Mentoring is a very important part of student life at Brookes. Many students, especially those coming to university for the first time, need to cope with a new way of studying, and need to get accustomed to living away from home.
A mentor is a person who can help to guide the student through their experience at Brookes. In certain subjects where there are many fewer women than men, for example, it helps if women can find support and encouragement in starting to study and work in their chosen field.
First Year Mentoring Scheme
Starting university can be a difficult time for some. Not only do you have to cope with a whole new way of studying, but some also have to get to grips with leaving home for the first time. The purpose of this scheme is to match first year students with mentors from the second and third years who have more experience with studying and living at Brookes.
The modular degree system can be another complication, because it can be difficult to understand exactly what the requirements of a degree really are. There are a number of questions you may want to ask, for example:
- Can I change subjects if I think I've chosen the wrong degree?
- Where do I do my clothes washing?
- What happens if I fail a module?
- What are the most interesting modules to take in the second year?
- Am I the only person who finds programming hard?
You can ask the student support co-ordinators but you might also find it helpful to speak to another student who has experience in the area. This mentoring scheme will put you in touch with a friendly second or third year student who can help you to settle in.
Both mentors and mentees can sign up to the scheme using this website, which also includes links to information about student services and guidelines on mentoring. If you have any questions about the scheme then please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a mentor?
A mentor is a guide who can point you in the right direction and help you to overcome problems.
Will mentors and mentees meet up in person?
It is entirely up to mentor/mentee pairs how to arrange their mentoring relationship. Initial contact will be by e-mail. After that mentor/mentee pairs may wish to speak on the telephone or in person. Again, it is up to the people concerned whether they wish to do this and would find it convenient.
How many students will be assigned to each mentor?
Each mentor is asked for an upper limit when they become a mentor.
How long will the relationship last?
The relationship will officially end after 8 months, unless the mentor and mentee wish to continue for longer.
Can the mentor or mentee end a relationship early?
If either party wants to end the relationship before the end of the 6 months, then they can contact the administrators to arrange this.
Will mentees be able to see a list of potential mentors?
Yes. Each mentee will be shown a list of the mentors who share at least one field with them, and they can choose which one to contact.
Find a mentor
It is recommended that all first year students sign up to this scheme, even if you think that you won't need any more help after the first couple of weeks. You may still find it useful to get back in touch with your mentor later on in the year when you come to choosing your second year modules. It certainly does no harm to know that there is always someone there that you can contact if you like.
To sign up for a mentor, please log on to your PIP page and select the Mentoring Scheme tab. After you have chosen a mentor, you should email them and introduce yourself. You are then free to conduct your mentoring relationship as you see fit. Guidelines on mentoring, with particular reference to e-mentoring, are offered on this website.
Be a Mentor
All students know how hard it can be to settle into university life. As a technology student you will probably also remember how hard you (or perhaps some of your friends) found the work in the first semester. Unlike essay subjects, where it is usually possible to find something to write for a coursework assignment, technology assignments introduce lots of new material and can leave even the brightest students feeling totally stuck and unable to know where to start. As a student mentor you could provide the encouragement to prevent a new student from giving up on an assignment, or even worse, failing their degree.
Student mentors will also receive:
- A certificate to go alongside your degree certificate when you leave.
- Eligibility for a prize of outstanding contribution to the department or school.
- A useful skill to add both to your cv and to the personal development statement that you are required to complete when you graduate.
In addition, student mentoring will help you to improve your confidence, communication and leadership skills. To sign up to be a mentor, please send an email to email@example.com with subject Mentor signing up. Please send the email from your Brookes account, so that we receive your student number, and please state the maximum number of students you wish to mentor.
The database of details will not be accessible online: only the administrators will have access to it. After you have been assigned a mentee, you will both be put in touch via e-mail. You are then free to conduct your mentoring relationship as you see fit. You may want to link up with other mentors and arrange to meet up with your mentees in groups, or you may wish to stick to email communication alone. Guidelines on mentoring, with particular reference to e-mentoring, are offered on this website.