Griffith University’s Mentoring and Orientation Hub are calling for student mentors for Trimester 2, providing a top opportunity for current students to develop a range of positive graduate attributes.
Mentoring and Orientation Hub Manager Nathan Seng says the benefits of becoming a student mentor are fruitful and two-fold.
“Student mentors can develop their leadership skills and experience to boost their employability, while helping new students find their feet at university,” he says.
“Facilitating a range of student mentoring programs, our mentors support, encourage and inspire their peers, and help them transition to university life and study by sharing their knowledge and experiences of being a first-year student.
“Through mentoring, student mentors develop leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, gain a further understanding of diversity and connect in ways that mimic workplace settings.”
Boundless benefits and opportunities
Bachelor Business and Digital Media student Chelsea McLachlan says the benefits of being a student mentor are endless.
“You help not only other students, but yourself as an individual,” she explains.
“Working as a student mentor gives you a sense of responsibility that pushes you to achieve great results for your mentees.
“My ability to facilitate meetings, work with unique individuals and build interpersonal connections grew incredibly.”
Chelsea says she’s thankful for opportunities that have stemmed from her student mentoring experience.
“Opportunities derived from my mentoring connections include leadership roles, lecturing, networking seminars and increased networking systems, among many others,” she says.
A mutually beneficial experience
He agrees student mentoring is highly rewarding and mutually beneficial for mentors and mentees.
“It has been of highest value to me to be able to help students with problems I encountered myself during my early years, especially in regard to understanding the Blackboard system, taking notes and preparing for exams,” Yusuf says.
“My training as a writing mentor has also helped me improve the ways I study and attain information during lectures and tutorials.”
Yusuf says collaborating and connecting with a culturally diverse range of students is a bonus.
“Being a student mentor is a great way of interacting with students from various educational backgrounds, as well as having the ability to aid in issues that I experienced myself during my early university years as an international student,” he says.
“Additionally, it enables you to see the diverse range of students coming from all parts of the world, all having the same aspiration of attaining a degree.”
Mentor training and requirements
To become student mentor, Nathan says students must have successfully completed the first year of an undergraduate degree and be willing to share their knowledge, skills and experiences with new students.
“Student mentors must be able to relate to new students, build rapport and be willing to keep learning,” he says.
“They must also be tolerant, patient and caring, and interested in helping others help themselves.”
Before they begin, student mentors undergo training to help understand the role and commitment of mentors, as well as the skills necessary to fulfil the role.
“The process isn’t stressful. You are trained exceptionally well, so you are very prepared for any questions you may receive,” Chelsea says.
“Firstly, you complete online modules, which may include safety regulations, information on University services and programs, and how to deal with possible situations you may face.
“Secondly, you attend face-to-face training. This revises the online modules and then you get to practice running a real-life mentoring session.
“You also get to meet other mentors and build a network of support and potential friendships.”
Yusuf says mentors also receive support throughout the trimester.
“Our weekly development workshops include training to improve our communication with students, as well as developing our academic writing, grammar and specific teaching methods for referencing and ESL-support for students,” he says.
Advice to others
To anyone considering becoming a student mentor, Chelsea says she couldn’t recommend the experience more.
“It could quite possibly be the most rewarding thing you do while at university,” Chelsea says.
“You can make someone else’s university experience much better just by putting forward the knowledge you have gained as a student. It also opens so many doors for you as an individual and professional.”