Sheffield Mentors Guide 2010/11. - MUSE - University of Sheffield

Sheffield Mentors Guide 2010/11. - MUSE - University of Sheffield
















Let’s make this year our best yet!

Thank you for becoming a Sheffield Mentor. Without the commitment and enthusiasm

of our mentors, we wouldn’t be able to offer such bespoke advice and support to as

many new students each year as we do. This year is an important one for Sheffield

Mentors as we are ten years old; we’ve grown significantly since the scheme started in

2000, especially over the last three years where we have more than doubled the

number of departments we operate in. We hope that our 10th year of peer mentoring

will be the most successful yet with more students supporting students in more

departments than ever before.

This is an important role you have signed up for; not only will it benefit your own

personal development but you will be one of the first University of Sheffield people that

your mentee/s have contact with – and we all know that first impressions count, so we

hope you’re ready to give being a mentor your best shot!

You are one of over 500 students who have volunteered to help make the transition to

living and studying in Sheffield as good as it can be. We’re proud of our scheme and the

help it’s provided new students for the last nine years. We hope, with your support to

make our 10th anniversary year the best yet!

Please make sure you join our Sheffield Mentors Facebook group to keep up-to-date on

all the latest news and developments.

You will be able to think back to your first year at university and the feelings of

excitement and maybe also fear you experienced. You may have been a mentee yourself.

Either way you are the most qualified person to welcome new students to the University

and to help them have the best student experience possible.

In September your mentee will be coming to the University. You will play an important

role in making this transition to Sheffield as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Please do take some time out to read through this booklet. It is intended to offer you a

useful insight into the mentoring process and we hope it will be an invaluable tool in

helping you get the most out of your time as a Sheffield Mentor.

Remember, you’ve done the training, you have the skills and there is always support

available. So, get in touch if you need to and have fun mentoring!

Emma & Tracy

Sheffield Mentors Co-ordinators



Sheffield Mentors – what’s it all about? 4

Your role in a nutshell 7

The mechanics of mentoring 8

Mentoring etiquette 11

International mentees 12

Mature mentees and mentees living at home 14

Confidentiality 15

Your questions answered 16

The Sheffield Mentors Hub 17

Useful contacts 18


Sheffield Mentors is one of the biggest and

most established peer mentoring schemes in

the UK. Last year we successfully gained

Approved Provider Standard from the

Mentoring & Befriending Foundation – the

UK’s national mentoring organisation.

The scheme aims to support our new

students’ transition into life at university. As

you know this is a period of your life that can

be exciting and full of new experiences but

for the same reasons it can also be quite






what’s it all


Studying at university is very different to

being at either school or college,

academically but also on a personal level.

Your mentees may well be learning how to

be independent for the first time; managing

personal time and workloads; being

responsible for their finances; preparing

meals and cleaning, all whilst also getting to

grips with their shared living arrangements.

In addition to this, our new international

students are also coming to terms with

moving to a new country and culture and

leaving their families many miles away.

If you are a mature student your mentees

may have been out of education for some

time and be nervous about returning to

study and their change in finances whilst

also managing their lives outside university.

Your mentees will be able to come to you for

advice and support. We firmly believe that,

having been through it all yourselves over

the last year or so, you are the best people

to offer support based on your own

personal experience. You may be the extra

factor that means your mentees don’t just

survive their first year at the University…..

they love it and make the most of all the

opportunities that come their way!



Your role

in a nutshell

You will be matched with up to four new

students (your mentees). We will match you

using the information you have given us,

primarily your department and course of

study, but also whether you are a mature

student or not and your personal interests.

The matching process will start shortly after

offers are confirmed in August and we start

to receive mentee applications from our new

students. Each time you are matched to a

new student you will receive an email from

us asking you to log in to the Sheffield

Mentors Hub (via our website) where you

will be able to access your mentees details.

Your role as a mentor is to create a safe,

supportive and successful relationship

through email, face-to-face and telephone


You should do this by:

offering an insight into the transition into

university life;

• encouraging an open environment where

your mentee feels free to engage,

question, challenge and explore;

• providing a personal perspective on

developing in a university environment;

• refering your mentees to appropriate


• treating your mentees as you would

expect to be treated.

