As alumni of the University, there are lots of ways you can get involved with current projects and students. As an alumna myself, I recently have taken the opportunity to become a mentor as part of the University’s Thrive Mentoring Scheme. I decided to sign up for several reasons: to give something back to the University that has given me so much, to improve my CV, and also so that I can share my experience with other alumni who may be considering becoming mentors themselves.
It’s early days so far, but I am so glad I did decide to join Thrive. Not only have I realised that I do in fact have something to offer (I wasn’t sure that I did!), but it has also enabled me to see how enthusiastic, passionate and entrepreneurial our students are! I don’t interact with students day to day, and becoming a mentor has helped me to really feel part of the University community as a whole. My mentee reminds me a bit of myself at his age – he has so many interests and different roads that he wants to follow, but he knows he needs to be realistic and focus on clear next steps in order to really achieve his ambitions. Our first meeting was a great experience, and we both came out of it feeling inspired and motivated. He has already implemented some of the suggestions I made, and knowing that he values my contribution is particularly rewarding. Based on my experience so far, I would say that if you hear the call next year, sign up!
For more detail on the scheme and the benefits, watch me being interviewed by our wonderful Volunteering Officer, Charlotte.
Thrive launched in 2015 with a focus on finding mentors for students from Maths and Biological Sciences. You can read more about this in our most recent issue of Giving Matters. As it was so successful, we are now working to broaden the range of students who will benefit. You can find out more about the scheme by visiting http://www.reading.ac.uk/careers/placements/thrive/.