Mentors

Starting off as a new student brings many questions along with it that experienced students like you will be able to answer.

You can certainly remember the beginning of your university studies. Everything was new, and somehow you had to orient yourself, first at the Charité and eventually in the larger context of Berlin as a whole. How was that for you back then? Did you also wish for someone by your side who knew their way around because he or she was already a few semesters ahead of you?

The peer-mentoring program is looking for students like you who have already moved beyond this initial phase and who would like to pass on their knowledge as mentors.

Mentors support their mentees through sharing experiences, passing on informal knowledge (for example, which events should not be missed), and advising and giving feedback individually on concrete questions, but also through pointing out other available resources (for example, frequently-asked questions about exams, test-preparation opportunities for OSCE, SMPP, etc.)

 

 

This may consist of the following:

  • Visiting the libraries, cafeteria, learning center, etc. together
  • Information about which contact person or service is responsible for which student-related problems or questions
  • Information about curriculum and course organization (for example, registering for exams, electives, clinical traineeships, nursing care internships, study abroad)
  • Answering questions pertaining to studying, as well as to private life (for example, “How do I prepare in an optimal way for the first exam?”)
  • Acting as a partner in mock presentations
  • Sharing study techniques
  • Providing encouragement when things aren’t going well academically

The Role of the Mentor

Your job as a mentor is first and foremost to serve as a contact person. Especially concerning more “informal” questions, incoming students usually do not feel comfortable discussing certain topics with advisors or instructors. Topics for student mentoring may include coursework organization, resource accessibility at the university, setting up a study schedule, formalities concerning scientific work, or clarification questions about the discipline, but could also be personal matters such as feeling overworked or experiencing discrimination during one’s studies. Of course, you yourself don’t have to be an expert in all of these topics! The point is rather to acquaint incoming students with the infrastructure and curriculum of the university and, when necessary, to point out existing resources (for example, ChlC, FSI-AGs, tutoring at the learning center, offers from the internet portal “advice and help,” student counseling, Medicoaches, the Equal Opportunities Officer, etc.)

In addition to this, it might be possible for student mentors, either alone or in small groups, to offer office hours, as well as to plan and coordinate activities and workshops. With this we welcome any suggestions!

What does not belong to the role of the mentor?

  • Mentors are neither meant to be parental replacements, rescuers, nor professional coaches or therapists. They do not need to have an answer to every question and should not try to push their mentees in a particular direction. It’s not the job of the mentor to solve the mentee’s problems, but rather to support them while they find their own solutions—to help them help themselves.

Mentoring is not a one-sided process. There are also many advantages for you as a mentor:

  • Enhancement of your communication skills and other soft skills (for example, advising abilities, organizational skills)
  • Acquiring knowledge and experience
  • Taking on social responsibility and engaging in volunteer work that we will validate with a certificate, which can make a decisive difference for future applications for jobs and fellowships

We are members of the network: Lived Diversity at the Charité

http://diversity-netzwerk.charite.de/