It is really important that you make contact

with your mentee before they arrive in

Sheffield. If you remember how you felt just

before you began here, you will have had lots

of questions and possibly had mixed

emotions about leaving home. You can help

your mentees by answering their questions

and reassuring them that there is a wide

range of support available at the University

and that their friends and family will only be

a phone call away.

We recognise that you are at university first

and foremost to study and to achieve. If at

any point you become concerned that

mentoring is affecting your studies then do

not hesitate to get in touch with the Sheffield

Mentors team.



The mechanics

of mentoring Inspire

Getting started….

The first email you send is really important

as it sets the tone for your future

relationship. You should use this opportunity

to introduce yourself as their mentor, and

tell them a bit about yourself. It’s also the

perfect time to ask questions and learn more

about your mentee, this shows that you’re

interested and encourages further contact,

helping to build your relationship. Here are a

few suggestions for your first email.


Tell them about you

• What course you’re on, why you chose it

and what you enjoy about it;

• Your interests e.g. ballet, football or knitting;

• What you think of Sheffield;

• Your top tips for making the most of Intro


Find out about them

• How was their summer?

• What is their home town/city like?

• How are they feeling about coming to


• What accommodation are they moving into?

• What are their interests?


• “I’m looking forward to meeting you when

you arrive in Sheffield, I’ll be arriving………”

• “I remember the questions I had before I

started, like what it’s like to live in Sheffield,

module choice, living with flatmates… so feel

free to ask me about anything – big or small.”

• “Most people feel excited but also nervous

about leaving home – if you’re feeling that

way, don’t worry – it’s totally normal and

you won’t be the only one”.

Your first meeting

Be confident! Meeting your mentee for the

first time may be a slightly nerve-wracking

experience, but don’t let your nerves get the

better of you – your mentee is likely to be a

lot more nervous than you are. When you

meet, be relaxed, positive and enthusiastic,

this will help put your mentee at ease. Use

the meeting as a chance to follow up on your

emails, before you get together think about

what they’ve told you their interests are and

relate this to what’s on offer in Sheffield, for

other ideas check out the suggestions on

page 11 of this booklet. Remember – you

should always be realistic and work within

your own limitations. As a mentor you are

not expected to know everything; it is OK to

say “I don’t know, but I can help you find out”.

Tea parties

The mentoring team organise departmental

‘tea parties’ for mentors and mentees during

Intro Week. If your tea party is early in the

week, this is a good opportunity to have your

first meeting. However, if yours falls later in

the week, your mentee may appreciate the

chance to meet up earlier. If you have

already met, the tea parties are still a great

opportunity for your mentee to meet other

mentees on their course in a friendly,

relaxed environment. Our interns, Charlotte

and Chantelle, will be inviting you to the tea

parties by email and sending reminders via

the Facebook group.

Do the listening thing

Listening is one of the most important skills

you need to be an effective mentor. Showing

your mentee that you have been paying

attention to what they’ve been saying and

offering them the appropriate support will

help you to establish your mentoring

relationship, your mentee will feel that you

understand their experiences and feelings

and this will boost their confidence in you.

Active listening skills include maintaining eye

contact (but not too much), ensuring body

language communicates interest (i.e. not

folding your arms and turning away mid

conversation) and using “open” questions.

Open-ended questions provide your mentee

with an opportunity to talk openly without

feeling limited in the type of answer required.

Most open questions start with what, how,

when, where etc and require more than a

simple and short yes or no answer.


Building your relationship

The key to a successful mentoring

relationship is the early development of trust

and understanding between mentor and

mentee. By listening to your mentee,

empathising and sharing your personal

experiences you can help develop mutual

trust and respect.

Here are some ways that you can help to

encourage and develop you mentoring


• Be yourself! We have met you and we

know that you are a great person and will

be a great mentor, so believe in yourself

and have confidence.

• It is just as important to let your mentee

be themselves, they should feel

comfortable talking to you and secure in

the knowledge that you won’t judge them.

