Do you feel like you’ve been at Curtin forever – that you’ve spent painstaking time and energy turning life as a university student into a fine art? It can be surreal to look back on something that seemed so difficult when you started out but that now seems easy.
We’ve all been that naïve fresher frantically running around campus trying to find the right classroom. Even something as simple as understanding Curtin’s building and room numbers can be confusing.
As a seasoned student; comfy in all things uni, you’ve probably, by now, developed the ability to impart your knowledge onto the next generation of Curtin students in your field. But, as we found out when talking to a couple of really great communicators this week, there’s a bit more to it than giving directions!
We asked Bridget, who is in her last semester of Human Resources Management and has been a New to Curtin Mentor for the past semester, what she thinks of the program:
“Starting out as a new student can be daunting. I think being a New to Curtin Mentor means guiding and helping news students settle in. I learnt about the program through email and I thought it could be a great way to give back to Curtin and build my employability skills. I think it’s really valuable – I first started university before the program was introduced, and had it been available to me then I think it would have been really valuable.
Currently, I speak to three of my mentee’s regularly but I’ve met with at least six or seven of them. A lot of these are international students; who only arrived in Australia during orientation week and are still trying to acclimatise to living in Australia. It’s great being able to be there to help them with settling into uni life in Australia – and I’ve learnt a lot about different cultures along the way.
I would have loved to have been a mentor longer – I’m a real people person and I enjoy working with others – and this is a great opportunity for me to gain skills through the mentor training and online modules.”
David, an International nursing student, who has been a Curtin mentor to undergrads for the past two years is equally enthusiastic about the program:
“I’ve been a mentor for two years now – it’s something I never thought I’d end up doing. I’ve always believed that to integrate into a school system it’s important to have a good mentor. I first started mentoring when I was at Curtin College, and it was great as there were lots of other mentors to work and collaborate with. I’ve now mentored ten students – and as its faculty based, I’ve been able to share a lot of tips and tricks with other nursing students.
I think that being a mentor has taught me how to collaborate and communicate better. It has given me the ability to differentiate between people who are experts in their field and regular people – and given me the skills to choose the right language for the right situation in my future career.
Mentors are the best people to ask for advice if you don’t know something. The program creates a good team framework to support new students, so they don’t have to feel alone. I truly believe that once you master uni life, you can help people that are struggling also get the most out of their uni experience. Students ask me all kinds of things – from study tips – to how to reference – to how to manage their time. I enjoy being a mentor and just want to pass along the good vibes”.
The New to Curtin Mentor Program aims to link new students with second, third year or final students in the same field to help newbies settle into life as a university student.
So, instead of just sitting back watching the fresher frenzy every semester you now have the opportunity to give back and become a New to Curtin Mentor. This is where your role is to not only help students figure out how to get around campus but how to provide also sorts of useful advice to allow students to feel welcomed and stress free as part of the Curtin community.
If you are thinking about becoming a New to Curtin Mentor, you can submit an Expression of Interest for Semester Two, 2019 as the applications for Semester One, 2019 are now closed.
This is a continuous program and runs every semester.