Please see below for answers provided by our current mentors to questions answered in recent case studies. These case studies show how both our mentors and mentees skills and confidence grow through the mentoring process.
Mentor 1- I feel that the most effective form of mentoring is 1:1, as my mentee opens up more through this process and it is reciprocal. It is easier for conversation to flow through this medium and to gauge my mentee’s mood. Although I do find email a great form of contact if a problem has arose and it has been difficult time-wise to meet up before our scheduled meeting. It also was a good way to introduce ourselves and for me to provide some initial mentoring to my mentee before our first meeting.
Mentor 2 - My mentees and I have found that a mixture of email mentoring, with an occasional 1:1 meeting, has been most effective.
Mentor 1- At the start of mentoring my mentee was withdrawn and shy now we talk about her activities and flatmates and how she’s constantly overcoming barriers that before sidetracked her. She knows that I'm there to consult with at any time and to point her in the right direction if need be.
Mentor 2 - When I started with my mentee, she was quite nervous – beyond the nervousness you have when you meet someone for the first time ... Other than this, she was very friendly and we “clicked” straight away.
Mentor 1- Their main concerns were work and deadlines. As a mature student, they found the hands off approach of university (self learning) quite difficult and required more one-on-one time.
Mentor 2 - My mentee was worried about the deadlines she had to meet in relation to three of her assignments, I suggested that she distribute more time to her assignments during the weekends which would allow her more free time during the weekdays and thus, enable her to visit the offices she had in mind.
Mentor 1 - I was able to help my mentee by directing them towards WISER and gave him the time and location of the drop-in and topic specific sessions to help him with his report writing.
Mentor 2 - Most of the 1:1 time was spent allowing the mentee to vent about the stress and work, then helping them come up with logical strategies to get it done, the most effective being using the weekly meetings as interim deadlines to help with motivation.
Mentor 1 - It only took 2 or 3 meetings to notice the change in my mentee’s behaviour. I feel I know her better now as the shyness and worry were covering up her real personality. I'm sure her friends have noticed too.
Mentor 2 - After a couple of meetings, I already noticed a change in my mentee. She was feeling more positive and less shy, and went to the till to get a coffee on her own, when previously she insisted that I go with her. This was actually quite a big development.
Mentor 1 - While I think there was a lot of things I already knew about myself and knew about mentoring, it really let me know that I could be a good listener and communicator. It let me use a wide range of knowledge and apply it to help her. Mentoring challenged me to understand and learn new things such as computer programmes (Office 2007). Mentoring made me realise where I had slight gaps in my knowledge and it challenged me to expand my knowledge base and learn how to apply it.
Mentor 2 - I have learnt so much from my mentoring experience, I wanted to help someone in the way my Mentor helped me and I feel I've been able to do that. I’ll definitely be staying on next year!