As a small university, Bond offers personal support that simply isn’t possible at other institutions. The Bond Business School mentor program is one example.
Every undergraduate student is partnered with a mentor in their first semester, providing personal guidance from someone who’s been through it before. Every fortnight the mentors and mentees get together to share experiences and advice, as well as participating in public speaking and team building activities throughout the semester.
Students are also assigned an academic mentor and invited to be part of a Facebook group with other mentees.
Flynn Berry moved from Yeppoon in 2018 to study a Bachelor of Actuarial Science. The mentor program helped him to settle in and gave him a head-start on his studies.
“The mentorship program actually played a pretty big part in my first semester’s studies, particularly settling into Bond and the tips my mentors gave me,” he says.
“For me, I gained some familiar faces I could always say hello to around uni, and some invaluable advice that I am still using to this day.
“It’s always hard moving towns, so being able to settle in quickly through meeting some friends in my mentor group allowed me to focus on my studies a lot more quickly. With this, a lot of the advice my mentors gave me about certain assessment that they also had to do was really helpful and helped me do well in all of them.”
Isaac Tonkin, also studying Actuarial Science, agrees the experience was invaluable in helping him transition to university life.
“On top of having the chance to ask questions about university life, subjects and student services, it is also a really great way to meet other students in their first semester,” he says.
“I’ve made a lot of great friends through the mentoring program.”
In addition to providing a support network for new students, the program involves a number of structured activities designed to help students develop skills that will help them to stand out in class and beyond.
Reflecting on his first semester back in 2018, Flynn is using the tips and tricks he learned in the sessions to this day.
“In my first semester, I was very fortunate to have two extremely helpful mentors, along with a diverse group of fellow mentees,” he says.
“I found all of the activities and sessions really helpful, especially the public speaking and ‘battle of the majors’ sessions.
“Even though my mentors weren’t doing my course, and only one other mentee was also studying Actuarial Science, I found that they still gave really valuable advice/insights from their own study that someone from my course might not have been able to give.”
Now approaching the end of their degrees, Isaac and Flynn are part of the mentor program every semester, sharing their advice with new Bondies.
It’s an opportunity for them to share what they’ve learned.
“It’s a very rewarding program to be part of,” says Isaac.
“I’m able to meet some of the new students and answer the same questions that I asked when I was in their shoes.”
Sometimes, those shoes are eerily similar.
“Perhaps the most freaky, cool moment for me was having one of my mentees in 191 be one of my friends from primary school in Moree, who I hadn’t seen since moving to Yeppoon at the start of high school,” says Flynn.
“To not only be at the same uni as him, but in the same mentor group was just crazy for me.”
While the program focuses on advice around assessment and study tips, the mentor program is also about supporting students through the transition from school into university.
“I’ve personally loved being a mentor, and it fits in perfectly with the tutoring I do outside of uni,” says Flynn.
“I’ve tried to give all of my mentees personal and real advice, and try to focus on them enjoying their time at uni rather than just getting good grades - which is of course still important - so it’s always great to see them invested in the stories I tell or the advice I give.
“For me though, the best part about being a mentor is getting to meet such a diverse group of people who will always smile and say hello to you when you see them around campus, which happens a lot when you have been doing it for four semesters!”
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