FASS Mentor Spotlight: Rachelle Deutsch
Rachelle Deutsch has been part of the FASS Connections program for the past semester. We've asked her some questions about her experience. The FASS Connections program is a way for students in courses to be paired up with peers that are experienced in the material.
You can apply to be a mentor here: Become a Mentor Application Page
What sort of activities do you do as a FASS mentor?
As a FASS Mentor I help answer questions that first year students may have, referring them to sources when needed. Some of the resources include academic advising and my involvement. I also invite them to invites that are organized by the team in Arts Central which includes smoothie events, pumpkin carving event and a few others events. Students that I mentor also get to meet as a group with the other students at Club Ilia for nachos.
How did your first session with a student go?
Most mentors met their students at Welcome Day but since I was unable to attend Welcome Day in August, I have only heard from several of them. All mentors were given the option of contacting students that did not attend Welcome Day that were in our program so I contacted the students that had an intended major in Linguistics or Cognitive Science. I have heard from a few of these students. The first time I met with the students that replied, went very well. They seemed to find the events and conversations helpful and seemed to have an good time meeting other students as well.
What sorts of skills have you learned from the program?
Through this program it helped me work on my communication skills as well as teamwork skills. As well as helping out the first year students which is the main job, we also help as a team to make the bigger events happen like The Next Steps in May, FASS Camps in July and Welcome Day in August. In order to make these events a success we need to be able to communicate with the other mentors, students and staff to make the events the best they can be for the new students. One of the other skills I learned is to be patient. It can be frustrating getting only a few replies from students and convincing myself that they do get the emails and the resources I send them, helps them.
Was there anything surprising or unexpected that happened during the program?
I was very surprised at the few replies that we had from students. It wasn't just me but the other mentors who had met their groups at Welcome Day also didn't have a high reply rate either. The thing that makes it worth while is the students that reply and want to be part of the mentor ship program. It is also super exciting to see the progress of their adjustment to life at university and helping them out.
Read more about some FASS Mentor's here: 2018 FASS Mentors