• Keep in contact. Failing to turn up to a

meeting or not replying to an email early in

the relationship can cause your mentee to

lose faith in you and your commitment to

them as a mentor.

• Ask your mentee questions, don’t assume

you know how they’re feeling; they may not

be having the same start to university that

you did and will appreciate your interest.



Saying goodbye

When your mentee no longer feels that they

need regular support, it is time to bring your

formal relationship to an end. This does not

mean that the two of you will never speak

again; past mentees have said how nice it is

to bump into their mentor around campus

and to receive occasional emails or texts

asking them how they are getting on.

When ending your mentoring relationships

remember to:

• tell them they can get in touch with you in

the future if they need to;

• get feedback on their experience;

• let your mentee know how the experience

was for you, did you enjoy it, did you learn

new skills?

• encourage them to consider being a

mentor themselves next year.



Top Tips

• Make contact before your mentee arrives

– having a friendly face to turn to when

they get to Sheffield will be hugely valuable

for them.

• You may want to offer to take your mentee

on a tour of the campus here are some

suggestions of where you can take them:

– their department, this will enable them to

see it from another students perspective

and help them get their bearings;

– the Students’ Union Building, including

the Gallery, Student Advice Centre and

Student Services Information Desk (SSiD)

– the Information Commons or Library,

these may be new learning environments

for your mentees and may take some

getting used to.

• Talk to your mentee about module choice,

offering objective advice and support.*

• Meet up over a cup of tea/coffee and maybe

even treat yourselves to a slice of cake!

• Make sure your mentee knows that Intro

Week is not your average student week –

things will settle down.

• Offer to demonstrate logging onto the

computer network, showing them how

MUSE works.


* The registration process is probably completely

different from when you did it. Look at your

mentees copy of ‘Registration: The Essential

Guide 2010/11’ when offering any advice.

Every mentoring relationship will be

different; it is important that you recognise

your limitations as a mentor and manage

your mentees expectations of the

relationship. Here are some guidelines –

The mentor does:

• guide;

• explore, suggest options;

• empower, facilitate and encourage


• share own experiences and information;

• support and encourage;

• give realistic advice;

• listen to, explore mentee's issues;

• present an open and accepting attitude;

• use their own experiences in a positive way.

The mentor does not:

• counsel (the mentor is not there to deal

with deep-seated emotional issues);

• tell the mentee what to do;

• get emotionally involved (and lose


• do things for the mentee;

• have to be an expert in everything;

• create false expectations;

• make assumptions;

• adopt a judgmental attitude;

• involve the mentee in their own personal





One or more of your mentees might be an international

student. You will be able to help them to adjust to living

in a different country and culture.

The following points could be helpful to you:

• If your mentees are having difficulties with the English

language, encourage them to contact the English

Language Teaching Centre for details of free courses

and tuition available.

• Students’ Unions do not exist in most other countries

and international students sometimes do not, at first,

understand how it works. They often associate “union”

only with Trade Union, so it would be very helpful if you

explain how the Union works and what it offers to


• The University’s style of teaching may be unfamiliar,

especially the emphasis on independent study.

• Addressing members of university staff informally is

quite difficult for many international students.

• Be aware of a student’s culture and/or religion.

• British “pub culture” can be difficult to fit into if you

don’t drink alcohol. Many international students are

surprised by the significant role alcohol plays in British

social life. Students should not feel pressured into

conforming... but it’s worth pointing out that not all

British students drink alcohol and that soft drinks are

always available.

• Assure them that the sun DOES make an occasional





Mature mentees and

mentees living at home

Chatting or comparing notes over mealtimes

in halls of residence or a student flat can be

an important part of the settling in process.

Students who live at home and travel into the

University for lectures but then return home

in the evening may find it harder to make

friends and can sometimes feel isolated.

Mature students may also feel outnumbered

and anxious about ‘fitting in’.

Try to consider your mentees’ particular

circumstances in advance and do what you

can to ensure that they feel welcome at the

University. Your mentees will probably

appreciate an opportunity to meet up with

other students in a similar position to

themselves. If you know other mentors with

mature or local student mentees, suggest

meeting up together to widen their support

network and give them the chance to meet

other new students in a similar situation to

their own.


