4th Year Bachelor of Arts in Global Development Studies
Matt worked as a peer mentor during the Winter 2013 semester and will continue as a mentor during the Fall 2013 semester.
Why did you decide to become a UFV Arts Peer Mentor?
I heard about the program from the Director of Arts Advice, Elaine Newman. I previously volunteered as an International Student Mentor and enjoyed that. This was a new challenge where I could offer the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the last four years as well as learn from the students I would be working with, the Arts Advice Staff and the various lectures and trainings I’ve been able to participate in.
From a more macro perspective, I hope to learn a lot more about how the university system and specifically advising works. Personally I’ve never thought of myself as a good teacher, but I hope to improve my ability to teach skills and give advice. I think it will be easier considering it is mostly based from the experiences I’ve had over my four years here. I obviously, also hope that the mentees will see their participation as useful and worthwhile.
What is the most rewarding part of being a Peer Mentor
I think the most rewarding part about the program is being able give tangible tips or advice to students that they find useful and valuable. Working with the Arts Advice Centre has also been extremely rewarding. They are tremendous resources to us students, and being able to work with them side by side in the genesis of this new venture has been exciting. I’ve learned a lot!
Is there something in particular about the program that students should know or might find interesting?
There were a few students who shied away from participating as they didn’t think they could fit it into their schedule. It might come across as a big time commitment, but it really isn’t. Mentors and mentees work together with their schedules to ensure that those who desire to participate are able to do so.
Do you have any advice for first year students adapting to University? Tips?
Hmm…that’s a good question. I think one of my biggest tips would be to go see an advisor! I met with an advisor before I started at UFV and multiple times throughout my studies. Meeting with an advisor will help new students to realize the many options at UFV and set up a path for at least the short-term. I still send emails to my first advisor. They are very valuable resources and are extremely knowledgeable about what can be a complex and diverse network of departments, peoples, and policies at UFV. So whether you’re in the BA, undeclared, or studying toward another program path seeing an advisor would be my first suggestion!
Some other tips would be to take a variety of courses in your first year. This will help you determine what you enjoy and what you are good at. Often these are coincidental.
Most of all, just enjoy your UFV experience. Trust me it goes by quickly! So try to get involved where possible, make new friends, and look for many of the neat opportunities UFV offers like the Peer Mentoring Program.