The Student Life portfolio consists of the Melbourne Peer Mentor Program and Academic Advising at Melbourne. These initiatives give our commencing students access to social and academic connections, to ease the transition to University life and provide guidance and support in your journey at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean of our Faculty, talks with one of our Peer Mentors and Senior Academic Advisers to discuss the Melbourne Peer Mentoring Program and Academic Advising at Melbourne.
What is the Melbourne Peer Mentor Program?
The Melbourne Peer Mentor Program connects commencing undergraduates with an instant network of familiar faces to help make your transition to university life easy and enjoyable. This includes meeting your mentor group at the start of the semester so you are connected from the beginning and engaging in regular sessions throughout the semester to build those connections.
The my.uniLife app supports your mentoring journey, providing information about your session times, dates, location and peer group members. You will also be able to chat with your peer mentor and group using the app.
Want to know more about how the thrive in your first semester of University and hear from this years Mentors? Then check out this podcast made by our Peer Leaders, Dan and Andy.
As a new undergraduate student in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, you will be matched with a senior University of Melbourne student (your peer mentor) and a group of other commencing students. Your peer mentor and group will help you to build relationships and be connected with the University of Melbourne from day one. Your peer group will provide support and friendship as you commence your first year of studies at University of Melbourne and as you continue through your degree.
How does it work?
As a new student you are automatically part of the program! Your dedicated Student Life Team matches you with a mentor and your group ahead of orientation.
Download the my.uniLife app to get details of who your peer mentor is, when your meetings are scheduled, to chat to your group and more. You should also receive an email to your student email account at the start of the semester with information.
There will be 5 sessions across the year, 4 in your first Semester and 1 in the next semester to re-connect with your group. The sessions are themed around key stages in the semester such as getting to know the University and available services through to preparing for exams!
How do I become a Mentee?
You don't need to do anything! If you are a new undergraduate student in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences you will automatically be placed in a mentoring group. If you have not heard anything by Orientation week, please get in touch with us so we can make sure you are not missing out!
What will I get out of the program?
- Meet new students and make some friends
- Information about student engagement programs, workshops and events to get involved in
- Information on available student support services to help with questions and concerns
- Build relationships and be more supported be connected to the University
- Have a friendly group of familiar faces to help you navigate life at the University of Melbourne
- Opportunity to “find your people” or your place at University
There are some things that you can do, as a mentee, to make your time in the Melbourne Peer Mentor Program more enjoyable for you and your group. They include, but are not limited to:
- Actively engage with your group, sessions, and activities
- Behave respectfully towards others and provide an inclusive environment for all
- Go to your mentor for support and guidance - in some cases they may refer you to different services to get specialised support or assistance
- I want some more information
"I am stoked to have been able to help make my peer group's transition to uni life a smooth and enjoyable one. I wish I had had the opportunity to engage in this sort of program when I was in their position."
Sarah, Bachelor of Biomedicine
"Being a peer mentor for the first year Bachelor of Oral Health students has made me proud of my journey as a student. Overtime, I could see that my mentees became really well acquainted and that the mentoring sessions felt natural, introspective and enjoyable."
Linna, Bachelor of Oral Health
Being a Peer Mentor gives you the chance to support first year students with the transition to University life. This volunteer role will give you valuable skills in facilitation, communication, and leadership. There will also be opportunities throughout your mentor journey for professional development.
Why be a Mentor?
Develop your skills:
- Gain leadership training and experience.
- Develop your interpersonal, communication and group facilitation skills.
- Build your professional network within the University community.
Make a difference:
- Help new students succeed in their first year by sharing your experience.
- Develop a sense of belonging with students and the University.
- Gain a deeper understanding of cultural differences and diversity.
- Make new friends and meet new people.
- Demonstrate your participation to employers with your co-curricular record.
- Contribute your participation to the Leaders in Communities Award (LiCA).
- Access to specialised peer mentor professional development
- Receive an exclusive mentor hoodie!
How do I become a Mentor?
To become a peer mentor with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, you will need to be:
- A current University of Melbourne student within the Faculty of MDHS - all faculties participate in Peer Mentoring so you can still apply to your current faculty!
- Studying for at least two more academic semesters
- In good academic standing (not at risk)
- A student with no history of academic misconduct
- Able to attend compulsory training and Orientation Week activities
- Able to commit to at least 20 hours of volunteering throughout the year
- Experience as a mentor/mentee
- Participation in extra-curricular activities
- Membership in clubs and societies
Note: Students beginning their second and third year of undergraduate study will be prioritised. Priority will also be given to students who have completed a relevant undergraduate degree from the University of Melbourne
The application recruitment process:
- Submit an application. Applications open approximately three months prior to the commencement of the next semester
- Participate in an assessment centre
- Applicants are advised of outcome
- Attend mandatory training (30 minute online compliance training and 2 hour online group training)
- Allocated to a group of up to 10 first year students (if your timetable does not allow you to be matched, you will be placed in the stand-by pool)
You can find information about lodging an application here.