Mature mentees should have received

‘Mature Students – The Essential Guide’ this

booklet contains information on the support

and events available to mature students at

the University. If you have mature mentees

and think it would be useful to have a copy of

this guide then please contact the mentoring


The Students’ Union support both mature

and local students through the ‘Mature

Student Committee’ and the ‘Local Students’

Forum’ for more information about these

groups please contact the Students’ Union


Please remember that all discussions are

confidential between mentoring partners,

unless someone's well-being, life, the

University and/or other establishments are

at risk. If at any point you feel out of your

comfort zone please come and speak to one

of the team.

Your mentees’ details (name, contact details

etc) should be treated as confidential and

not passed to anyone without your mentees’

permission. It is unlikely that you will need to

record information about your mentees. If

you feel that you need to do this, then

personal information must be treated in a

professional, secure and confidential

manner and must follow the 1998 Data

Protection Act.

Information on data protection is included in

the mentors’ training and you should

contact the mentoring team (see overleaf) if

you have any concerns.


Your questions answered

What exactly is expected of me?

You will be expected to take the initiative and

contact your mentees, ideally, before they start

at the University. When both you and your

mentee have arrived in Sheffield you should

arrange to meet up. Your mentee may just

want to contact you as and when they feel

necessary, however, some mentees will want

to maintain regular contact with you

throughout the year. Take your lead from them

but make sure they know they can contact you

even if you have not spoken for several weeks.

How many mentees will I have?

Between 1 and 4, depending on the number of

applications received from new students and

the number of mentors available in specific


Will they be from my department?

Yes, and normally from the same course,

unless you are a mature student, in which

case, you might be matched with another

mature student from a different department,

but in the same faculty.

When will I know who my mentees are?

We want to let you know this information as

early as possible, but please be aware that this

will not be before September. You will receive

an email asking you to log into the Hub to

access the details of your mentee; remember

that you may get up to three more mentees so

please keep checking your emails.

What do I do then?

Phone or email them to introduce yourself.

They will have been sent your details so will

know who you are. Tell them a bit about living

in Sheffield and offer to answer their

questions. It’s really up to you... think what you

wanted to know at this stage.


What happens next?

Arrange to meet up with your mentees during

Intro Week, if possible.

Where should we meet?

Most people meet up in a local cafe or

somewhere in the department. Make sure you

meet in a public place at first until you get to

know your mentees.

How many times will we meet?

It’s up to you. It’s good to have meetings with

your mentees in a group if you can arrange it,

or even to meet up with another mentor and

his/her mentees. That way, the new students

get more opportunities to meet others on

their course.

Am I expected to become a real friend for

my mentees?

No. The mentor-mentee relationship is a semiprofessional

one. You might not get on that

well on a personal basis but can still maintain

the mentoring role. However, many mentormentee

pairings have led to firm friendships

being made.

The Sheffield Mentors Hub

This year we have introduced a brand new IT

web application to support all things

mentoring; this is known as the Sheffield

Mentors Hub. As the Hub is accessible via the

Sheffield Mentors website, wherever you are,

you have access to the Hub.

You may not know it but you have already

used the new Sheffield Mentors Hub to

complete your application to be a mentor.

Now that you have been trained, we need you

to log in to the Hub and update your mentor

profile with information that will be available

to your mentee when you are matched.

It is important that you think carefully about

what you write, ensuring that you spell things

correctly and write clearly as this is the first

impression your mentee will get of you. Try to

make sure you get your personality across to

your mentee!

You can amend and update your profile

whenever you want, so if you think of

something you’d like to add over the summer

either because you have new experiences that

you’d like to share from time spent travelling,

volunteering or working or you think of

something else that you consider relevant,

you will be able to go in and update your

profile instantly.

The Hub is also where you will be able to login

and see your mentees details including

their photo, the kind of things they are

interested in and like doing, and also the

things they’d like you to help and support

them with.

