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Mentoring programme at FIR – be part of it too!

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Mentoring programmeThe Mentoring programme has worked at FIR since the winter semester 2015/2016. Its purpose is to connect the younger students with the older and more experienced ones, who can provide them valuable advice on their studies at the Faculty of International Relations so that they can get out of it the most. The registration for the programme has just opened.

Why did we start the Mentoring programme?

What do you think of when you hear the word mentoring? Another English word in the Czech language and a popular term of the current business world? Or the way the experience and skills are shared while looking for the right life direction of the mentee? You’ve hit the spot! You have probably heard about so called business mentoring which is still more often used because it is a relatively cheap but highly effective method of passing on experience and knowledge. The only investment here is time.

Then why not to take this verified method, which is used by companies such as Coca Cola or IBM, and try it directly at our faculty? Why not to connect the older students with the freshmen so that they can become the advisors on their journey of a university life? The members of the student PR team have decided to discover how it would look like if the Mentoring programme started at FIR. They chose a few mentor-mentee pairs for a pilot project to find out if this idea can succeed. The first wave of the Mentoring programme, 34 students taking part in it, started the last semester.

What is the Mentoring programme at FIR actually?

It is a programme for ambitious first or second year students, who are determined to work hard on their development and to take advantage of all the opportunities FIR offers. The aim is to help those students adapt fast to the university environment and to make them achieve their goals. The mentors are students of the 3rd, 4th or 5th year who have already experienced all the things that their younger schoolmates have only been dreaming about such as studying abroad, having an internship in a foreign firm, working for a student organization or gaining a professional experience in a real company.

How did the Mentoring programme go?

Mentoring

After matching the mentors and mentees together, there was an introduction evening for all of them. It was explained how the whole project will work and it was the first time for the pairs to meet. The next appointment was left up to them but it was recommended to meet once in two weeks for one and a half hours. Some pairs held on to it, the others saw each other once a month and kept in touch on Facebook or Skype in the meanwhile. Currently, we have pairs where the mentor went abroad for an internship and he is in contact with his mentee only on social networks. All the participants had two more opportunities to see each other during the semester. They were told what the point of this project is and how an ideal mentor and mentee should look like. There was also the possibility for them to find inspiration in the way how it works for the others. Apart from creating these mentoring pairs, the Mentoring programme should connect the older and younger students.

How do the students evaluate the Mentoring programme?

The mentors say:

‟I joined the Mentoring programme with the purpose of helping the first year students orient faster and correctly allocate their energy and free time. I also considered it a good opportunity to get to know younger students and see things from another perspective.“

‟I would definitely enrol again, my expectations were met. I didn't have the experiences with mentoring before and I believe it can be trained.“

The mentees say:

‟I would enrol again, but I don´t need to, I will keep in touch with my mentor.“

‟My mentor helped me with the beginning of my studies and I learned about many ways of further development (internships, field of study related summer jobs etc.).“

On the basis of a great success, we have decided to open the registration to all FIR students.

Reasons to join the Mentoring programme:

  • You will meet people with the similar mind set and other active and motivated students
  • As a mentor, you will have the opportunity to develop your mentee, share your experiences with him and you will become „infected“ with his enthusiasm and motivation
  • If you become a mentee, you will get the guidance of an older student who will give you advice on developing your potential and it will help you get faster where you want to be

But what is the Mentoring programme not about?

We don’t intend to show students how to get away with their studies without striving. We don’t want to give them advice on where to get the study materials or which subjects are the easiest etc. Our goal is to find purposeful young students and help them get the most out of their studies at FIR through the guidance of mentors.

For more information about enrolling, visit the Czech web side. The registration for this semester is opened only to students of the Czech study programmes at FIR.