells us more about this year’s Celebration Evening…
A big CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Student Mentors and Mentor Consultants who turned out for the annual Celebration Evening. This was the university’s opportunity to thank and celebrate you and your work; THANK YOU!
Students and Staff come together
On Tuesday 26th April Cardiff University had the opportunity to celebrate this year’s cohort of Student Mentors and Mentor Consultants. Students from ten academic schools came together to receive certificates and trophies for the hard work and commitment they have demonstrated to the mentor scheme throughout this academic year.
The event was opened by Simon Wright, Academic Registrar, and officiated by Professor Bob Lark, Dean of Education and Students, College of Physical Sciences and Engineering.
This year we had two wonderful guest speakers, our very own Darren Smith, Mentor Consultant 2015-16 for the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Cardiff University’s Mentor of the Year 2014-15. We also had the pleasure of welcoming back one of our Mentor Alumni, Matt Blackburn-Smith who was a Mentor for the Business School 2013-14 and a Mentor Consultant 2014-15 and who is now on a Graduate Training Scheme with Arriva Trains. So a big thank you to Darren and Matt for entertaining and enlightening us!
The Mentor Scheme explained
Cardiff University’s Mentor Scheme recruits continuing undergraduate students to mentor small groups of first year students. The scheme works because students are committed to it, they put in the time and effort to help other students have an easy transition to university life and be on hand with all those queries and questions first years often have but do not know who to ask.
You can watch our new Student Mentor video to see for yourself the value of the scheme for students and Mentors. Read our blog ‘Become a Student Mentor – Cardiff University is recruiting Mentors now’ for even more information.
Mentors make a difference
Mentors really make a difference to the first year student experience. Here is a quote from one of this year’s first year mentees which illustrates just that:
“Joining as an outgoing individual, I still had difficulties adjusting to university life and participating in seminars and lectures. My mentor gave me a springboard to lift my self-confidence and involve myself in classes. This programme boosted my start here.”
What’s in it for the Mentors?
The Mentors get a lot out of the scheme, so whether they volunteer simply to “give something back” or to enhance their CV, everyone learns from it and finds it rewarding.
“Being a student mentor has helped me immensely during my time at university. It is a fantastic opportunity, which allows you to broaden your university connections across year groups and have a lot of fun at the same time! I thought the scheme would eat into my academic studying at first, but I found meetings were not strenuous, I was able to fit them in alongside the rest of my university life easily. It’s a great way to combine doing something for yourself with helping others, my CV looks a lot better now and I’ve found when applying for jobs, it’s a great thing to write about – the transferable skills you gain are priceless. Not only that, I made some really great friends along the way, Ann and Lisa are always helpful and supportive and you do not feel as though you’re managing a group of people on your own – their office door is always open. Through my involvement in the scheme over the last two years, I have built my confidence and communication skills, and receiving positive feedback from my mentees has been great. First year is a daunting time for any new student, and for me helping others has been nothing short of a brilliant experience. “
And it’s getting bigger
The scheme has grown tremendously with every year more and more students volunteering to be part of this amazing experience. Each year mentors not just plan sessions for their mentees, but many create handouts, quizzes and fact sheets! So thanks to the student mentor community we are building up quite an impressive resource bank to be shared amongst the mentor community. This year 240 students received either a Mentor or Mentor Consultant certificate and twelve students received trophies for their outstanding work and commitment! This has been the largest celebration of mentoring in the university to date, so well done all!
We are still accepting applications from the following academic schools/degrees EARTH / PHYSICS / COMPUTER SCIENCE / Religious Studies / Ancient History. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A final thankyou
The Celebration Evening is about the Student Mentors and Mentor Consultants. Congratulations on getting here and thank you for volunteering, thank you for your tenacity and thank you for the fun!
Ann, Student Mentor Scheme Manager
Careers & Employability Team
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