The Hub is a totally new IT system so if you

encounter any difficulties please do let us



Useful contacts !

Sheffield Mentors Team


Emma Jeggo

0114 22 21262

Tracy Mayes

0114 22 21378


Chantelle Turner

Charlotte Davies

Team e-mail



Departmental contacts

Aerospace Engineering

Magdalena Szofer

0114 22 27837

Animal & Plant Sciences

Sue Carter

0114 22 24376


Maureen Carroll

0114 22 22959


Rosie Parnell

0114 22 20327


Automatic Control &

Systems Engineering

Linda Gray,

0114 22 25650

Biblical Studies

Alison Bygrave

0114 22 20508

Biomedical Science

Alistair Warren

0114 22 24656

Chemical & Process


Robert Edyvean

0114 22 27506


Carole Gracanin

0114 22 29300

Civil & Structural


Natalie Killeen

0114 22 25713

Computer Science

Siobhan North

0114 22 21835

East Asian Studies

Hugo Dobson

0114 222 8437


Simon Tebbutt

0114 22 23400

Electronic & Electrical


Julie Hall

0114 22 25867

Engineering Materials

Tracy Sampson

0114 22 25999

English Language

Helen Penkethman

0114 22 20210

English Literature

Lisa Allen

0114 22 28451


Jessica Dubow

0114 22 27957


James Shaw

0114 22 22591

Information Studies

Peter Stordy

0114 22 22668


Samantha Bharath

0114 22 22500


Emma Payne

0114 22 20602


Emma Nesbit

0114 22 26777

Management School

Ken Delaney-Moore

0114 22 23478

Maths and Statistics

Megan Hobbs

0114 22 23801

Mature Students

Emma Jeggo

0114 22 21262

Mechanical Engineering

Matt Carré

0114 22 27839

School of Modern Languages

including –


Germanic Studies

Hispanic Studies

Modern Languages

Russian & Slavonic Studies

Sandra Henry

0114 22 28454

Molecular Biology &


Roger Anderson

0114 22 26212


Simon Keegan-Phipps


0114 22 20465

Please refer to the University website for other sources of

advice and information – or if in doubt of

where to go for advice or support please contact the Sheffield

Mentors Team.


Gary Toon

0114 226 1524 or 226 9849


Helen Griffiths

0114 271 3818


George Botterill

0114 22 20580

Physics & Astronomy

Linda Simmons

0114 22 24278


Sarah Moga

0114 22 21643


Tom Webb

0114 22 26516

Sociological Studies

Lorna Warren

0114 22 26468

The Institute for Lifelong


Tim Herrick

0114 22 27004

Town & Regional Planning

Paula Meth

0114 22 26912

Other useful contacts

Student Services

Information Desk (SSiD)

Union of Students or visit

their website –

0114 22 21299

Student Advice Centre

Union of Students

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm


0114 22 28660

University Counselling


36 Wilkinson Street,

Sheffield, S10 2GB


0114 22 24134

University Health Service

53 Gell Street,

Sheffield, S3 7QP

0114 22 22100 (24hrs)

Careers Service

388 Glossop Road,

Sheffield, S10 2JA

E-mail: enquiry via web

0114 22 20910


(from left) Charlotte, Chantelle, Tracy and Emma

Sheffield Mentors

Student Services Department

Level 6 University House

The University of Sheffield

Western Bank

Sheffield S10 2TN

Tel: 0114 222 1262 / 1378

Fax: 0114 222 1304




Message from the team:

‘Please remember we really value

the commitment and effort you put

into being a mentor. If at any stage

you need to contact us and ask for

support or advice, we are here to

help you and happy to do so. We do

not expect you to know everything

or be able to provide the answers

to every problem or query you’re

faced with but we do expect you to

do your best and come to us if and

when you need to. We are really

passionate about Sheffield Mentors

and the benefits it provides both

our mentors and mentees in their

personal development. Over the

years we have seen how big a

difference having a mentor makes

to some of our new students and

their experience of starting at the

University. We’ve said it before but

we really couldn’t do it without you,

so, thank you, thank you, thank you.’

Sheffield Mentors

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