Introduction of Student Mentoring Scheme
Student Mentoring Scheme (SMS) is a university-wide scheme introduced by Student Development Services (SDS) that aims to help freshmen adapt smoothly to university life and the new learning environment. Senior students are shaped as big brothers and big sisters for new students to facilitate their settlement in CityU and their home department.
Every year, a student mentor is assigned to each freshman of EE department. A variety of student-oriented activities and events are organized under the scheme with the participation of both academic staff and student mentors, such as orientation tours, a help desk, study groups, competitions, BBQs, hiking, and other forms of social gatherings. The mentors are expected to share their study experience, personal pursuits, career goals, and to provide guidance on choosing majors in subsequent meetings or gatherings throughout the year.
Our objectives are:
- To help first-year students adapt to university life
- To establish a supportive social network among first-year students and senior students
- To nurture a warm and positive atmosphere for learning in the campus
- To help first-year students grow and develop academic capability
- To help mentors grow and develop soft skills and mentoring capability
Becoming a Student Mentor
Various training opportunities are built into the scheme to allow mentors and mentees to grow together. Over the past years, many students became a mentor as they were greatly benefited by the scheme in the first year of their university life. Meanwhile, many mentors decided to continue their mentorship for years only because they wanted to help more freshmen with their valuable experience.
The application period is normally opened from May to June each year. We are looking for senior students with the following attributes:
- Loving heart to help peers succeed
- Good social and communication skills
- Sense of belonging to the department
- Mature mindset and positive attitude towards life, study and works
In general, mentors are required to meet their mentees regularly to provide in-time support. The meetups can be in different forms and occasions, but two formal meetings will be arranged each semester, roughly at the beginning and mid of the term, to assess the mentees and channel their needs and problems to the department. Our expectations on mentors are:
- Building good relationships with mentees and other mentors;
- Being accessible and available to mentees, and offer help to them whenever necessary;
- Assisting mentees to adapt to the university life by experience sharing ;
- Advising mentees on issues related to their personal growth, career development and personal pursuits;
- Helping mentees to acquire social and interpersonal skills;
- Planning, organizing and participating activities for mentees; and
- Attending regular meetings with Scheme Coordinator and Academic Advisors.
As a student mentor, students are able to take an active role in providing assistance, guidance,and support to new students. The process of helping peers also benefits students in discovering ones’ inner self and developing their social network. The contribution of student mentors is greatly valued and recognized by both the Department and the University. By being a mentor, students will definitely learn much more than just being an ordinary university student.
Sharing by Mentors and Mentees
||SHCHERBAKOVA Monisha, Mentor in 2016/17 and Mentee in 2015/16
“The fact that the Department works hard on building a welcoming environment for freshmen is what motivated me to serve the Department in all endeavours. It is the scheme like this one that inspires students to step out of their comfort zone and actively participate in serving and contributing to the Department.”
||YOGISH Suhas, Mentee in 2016/17
“I had imagined the worst of the worst situations to occur. But fortunately, I can say that I survived, and I haven’t been happier than in the last two semesters, all thanks to the Student Mentoring Scheme.”
Feeling Blissful on being a Mentee and a Mentor
I remember when I knew there would be mentor assigned to me before coming to CityU, I felt so blessed to have a senior figure assist me in getting to know the university because it may be daunting when living alone in a new country. My mentor helped me a lot such as study planning, registration and figuring out residence matters. A mentor also serves as a friend who is always there when you need him. Having a senior student to give you advice on handling the trials and tribulations of university life is important for a young freshman.
I knew immediately at the end of my first year that I wanted to be a mentor. I wanted to give my juniors the same experience that I had because I understood that timely help could change someone’s outlook on university life for the better. My experience of being a mentor has been a very positive one. It has not only brought me closer to the freshmen, but it has strengthened my relationships with the people that work at the department. It has taught me the subtleties of interacting with international students and how to assist someone in need. Being a mentor is a responsibility that teaches you how to possess a good work ethic that can be applied to other spheres of life. It enhanced my sense of responsibility which drove me to work efficiently and be a more reliable person.
The fact that the Department works hard on building a welcoming environment for freshmen is what motivated me to serve the Department in all endeavours. It is the scheme like this one that inspires students to step out of their comfort zone and actively participate in serving and contributing to the Department.
Thanks to Student Mentoring Scheme
Coming to CityU was one of the biggest decisions I have made in my life. Leaving home at the age of eighteen, moving to a new country was not something I had imagined myself doing. I was sure that life would become tough once I moved to Hong Kong. I was scared that I wouldn’t fit in, that I would have trouble settling down, and have trouble with my courses, etc. I had imagined the worst of the worst situations to occur. But fortunately, I can say that I survived, and I haven’t been happier than in the last two semesters, all thanks to the Student Mentoring Scheme.
My student mentor was Monisha Shcherbakova. Monisha is an extremely helpful and supportive person. Being an overseas student herself, she knew all the answers to the questions that I had. She helped me settle down in Hong Kong quickly and advised me about my coursework from time to time. She made sure that all the mentees could approach her if they had any sort of queries. Monisha fits perfectly into the role of a mentor and had done a good job. She inspired me to apply for the mentor role so that I may have a chance to do my part in helping my juniors and freshman adapt to the life in CityU.