The role of a peer mentor is to encourage the mentee and help them settle into the University. You'll be a point of contact for questions about university life. You'll listen and discuss any relevant issues or problems, and refer them on to other sources of help or information. Mentors act as positive role models, build up a strong, trusting relationship and supplement other support available.
Peer mentors are not expected to (so shouldn't) act as a counsellor, therapist or careers adviser. There are other people trained in these roles and most students won't need or want such support anyway. You also shouldn't offer academic advice or help with coursework, and above all let this role interfere with your own studies and other commitments.
To be a peer mentor, you must attend a training session. Before booking your place, you must contact your Departmental Peer Mentor Coordinator about your department’s application process.
Please contact your Peer Mentor Coordinator for information about the dates of your department's training sessions. The training session can contribute to your vTeam certificate and Big Essex Award. It will also be recorded on your Peer Mentor activity record.
Former peer mentors say that peer mentoring can be a very rewarding experience and that they decided to be a peer mentor because they wanted to "give back" to new students, as other students had helped them to settle into university. Peer mentoring can add value to your CV and even to your transcript!
For more details, visit the peer mentor Moodle site
It is important that your mentee understands that the mentoring relationship will remain confidential and that they will not be gossiped about. As a peer mentor, you are in a position of trust and occasionally students may disclose very personal information to you or share experiences they haven't discussed with anyone else.
Student concerns are private matters, to be treated with the utmost sensitivity. However, you are not expected to keep secrets. To handle information confidentially means that information is not shared beyond the scheme, and it will normally only be shared with you scheme co-ordinator or your Student Services Hub.
Details of the confidentiality to be offered within your scheme are available from your Departmental Peer Mentor Coordinator and can be found in your Peer Mentor guide available in Moodle.
Unless you have real reason to believe that a student is at risk (in which case discuss in confidence with your peer mentor co-ordinator as soon as possible), your role is simply to make information available so that they can make an informed choice.
If you feel a student needs to speak to someone but you're not sure who, talk to your peer mentor co-ordinator or contact your Student Services Hub. For more information refer to your Peer Mentor guide available in Moodle.