1. Take on as much or as little responsibility as you wish
Don't have much time to spare but still want to build your CV?
As a Peer Mentor, we expect you to undertake the initial training and to fulfill a few more responsibilities, but outside of this we will not pressure you to take on anything further. In the training we outline in detail what will be required of you but it largely includes: a) sending four core emails to your Mentees throughout September- end of January, b) meeting your Mentees at least once (virtually or face-to-face) and finally, c) filling in a short evaluation of the scheme, along with any professional expectations we would have as a basis for any volunteer.
Looking to develop yourself and your CV further?
As a Peer Mentor, you have access to our Peer Mentor Employability Scheme and all the other benefits listed below, but you always have the opportunity to expand this further. If you wish to deliver a one-off event for your department, try out a new format for your meetings with Mentees, wish to support the Lead Mentors in your department in further developing the scheme or have any other ideas, then just talk to the Peer Mentoring team or the Lead Mentor in your department and we will see how we can help you develop yourself professionally.
2. Three-level Peer Mentor Employability Scheme
The base level is Bronze
This means you have completed the basic elements of the role as accredited by HEAR. This includes the initial Peer Mentor Training and the other components mentioned as the bare minimum in number 1. of these benefits (see above).
With further training you can achieve the Silver or Gold accreditation
If you attend the programmes listed here then you can build up points for your accreditation.
The Peer Mentor Employability Scheme can be tailored to reward you for undertaking development opportunities that will help you achieve your career goals. We will help you find training that is relevant to your chosen job, grad scheme or internship, and attribute points to the training so that it counts towards your Peer Mentor accreditation. In doing so you will build a Peer Mentoring portfolio of skills which we will track and send you a certificate at the end of the year with each training programme listed.
If you find a training programme offered by the Students Union or on our online training provider that would be useful to you, then email email@example.com with your reasons why it is useful for your career, to ensure you gain these accreditation points. You can also calculate your points using the accreditation PDF here.
Registration for Students' Union training can be accessed through the online booking form, and online training offered by Educare can be accessed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
NEW- we are currently working with University Support Services to add their training into the Employability scheme, watch this space!
3. Recognition on the Volunteering Portal
As a Peer Mentor you are allowed access to the Volunteering Portal. For each of your 4 core emails as a Peer Mentor you can log 1.5 hours on the portal, meaning you can log 6 hours in total at the end of the scheme for just sending your emails. You can also log hours for attending large scale events such as Peer Mentoring Induction/ Meet Your Mentor or Study Skills, as well as smaller scale events in your department and meet-ups with your Mentees (including virtual events). For more information please see the FAQs for Peer Mentors or email email@example.com.
5. Transferable skills
Even from the bronze level, you will gain a number of transferable skills. These could include: problem solving, peer support and interpersonal skills. Since the contact you will have with your Mentees will be through emails, it is really important that you hone your communication skills; this could include making yourself aware of equality and diversity issues, or the role that is played in safeguarding for yourself and your Mentees.
A number of additional skills can also be gained through the training programmes offered by the Students' Union or our online training partner (see above).
6. That warm, fuzzy feeling you'll get from supporting First Year students
The main reason for the existence of the Peer Mentoring Scheme is to support first year students, to make that transition to University life a little bit easier. We hope that all of you will be great examples for your Mentees and someone they can trust to guide them when they face challenges. Hopefully, you will also gain a friend from it!
If that's not enough, see what previous Mentors have said about the scheme:
“Being a peer mentor really made me feel like I was making a difference for my mentees, they could approach me with questions or problems during the often challenging first term. I also learnt some useful skills relating to being a mentor, such as problem solving, peer support, and interpersonal skills, which I feel are transferable to any place of work or study.”
Anna, Biology Peer Mentor (2017/18)
“Knowing I was being able to help and advise others whilst gaining transferable skills for myself. I wish I had this in first year as I was very lost and unware of the opportunities available to me at the time.”
Peer Mentor (2017/18)
“I volunteer at Leicestershire Citizen’s Advice and saw one of my mentees there… she thanked me and said it made a difference so it was gratifying to know this.”
Peer Mentor (2017/18)
“Being a mentor is a great opportunity to serve the community and make a difference in the life of new students. Sometimes, they have issues and just need someone to talk to. I will definitively recommend this to other friends of mine.”
Patrick, Law Peer Mentor (2017/18)