New co-op mentorship program seeks experienced co-op students

Jackie Crawford, Mentorship Plus co-ordinator, will soon be spending her time pairing experienced co-op students with first-year co-op students in the new Co-op Match program to help them get the most from their work term experiences.

Jackie Crawford, Mentorship Plus co-ordinator, will soon be spending her time pairing experienced co-op students with first-year co-op students in the new Co-op Match program to help students get the most from their work term experiences.

Jackie Crawford has a knack for playing matchmaker.

The Mentorship Plus co-ordinator knows how to work her magic, pairing students together in a mentor-protégé relationship so they get the most out of their university experience.

Soon Crawford will be putting her skills to use for another program that will connect experienced co-op students with co-op rookies to help them achieve work term success.

Called Co-op Match, the new program is a partnership between Mentorship Plus and the Co-op Programs Office. The search for mentors, who have completed at least one work term, to work with junior co-op students officially begins Dec. 1.

“The first years in university can be challenging for any student so we hope that such a partnership will encourage them, especially because that encouragement is coming from another student,” said Christina Butler, career consultant in the Co-op Programs Office. “We hope it motivates junior co-op students to get more involved and contributes to their overall success in the co-op program.”

Participation in the program is voluntary and the commitment to providing guidance to protégés won’t be overwhelming, she promised. Some connections can be made by email or text.

“We’re looking to engage students more actively,” she said.

Prospective mentors can register online for Co-op Match specifically starting Dec. 1. In the meantime, they can put in a general mentoring application through the Mentorship Plus website.

Though mentor recruitment will be ongoing, the first wave will be trained in early January and matching with protégés will start soon after.

Pairings could be made based on program, interests and goals, Butler explained.

Mentors are only required to work with students for an eight-month period.

“Of course, if they want to continue their friendships after that, that’s fine,” Butler said.

To learn more or to become a mentor, visit Co-op Match online through the Mentorship Plus website.

Posted on November 29, 2013

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