Student mentors for chemists
Writing about web page http://www.warwickchemsoc.co.uk/education
Exams have finished. Just voted in the GE a few hours earlier and now planning my evening especially after 10pm!
I was just preparing my application for the Sprint programme when I saw my plans for my future blogs on OneNote and one of them was discussing the chemistry student mentors that I had for my first year.
This mentoring scheme is organised by ChemSoc and in my year, every lab group was assigned 1-2 mentors. I only recently applied to be a mentor myself for next year. Hopefully my application will be successful (I'll let you know if it is!) but I just want to discuss how much I benefitted from my mentors.
Before I even came to Warwick, one of my mentors wrote a letter to me (and by the way, all mentors write letters to their mentees that you should receive in September!). It was a friendly beginning to this programme and of course, I emailed my mentor before even arriving on campus and got a lot of my questions answered that had been bothering me.
Once I arrived on campus, we had our first meet-up at ChemCafe and then another meeting about thermodynamics and how much I was stressed about the new content. The thing with thermodynamics is that it is not difficult; it is just something you would have never encountered before at A levels. In fact, I would argue the whole of physical chemistry doesn't build up on A level content as much. It is more just new stuff that takes longer than otherwise to absorb and then apply.
Then we had a mentor meeting at Costa discussing how to handle thermodynamics, revision strategies, housing for next year, our experiences with labs, writing lab reports and a lot more! It was an informal meeting but I felt relieved that all the worries that were bothering me weren't only felt by me and I felt a lot better talking to people who'd been through a lot of the same issues that I was having.
The mentors stayed in touch for the whole year ensuring that I was finding it okay to handle things. I myself requested to not have any meetings because I preferred to message. I was not having any major issues and don't really like to be anywhere other than lecture halls, labs and the library.
The mentors also receive training for this job (that hopefully I will be invited to, if I get in!) so they are definitely people to discuss your problems with because not only have they been through the same problems but are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills to be able to help you solve yours.
My experience with this mentoring scheme has been particularly positive where my mentor was always willing to discuss my plans and ideas during and after my undergraduate with me and always informed me about any opportunities that she saw online. It was a nice professional bond that we developed and I hope that I'll get the opportunity to do something similar for next year's chemists.
So that was a quick post for the next year's chemists to tell them of another scheme that they can look forward to at Warwick.
Good luck to those still doing exams. Those who're done, enjoy! xx