I was thinking of this plan since last semester. Yeah, it’s gonna be fun to be a mentor hey! Besides having a chance to meet new people, a.k.a networking, it might be good for improving your communication skills as well. Also, for an international student like me, it’s gonna be a good opportunity to improve my spoken and written English as well. So here is the story. A couple days ago I decided to apply for being a mentor for the new students who will be starting their study in the first semester this year 2015. I wasn’t not really sure if my application will be accepted. It’s good to have a try, right? The result came out three days ago, if I’m not mistaken, and it just shocked me. I was selected as a mentor in UMSU Mentoring program this semester. I was so happy. Even though, I know this decision needs a good commitment since I should be able to manage my time well for doing my research, and also attending some classes that will be started in two weeks, but I am still really excited to be a part with this program.
Well, there are several reasons why I feel this excitement.
1. Based on my experience, it is quite challenging to be a newbie in a strange new system and environment. One should be able to cope and catch up with new circumstances to make a ‘quick’ adjustment so the transition can be made smoothly. Yeah, I think it might be a really great experience to guide someone who is really new to the University of Melbourne. Can you just imagine, when you are in a strange place and without knowing anything, you are required to settle down to that kind of environment as soon as possible? It might take time, I reckon. So, the same logic might also occur here. When you are really new to the uni and don’t know how to deal with the enrollment system, to manage your timetable or even simple thing like where you can find the place to have lunch or breakfast around the uni. To answer these challenges, a role of mentor is needed. This is one of the reasons why I decided to be a volunteer for UMSU mentoring program.
2. Another reason is because, as what I’ve mentioned previously that being a mentor is such a good opportunity for you to improve your communication skills. You are required to be able to create a good two-way communication with your mentees. By having this chance, you are improving your communication skills. I found it really challenging when I joined the training session two days ago, when there was a part (sort of a scenario test) that asked me to handle a situation when you meet someone for the first time and he/she is really shy and doesn’t talk too much. You need to know the best approach to communicate with this type of people.
3. Also, as an International student, being a mentor is a really good chance to improve your English, in terms of speaking and writing. This is mainly because, you will keep in touch with your mentee and will provide help and explanation, for sure in English. You will always involve in a conversation in which you will be required to talk as much as needed. Besides that, you will also keep in touch with your mentee via email. Meaning, the intensity for you to communicate in written language will increase. As a result, by the end of this mentoring program, I believe your English will be so much better.
Nonetheless, I still need to have a good time management to be able to enjoy this mentoring program and still enjoy my other activities, like blogging, playing badminton, and the most important thing is that still focusing to my research and my study. I am hopping this new experience might benefit me and people surround me.
Melbourne, February 19, 2015