Chao is a doctoral student from the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. Not only has he has been a postgraduate mentor, he has worked behind the scenes to develop and support the scheme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He shares his thoughts on the postgraduate peer mentoring scheme.

What made you decide to get involved with the mentoring scheme?

I initially joined the scheme is to improve the peer support for doctoral students in the University. I came to Bath without being assigned with a mentor, that’s why I want to make sure other new students will not have my experience at the beginning of their study. 2) I have been at the University for a while, so I want to use my experience to benefit some new students. 3) Being a mentor is a good opportunity to get some distraction from my own research and get to know some  new people.

What sort of support have you been giving your mentees?

I always sent an email to mentees prior to their arrival to check if they need any support at the very beginning, including advice for transportation to Bath, house-hunting, etc.. 2) If my mentees were new to Bath and the campus, I always try to show them around. 3) In the first weeks and months, I arranged relatively frequently meetings with mentees by offering advice about a range of topics, from how to communicate with supervisors to how to complete different regulation forms. 4) In the following months, I sometimes dropped an email to mentees to check if everything is okay.

What has been the most positive aspect of being a mentor?

The most positive thing from being a mentor is some of my mentees became my friends.

Has anything surprised you about the scheme/ something you were not anticipating?

The inter-faculty events were something great but surprsing to me. I thought the scheme was only carried out in HSS.

What skills have you developed /further developed as a result of being a mentor?

I developed my communication skills and also gained a better knowledge of university services and resources.

Why would you encourage others to get involved with the scheme?

Being a mentor is benefitial not only for the mentees, but also a great expereince in the PhD life. The most important thing is, it is not time-comsuing at all!

Three words to sum up being a mentor

Support, share and enjoy.