Ann, Student Mentor Scheme Manager explains what it’s like to be a Student Mentor, how valuable their support is to other students, the skills you can gain, the training and support provided and how you can apply…
Being a student at university may be one of the best things you have ever done but for the vast majority of new students this exciting phase in their life will have challenges and hurdles. Everything is new; many students are living independently for the first time, lectures and new ways of learning can be daunting and orientation around the campus and city can be difficult. All first year students will have questions. Whether they are excited or nervous or a mixture of both, they will occasionally need clarification on what to expect and need to know how things work at university. That is why, here at Cardiff University, many of our first years get to fast track this ordeal with help and insider knowledge from our Student Mentors!
Here are the answers to the questions commonly asked about the scheme. If you have any others please get in touch or join us at our Q&A session on Thursday 16 February, 12:00 – 15:00, International Student Support Training Room, 3rd Floor of the Students’ Union for a free coffee and snack.
What does the Mentor scheme do?
The scheme matches continuing undergraduate students with first years from within the same school and where possible from the same degree discipline. Each Mentor is assigned a small group of mentees and they meet as a group on a weekly or fortnightly basis, in an informal friendly environment. Mentors can help with social, academic and transitional queries or signpost students to the relevant university service.
How does the scheme benefit the first year students?
The scheme helps students settle into Cardiff University and allows them to become familiar with their school, the uni, the union and the city. The Mentor Scheme provides the first year students with a friendly face, someone they can contact to confirm things with, someone to ask questions from if they don’t want to ask a member of staff or they don’t know who to ask. It also provides an opportunity for first year students to meet other people from the same degree. The first years are encouraged to discuss things they may be unsure of, including:
- How to use the library
- Living in halls
- Making friends
- Submitting coursework
- Preparing for exams
Obviously the Mentors will not have all of the answers all of the time but through the training they will know who to signpost students to so that they get the best advice possible or the mentors will check with us at the office if they are unsure of anything.
Why should I volunteer to be a Mentor?
Those who do volunteer recognise that they get to give something back to the uni but that they also gain fantastic employability skills including:
- Leadership skills
- Time management skills
- Group management skills
- Communication skills
- Presentation skills
Mentors also however gain an increase in confidence and this feeds through at job interviews and job applications. Any Student Mentor who is also doing the Cardiff Award can count their mentoring hours towards the award. All completing mentors are awarded The Mentor Certificate and by completing additional activities students can also qualify for the Advanced Mentor Certificate. But most mentors would agree that just helping first year students and being a volunteer are the biggest rewards. Find out what 11 of our mentors have to say about their roles here and watch our film.
How do I apply?
- You need to be a current undergraduate student in years 1, 2 or 3 who will be returning to full-time undergraduate study at Cardiff University next academic year#
- You must be in one of the 11 participating schools
- Complete the online application form and submit it no later than Monday 27 February 2017
The full job description can be found on the intranet.
What support is available for Mentors?
It is important that Mentors feel supported in their role. In order to do this we offer:
- Two half days of training (both are compulsory)
- A Learning Central Module with resources to help you prepare meetings
- A resource pack
- Meetings with the staff team
- A Mentor Consultant to meet and clarify things with
- A weekly newsletter with tips and advice on how to prepare for meetings
- An optional “Coffee and Biscuit Q&A Session” prior to Induction Week
- A Mentor Certificate
- Optional additional training and meeting opportunities to qualify for the Advanced Mentor Certificate
- An Awards Evening
- Opportunities to develop presentation and communication skills
What will I have to do as a Mentor?
Provided you have passed the two training sessions, an online quiz and completed a registration form, you will be assigned a small group of first year students as your mentees. Mentors will have to:
- Contact all of their mentees prior to their arrival at Cardiff University
- Attend a “Meet your Mentor” session held during Induction Week (week commencing Monday 25 September 2017)
- Arrange meetings including times and venues with your mentees and contact them between meetings
- Prepare for each meeting
- Meet weekly with your group
- Submit a minimum of 4 short reports
- Meet with the Mentor Staff Team at least once
- Meet with your Mentor Consultant at least once
- You then have the option of attending additional meetings to qualify for the Advanced Mentor Certificate
Do I have what it takes to be a mentor?
- Take a look at the job description for further information about the role and the skills required
- Complete the online Application to become a Mentor by Monday 27 February
- Any questions? please email firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Pop along to our Q&A session on Thursday 16 February, 12:00 – 15:00, International Student Support Training Room, 3rd Floor of the Students’ Union. for a free coffee and snack and opportunity to ask about the scheme and clarify any queries you may have.
We look forward to receiving your application!
Ann, Student Mentor Scheme Manager
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Your Student Life, Supported.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and Money, Careers and Employability, Counselling, Health and Wellbeing, Disability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.
For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.