Today is #NationalMentoringDay and so we are celebrating our amazing team of STaR mentor’s. Find out more about the mentoring programme, how you can get involved and hear from the mentors themselves!
What is a STaR Mentor?
A STaR Mentor is a current student who helps new students with their start at university. A bit like a buddy service, your mentor is there to answer any questions you may have and to provide you with an insight into what university is all about. The Student Transition at Reading (or STaR) scheme is made up of volunteer students who have received training from the university on how they can help YOU get the best out of your experience.
All undergraduate students and International Foundation Programme students automatically receive a STaR mentor. You should have received an email in your in-box just before your started at Reading from your very own STaR mentor. They will have been matched with you based on what you are studying or the department you are studying in.
“It’s nice to talk to someone ‘on the inside’ before you arrive who can give you tips and shortcuts that would take you the whole year to figure out’ New student
A STaR Mentor can:
- Introduce you to student life & support you with your start at university
- Answer questions about university
- Provide more information about your course
- Talk through any worries or concerns you may have about university
- Direct you to clubs and societies and help you to find like-minded people
- Help you settle in
If you are new and you haven’t yet quite found your feet do check and see if you have a STaR mentor. If you are unsure if you have a mentor then please email us at email@example.com and we can find out for you.
Would you like to be a STaR mentor?
If you would like to become a STaR mentor in Autumn 2022 then please fill in this expression of interest form. You are not committing to anything at this stage but will be emailed a short application form in February 2022.
“There was very good training. The people leading the scheme helped create a friendly atmosphere where you felt like you could ask questions and seek help if you were stuck. Additionally, the weekly emails made me feel supported and connected to the scheme.” Student STaR mentor.
Being a STaR Mentor
William Mah – Community
“I’m so proud to call myself a STaR Mentor. Someone who can be there to lend a hand or an ear”
University is one of the most transformational experiences that anyone can experience. It is a turning point in your life, a period of finding yourself, and vulnerability, which is why I’m so proud to call myself a STaR Mentor. Someone who can be there to lend a hand or an ear during this period.
I have been a STaR Mentor for two years and I’ve also had two STaR Mentors myself (Malaysian campus and Whiteknights campus). Having been on both ends I can say with certainty that it is an enriching experience, not just for yourself, but also for the people we devote our time and attention towards.
As once said, ‘it is in giving that we receive’. In our efforts to support incoming freshers, to ease anxieties and solve problems, we become bigger than ourselves, we become a community that can trust and rely on each other.
The fact that doing all this contributes towards the RED Awards and employability is a sweet little cherry on top.
Praise Chuks-Ezike, STaR international foundation programme mentor of year – Helping others
“STaR mentoring is not about my professional experience, but instead a willing spirit which is eager to help others, irrespective of been an introvert or extrovert by nature.”
“I have learnt, that I can simply help just by sharing my university experience so far.”
When I first enquired and applied to become a STaR Mentor, I was scared for many different reasons; questioning my abilities, lack of professional experience and qualities needed for the position. I was also scared that I might not be able to give my best, alongside managing my course and schoolwork as a law student.
Now I reflect on these fears with a smile. Through all my experiences in this role, I have learnt that STaR mentoring is not about my professional experience, but instead a willing spirit that is eager to help others, regardless of being an introvert or extrovert.
Through this role, I have learnt that I can simply help just by sharing my university experience so far. I am glad to have met the amazing team, which has provided a lot of support, advice and encouragement.
Helena Muhammad Adam – Friendship
“Being an international student, I understand only too well the struggles of adapting to a completely new environment. With this knowledge in mind, I was happy that I could be a source of friendship and guidance for new students from other countries.”
Being an international student, I understand the struggles of adapting to a completely new environment. With this knowledge in mind, I was happy that I could be a source of friendship and guidance for new students from other countries. I felt a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I was able to ensure that my mentees had a smooth transition into university life.
Being a STaR Mentor has enabled me to make new friends and has helped me improve my skills in responsibility and confidence. My mentees were always corresponding with me, talking about university life, our backgrounds and interests and asking me a wide range of questions. I was initially nervous I would not be able to answer questions to their satisfaction, but I was grateful that the Star Mentor team helped me by equipping me with the relevant information and guidelines. I was able to point my mentees in the right direction.
I was even able to help one of my mentees get a head start in her course by recommending her textbooks and some additional notes relevant to her selected modules.
Chayse Matthews, STaR undergraduate mentor of the year – Pride
“I would highly recommend becoming a STaR mentor, the role gives you a sense of pride to be able to help those younger than you settle into their upcoming adventures”
My first experience of the STaR mentor programme was being assigned a mentor before starting my first year at UoR. My mentor gave me the opportunity to converse with someone that had gone through the motions of university life – making my future journey onto campus and into freshers as easy as possible.
From this experience, I decided that I wanted to do the same for new students, making them feel at ease when starting their journey, especially considering the altered circumstances that we find ourselves in this year.
Talking and helping new students, (all of which were on the same or a very similar course to mine), allowed me to gain confidence, conversational skills and new knowledge through finding the answers to student queries. I received the STaR mentor of the year award and felt an immense sense of success and that I had provided students with the necessary start that they needed.
I would highly recommend becoming a STaR mentor, the role gives you a sense of pride to be able to help those younger than you settle into their upcoming adventures at a new and exciting institution.
Linda Sbarro – Self-confidence
“What I love most about being a STaR mentor is the opportunity to help new students feel at home in Reading – sharing tips, suggestions, and pieces of advice.”
Thanks to the STaR Mentor training sessions I gained confidence in my mentoring skills and was able to engage in new leader activities (becoming a course rep). The Star Mentor scheme helped me to learn the best ways to communicate with groups, the public and individuals, and gave me the opportunity to develop a new sense of self-confidence.
What I love most about being a STaR mentor is the opportunity to help new students feel at home in Reading – sharing tips, suggestions, and pieces of advice. Each time I received positive feedback from a mentee it is always a happy moment.
Being able to help new students makes you feel part of something bigger, and gives you the opportunity to act as a big sister (or brother) figure.
For more information of anything STaR mentor related head over to our STaR pages on Essentials.