What do I need to do as a mentor?
Being a Mentor should be a rewarding experience for you. We want to make sure that you understand what we expect of you in relation to the role. The expectations include, but are not limited to:
- Attend all training to prepare you for your role
- Behave respectfully towards others and foster an inclusive environment for all
- Provide friendly and informative guidance to your mentees
- Support mentees and model help-seeking behaviours to find solutions to hurdles or queries they may have
- Use and share your experiences and knowledge to assist mentees in navigating life at University
- Be a point of contact for the mentees
- Hold a valid Working with Children Check (Volunteer check is sufficient)
- Abide by the Code of Conduct
- Refer any issues or unresolved conflicts to the Melbourne Peer Mentoring Staff
What support will I receive?
We have a range of supports in place to help you throughout your Mentoring experience.
Our Peer Leaders are current students employed to assist in delivering the Melbourne Peer Mentor Program. They will check on you throughout the semester, be there for you to ask questions to and point you in the right direction to get assistance, if needed. They will also organise social and networking events throughout the year for our Mentors.
Student Life team
The Student Life team are the professional staff delivering this program. They can assist with any questions you might have, organise training and workshops for your professional development, and handle the day-to-day operation of the Melbourne Peer Mentor Program. Find out how to contact us.
I want some more information
More information is available here for current peer mentors or students wishing to become mentors. This includes useful session guides, resources, the application portal and more information about the structure of the program.
If you still have some unanswered questions, please feel free to contact us.
Our senior academics reflect on how their involvement in advising has been an essential part of their career progression and share their greatest pieces of advice for current and future students regarding career choices and personal development.
What is Academic Advising?
Academic Advising at Melbourne connects you with an academic within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, helping you to make the most of your time at the University of Melbourne. Advising sessions provide a space to think, share ideas, talk about your goals and explore opportunities with an academic member of our (University) community.
Want some direct insights into the experiences of our Academics? Our Peer Leaders, Dan and Andy, have been interviewing some of our Senior Academic Advisers for their podcast and you can access them below:
- Dr. Snezana Kusljic - Neuropsychopharmacologist and Senior Lecturer for the Department of Nursing
- Dr. Jemma Skeat - Speech Pathologist and Senior Lecturer
- Dr. Phyllis Lau - Senior Research Fellow at the Department of General Practice
Want to know what motivated our academics to be a part of Academic Advising at Melbourne? What their personal experiences with mentoring are? Who were their mentors? Found out below!
Being an Advisee
Being an advisee gives you a new level of unique access to the highly experienced academics at the University of Melbourne. This opportunity is something that should be used to help you connect, discover and learn about everything you can to set you on the path to success!
How does it work?
You will be matched with an academic adviser and will be able to see their details via the my.uniLife app. The structure of the sessions is as follows:
- Year 1 - Second Semester: Group meeting with academic adviser and approximately 10 other students also allocated to the same academic adviser (approximately 60 minutes)
- Year 2 - First and Second Semester: 2 x one-on-one sessions with your academic adviser. One session in each semester (approximately 30 minutes each)
- Year 3 - First Semester: A one-on-one session (approximately 30 minutes)
We encourage you to connect with your academic adviser outside of the scheduled sessions to build that connection and get the support that you need.
Note: All Bachelor of Biomedicine students who are transferring from another tertiary course will meet one on one with their assigned academic adviser in their first semester.
How do I get involved?
You don't need to do anything! You will automatically be allocated to an academic adviser and notified who they are. You can get it touch with us if you have any questions.
What are the benefits?
What kind of support can my academic adviser give me?
- Academic advisers come from a discipline broadly aligned to your studies and will help you explore opportunities to build on your interests and strengths. If you do have a specific area of interest, they may be able to connect you with other academic staff or suggest ways that you can make these connections for yourself.
- Academic advisers are not experts in everything, but they can help you identify when you may benefit from seeking specialist support and advice.
- Meetings with your academic adviser are designed to support your growth and development, so you can discuss a range of goals and challenges with your adviser. There is a limit to the confidentiality of advising meetings, and there may be some cases when an adviser needs to disclose information to help you access support.
- Academic advisers can help you with general advice on study skills and routines that support your academic success, however it is not their role to tutor you or review specific pieces of academic work. Academic support services are available, and your academic adviser may encourage you to access this support.
- I want more information
How can mentors work to create a strong, supportive, and thriving relationship with their mentees? What are the most important traits for a mentor to have? Our Academic Advisors discuss their top tips for becoming an effective advisor and a great mentor