Students from Girls Inc. speak with doctors during the Allergan and Girls Inc. NYC mentor/mentee event on May 30, 2019 in New York City. Source: AFP/Mike Coppola

A Bachelor’s degree is now commonplace. For students, this means the heat to equip themselves with an arsenal of skills that would distinguish them in today’s competitive workforce grows hotter still.

The pressure to become all-rounded graduates – with grades, soft skills and technical know-how impressive enough to employers – is leading students to look outside the classroom for personal and professional development. 

And this is where mentorship programmes come in handy. 

Mentoring involves a reciprocal relationship typically between two individuals in which one person shares their knowledge, skills and experience with another individual to help them progress personally and/or professionally.

In university, such programmes help promote students’ academic success, further fuelling their growth throughout their education journey.

More universities see the value of mentoring programmes

An increasing number of universities are offering mentorship programmes that help students connect with alumni or faculty members to ensure their success on campus and beyond. Source: Shutterstock

An increasing number of universities are seeing the value of mentoring programmes for students. 

In the UK, Aston University’s voluntary Peer Mentoring scheme brings together students from different year groups to form one-to-one mentoring relationships, notes its website. 

The scheme is flexible, confidential and fits students’ availability and preferences; training, resources and ongoing support are provided by the university. 

The university notes that mentees stand to benefit from a range of things, like receiving encouragement and support from older students, in addition to learning from their experiences; develop strategies for dealing with both personal and academic issues; gain valuable insight into students’ next stage of their university journey, to name a few.

Mentors, on the other hand, can develop a range of skills including leadership, communication and personal skills; enhance their CV and employability; in addition to benefitting from a sense of fulfilment and personal growth.

Over in Australia, the University of Melbourne offers numerous student mentoring programmes which include peer-to-peer mentoring, mentoring by alumni and mentoring by industry professionals. 

For instance, their “Ask Alumni” is an informal mentoring programme that helps current students to connect with alumni, giving students the opportunity to have informative conversations on a range of topics. 

They also offer a “STEM Industry Mentoring Program” which connects the university’s science and engineering students with Melbourne-based alumni mentors and industry professionals from the community. 

With the wide availability of programmes available, international students stand to gain just as much as domestic students from these mentorship programmes.

For instance, Oregon State University in the US has an International Peer Mentoring Program to help international students adjust to many cultural and social adjustment issues that can impact their success in university.

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