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Introducing our Peer Mentors of the Year 2020/21

By Newcastle University

We’re so proud of the work our Peer Mentors have done this year to help our new students feel at home.

To celebrate, we recently held the Peer Mentor Thank You event, where mentees were given the opportunity to nominate their Peer Mentor for the award of Peer Mentor of the Year.

We received over 360 nominations from across the campus, so we’re very proud of our three winners, Georgia Smith, Rafael Parratt, and Morgan Linfield.

We asked our winners all about what it’s like to be a Peer Mentor…

 

Morgan Linfield (Stage 2 Physics)

Peer Mentor ML

Why did you decide to become a Peer Mentor?

In my first year my Peer Mentor was extremely valuable to me during my transition to the University and I wanted to ensure that new students got the same and the best experience possible, which was especially important this year.

 

What do you do as a Peer Mentor?

In my opinion, being a Peer Mentor is more about being a friend that your mentees can trust and ask for advice, not only during the first term but also throughout their University experience and beyond.

 

Georgia Smith (Stage 2 Modern Languages)

Peer Mentor GS

What can a mentee expect from a Peer Mentor?

I think it’s important to remember that a Peer Mentor is not responsible for solving all their mentees’ problems. This can be extremely time-consuming and mentally taxing, especially as they too are a student and may have similar problems themselves. Instead, a Peer Mentor should be able to guide their mentees to the different support facilities that the university offers. Apart from this, a Peer Mentor should be a friendly and approachable figure that their mentees can feel comfortable asking questions to and having chats with. It can be really valuable to have a friend in the year above to share experiences and recommendations with.

 

What transferrable skills have you developed as a result of being a Peer Mentor?

Mainly I think I have improved my interpersonal and communication skills, especially in terms of leading group discussions, which have felt even more daunting over Zoom. Now I am much more confident discussing personal issues and being able to suggest practical help and advice. I think I have also greatly improved my organisational skills, as it was usually quite difficult to find times when most of my mentees were free for a meeting.

 

Rafael Parratt (Stage 3 Psychology)

Peer Mentor RP

What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a Peer Mentor?

I’d say they should definitely go for it! It’s a very fulfilling experience, especially if your group engage in the activities and in discussion/conversation. Just think about what you would have appreciated and benefited from in first year from a Peer Mentor and try and strive to do those things for your mentees.

 

What was it like being nominated for and winning Peer Mentor of the Year?

It felt great! I really put an effort into making a space where my mentees could talk and converse amongst each other so that they would feel less alone and unsure during this time of online-only communication, so being nominated made it feel like it was all worth it and that I’d succeeded in doing that.

 
Recruitment for new Peer Mentors will open soon. You can find out more about what it's like to be a Peer Mentor and how to apply here

Become a Peer Mentor