Before you graduate, Careers Advice, Preparing for your future, Student Mentors, Work Experience

Becoming a Student Mentor

Becoming a Student Mentor will enhance your employability skills by giving you the opportunity to guide new students in their transition to university and academic career.

If you are a continuing undergraduate or post-graduate taught student and would like to volunteer to help first year students, the Student Mentor Scheme is a great opportunity for you.

The scheme recruits students to mentor small groups of first years from the same academic school. The Student Mentors help new students by creating communities within their schools and across the University and are on-hand to ease the transition to university life for first years. Mentors are a great option for new students to ask questions and get a feeling for what to expect later in their first year and beyond. Meeting in small groups, the mentors are there to provide advice on academic, social and settling in queries and are a point of contact to help with those questions first years often have but do not know who to ask.

New student mentors will begin mentoring in September 2019, and will receive training and support before this date to make sure they are prepared and comfortable for the role. The scheme will support you in developing your personal and employability skills, provide valuable experience, with hours that count towards the Cardiff Award and a Mentor certificate to celebrate your achievement. Your achievement will also be recognised by the Higher Education Achievement Record and will be visible on your enhanced transcript so potential employers can see evidence of your volunteering.

The skills you will develop as a mentor, such as planning, organisation and team leadership, are transferrable skills that employers are looking for in graduates, and the scheme is a great way to demonstrate those skills. In addition to all of this, being a Student Mentor will give you the opportunity to help others and meet new people!

What do mentors do?

  • Attending a Meet Your Mentor session when the semester starts
  • Meeting weekly/fortnightly with mentees (you complete 4-6 sessions in total)
  • Planning these 30-45-minute sessions (on topics such as new ways of studying, settling into accommodation, budgeting, choosing modules, assignments, essays and exams and finding housing for your second year)
  • Writing up a brief log of the meeting and emailing this to the Skills Centre

Millie, third year English Literature student and Lead Mentor Consultant, talks about why she became a Student Mentor

“When I became a student mentor last September, I knew that it would give me a range of skills that would enhance my CV and employability prospects. A year on, I can see that joining the mentoring team has offered me so much more than this.

In myself, I have become a much more confident and outgoing person. Although I’d always been involved in volunteering, this was usually with younger children, and I hadn’t done much talking to anyone outside of my friendship group during my first year in Cardiff. Mentoring people my own age suddenly appeared to be quite daunting and I remember the nerves I felt when I met my mentees for the first time in induction week. Despite the amount of times I stumbled over my words, I was proud of myself for even getting through the first meeting, and left it determined to do a better job the second time around.

As the meetings progressed, however, I found that my initial nerves weren’t so much of an issue. Week by week, my confidence grew and I felt calm and prepared to meet my mentees. They engaged with what I had to say and I truly felt like I was helping.

On our last session, my mentees thanked me for the guidance I had given them. It felt so rewarding to know that I had made the initial stages of first year a bit easier for them and that I’d been someone to turn to if they were feeling lost. Equally as rewarding was knowing that by helping others I had helped myself. Walking away from that final meeting I felt confident, happy, and inspired to do more for the mentoring team. This was a big step forward from my first meeting in September and it was mentoring that helped me get there.”

Interested in Applying?

We look forward to receiving your application!

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 & MoneyCareers & EmployabilityCounselling, Health & WellbeingDisability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.

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