We sat down with second-year degree apprentice, Katie, who has just become a mentor on the Pearson College Student Association's (PCSA) peer-to-peer mentoring scheme. She tells us about what's involved.

What is the student mentoring programme?

The student mentoring programme is a scheme set up by the Pearson College Student Association (PCSA) as part of the President for 2019/2020's promise to the students at Pearson College London. The Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Scheme encourages Level 5 and 6 students to mentor Level 4 students through their first year of higher education. This could be in anything such as:

  • Adjusting to higher education;
  • Coping with a work-life balance;
  • Tips for coursework and writing style;
  • Revision and exam tips.

It is a great way for Level 5 and 6 students to share first-hand experiences with Level 4 students about things we went through a year or two years ago.

What was the training like?

The training was run by Professional Coach, Nicola Pitt, who taught us what mentoring is and what it takes to be a good mentor. Nicola showed us what mentors should and should not be, such as guiding the mentee to the right solution rather than coaching and telling them what to do. Something she also placed an emphasis on is the fact that a mentor is not a friend or counselor, because there are trained professionals available within Pearson College to deal with serious personal issues.

However, it was great to find out about boundary setting and how to go around this issue politely, so that the mentee and the mentor are on the same page and have a comfortable professional relationship.

What was the session during Work Fitness Week like?

On Day 2 of Work Fitness Week, we had a one hour session with all of the mentors and mentees in one room to ensure that all individuals were aware of how the programme was going to work.

The session was run by the Co-Founder of the MentorYou mobile application, which Pearson College are piloting. This is like a social media application designed specifically for mentoring purposes. For example, you can search for mentors and mentees, chat with them, set up meetings and have your own profile. This enables mentors and mentees to communicate in a secure application that doesn't require the use of personal social media or mobile phone numbers.

After the explanation of the programme, the President of the Pearson College Student Association (PCSA) announced the mentor and mentee pairings. The mentors and mentees then went off to get to know each other. In the first session, it was all about:

  • Getting to know my mentee;
  • Implementing boundaries;
  • Deciding on timings for sessions;
  • Setting goals.

We then spoke about whether we would like to stick to the formal sessions organised by the PCSA or whether we might like to meet more often to discuss goals. We agreed on this and have set up our future meetings.

What do you think about the programme?

The primary reason why I signed up was because this is something that I would have wanted this time last year and I think that the programme could be really beneficial to both Pearson Business School and Escape Studios students for years to come.

I think that this is a great programme to implement into Pearson College London, especially benefiting first-year students. As much as it is going to look great on my CV as a level 5 student, it is more about the level of personal reflection I can do as part of the programme to see how far I have come over the past year.

To find out more about Work Fitness Weeks, check out our blog. If you're interested in a degree in Business Management, Marketing, Accounting or Law, check out Pearson Business School. If you're looking for degree apprenticeships, sign up to our vacancy alerts. If you're looking for a creative career, take a look at our VFX, Games and Animation courses at Escape Studios.