Our fourth Article of the Week is about Departmental Peer Mentors. There are over 100 mentors volunteering their time to support students in their own department across the university. Find out more about what peer mentors do and how these both mentors and students benefit this role.
What is the role of a departmental peer mentors?
Departmental Peer Mentors are here to help new first year students particularly at the start of term when everything in Aberystwyth is new and unfamiliar. Peer Mentors can help new students to quickly find their feet and to find their way around the Department and the University. Peer Mentors can also help with other aspects of University life including academic organisation and time management. Whether you meet your Peer Mentor just once or more regularly, it’s reassuring to know there is always a fellow student to speak to you confidentially if you need some help.
Why do students choose to volunteer as a departmental mentor?
Here is what our peer mentors have to say…
Zoe Turner - "I knew how daunting university felt at first and how having advice from older students who you can relate to more really helped me in first year, and so I wanted to be able to do the same in return. I feel like I'm still learning more every day too and can even learn more myself from the first years, it's a win-win situation!"
Ffion Cudlip - "I chose to be a mentor to be able to help people settle in the University and to help them realise that there’s always someone here to help them if they feel stuck."
Josh Dinsmore - "I choose to volunteer as a departmental mentor as having previously undergone the struggles of first year myself, I was keen to make sure other students didn’t have to experience any similar issues I struggled with alone. As there is a such a jump from school to university such as quality of essays and independent study, I wanted to be able to pass along any methods I had discovered in coping with adjusting to University study in the hope it could help students settle into their studies better."
What benefits have students gained from volunteering as a departmental mentor?
Fredrik Matre - "As a departmental peer mentor I have been able to improve my communication and problem solving skills considerably. The university has provided me with excellent support and training that I have been able to apply to many different facets of my personal and academic careers."
Aaron James Bollingham - "The benefits I have gained from being a peer mentor is the sense that I have made someone's first term a little easier by telling them where to go or helping with referencing."
Josh Dinsmore - "Volunteering as a departmental mentor has been a very rewarding experience as I have been able to help students settle into University life and see how they can use any information I pass along to help them. I am happy to have been an outlet for IBERS students to voice any concerns they have had. Being a departmental mentor has also allowed me to interact with students from a range of different cultures, which I feel is an important part of University life."