More, Student Mentors, Student Stories

Could you be a Student Mentor? Find out more about the role from the mentors themselves…

The Student Mentor scheme is currently recruiting Mentors for 2019/20. 
Becoming a student mentor can help improve your employability and leadership skills whilst doing something worthwhile to help new students settle into University life. Here five students tell us about why they became Mentors and what they gained from the role:

Katie, English Language Student

“I participated in the scheme during my first year and had a brilliant mentor; I found the weekly meetings very useful so when the opportunity arose for me to be a mentor, I just had to take it! I really enjoy meeting with my mentees each week, being a similar age and doing the same course means we have a lot in common and a lot to talk about; this makes it very easy to build a rapport and subsequently easier to ask questions – no question feels like a silly question! Conducting meetings each week means I have developed some invaluable skills, I learnt how to prepare meetings ensuring I had resources and content planned, my communication skills developed and my confidence grew.

I defiantly recommend being a student mentor, I am still in contact with students from my mentoring group last year (including my mentee) and I am sure I will stay in contact with the students I mentored this year. It provides an excellent platform to develop necessary skills as well as being a lot of fun.”

Ben, Dentistry Student

“I wanted to become a student mentor because I know how hard it was for me to settle in to university life and how high the initial workload was, and having a student mentor when I was in first year really helped me with that. Because of how much it helped me I wanted to do the same for someone else. I enjoyed seeing my mentees come out of their shells as the year went on and integrate themselves with the dental society by coming to socials and balls. It was also nice being able to help them settle into the course work, as in the first term it can be very intense.

Student mentoring is a great experience and seeing how much it helps the mentees settle in is very satisfying. Specifically it helped with my degree as every day I will be seeing new patients and developing interpersonal relationships with them, meeting and developing these same relationships with my mentees was good practice for whenever I am on clinic. You develop a number of interpersonal skills such as communication and listening skills, both of which are invaluable in the workplace. Empathy is another skill that comes with mentoring, as you have been in the same situations as your mentees and you can really see from their perspective.”

Rob, Engineering Student

As a mentor, your main job is to give your mentees confidence in their abilities by using your experience to offer sound and mature advice. My mentoring sessions have involved everything from making your first industry CV to how to reference and even find a house. I enjoy delivering relevant and useable sessions giving my mentees more confidence in their undergraduate studies and university lives. This is with the aim that they will develop the tools and mindset to get involved in the opportunities here at Cardiff, and, to see the complete university experience as a rounding and rewarding learning opportunity.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and recommend taking on this responsibility to anyone who has the desire to help others and push themselves.”

Naomi, Archaeology Student

“I became a student mentor as I wanted to be able to help first year students settle in to University and their course as it can be a big change for lots of students and quite daunting, having a student mentor group means you have a group of friends you can talk to as soon as you get to university. The mentoring scheme and its training also looked like a really good thing to put on my CV, the training helps develop important skills that potential employers look for. Meeting with your student mentor can be really helpful as they can give you advice on your course and modules, as well as things such as nightlife, housing and things to do in Cardiff. It is also a great way to speak to/meet your course mates, as it can be quite difficult to make friends during a 50 minute lecture, and if you don’t have many seminars or labs it can be tricky to mingle with your course mates during first year (in Archaeology, not sure about other courses).

It is a great thing to put on your CV and the training and meetings really help develop your communication and organizational skills, I now feel more confident in public speaking and meeting new people. It is also really rewarding being able to help people and the student mentor scheme offer loads of extra training to get an Advanced certificate and also organise fun things such as a Christmas quiz.”

Clare, Ancient History Student

“I wanted to become a student mentor because I found the sessions with mine when I was a first year invaluable. I wanted to be in a position where I could help first years make the transition to university life and aid them in what can be a very stressful, confusing and daunting time. I enjoy seeing the effect the scheme has on first years and how much it helps them. It is really fulfilling knowing you have helped make a difference, introducing them to new things and helping things go more smoothly for them. The group feels like a little university family.

Student mentors can provide an invaluable insight into university life as they have very recently been in the shoes of a fresher. Mentors are highly trained and can provide a more personal touch to helping students settle in, whilst also helping them in virtually every aspect of student life: academic and social. You miss out on so much helpful information by not going to meetings as well as the opportunity to make new friends on your course – it’s always nice to know someone to sit with in a lecture.

It is a very fulfilling position and I have learned so much more about the university as a whole through the experience. Not only is an amazing thing to do, and if helping first years isn’t enough,  you also get an award out of it – something else to add to the CV. Being a mentor is one of the most rewarding things I  have done and I cannot recommend it highly enough. By being a mentor, you develop your group facilitation skills which helps with group projects in your course but will also help in the working world. Your listening skills will also improve as you’ll learn to listen to people, not just hear them.  You will become more organised and will become adept at planning meetings – an important aspect of many jobs out there today.”

Interested in Applying?

We look forward to receiving your application!

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