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So you want to be a mentor?

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Photo: Vanessa Garcia on pexels.com

Posted April 12, 2021

By Kirsty Clarke

Being a student mentor can be a satisfying and enriching part of your experience at U of T. If that sounds interesting to you, there are lots of opportunities and pathways to success. On the St. George campus alone there are more than 50 programs that match U of T students to peer mentors.

Start by visiting the Student Mentorship Database. It will show you the different areas where mentoring is possible. As you explore the possibilities, think about your own skills and interests, and about what you want from the mentoring experience.

Being a good mentor will depend on your own experiences at U of T and beyond. As you consider possibilities, think about the resources at U of T you have used and are most familiar with. Could your experience using those resources be helpful to others just starting to understand them?

Also, consider what activities and experiences you’ve been involved with at U of T. What clubs and social groups have you joined? What experiences have helped you navigate the challenges of your student experience? How could you use those skills to help others?

Finally, assess your communication skills, and any avenues you could use to build them—including socializing with others and taking classes or workshops related to improving communication. These are an essential element of mentoring, and good skills will help you more easily share the benefits of your experiences with your peers.

Once you know what you’d like to do, and where your mentoring skills might be most useful, reach out using the contact information for the programs you are interested in, to take the next step. If you’d like to meet virtually with someone who has successfully navigated the process, book an appointment with a mentorship education assistant.