Mentors and Mentees having a group photo at the end of the session
The LKY School is home to a diverse group of students from 40 over countries globally. This diversity at the School provides an enriching space where students can exchange invaluable personal and professional perspectives. As a team* of students pursuing the Leadership & Teamwork course, we decided to launch the LKY School Mentor & Mentee Pilot Programme to encourage students to build positive and collaborative learning relationships with their peers.
To understand the current needs of the LKY School student community, we started off with door-to-door surveys at College Green and distributed an online form where students were asked to express their expectations from a mentoring programme. Describing the initial responses to the pilot, Samuel Woodcock (MPM) from our team said: “Our market research indicated that students were definitely interested in the programme. It provided us with confidence that if we were to launch the pilot, people would support it.” Once students completed their online forms, the matching process began. During this process, we were struck by the breadth and depth of experience among students at the School. This discovery drove up the importance of creating a collaborative mentoring culture at the School so that early career professionals can benefit from the support of their senior peers.
The response to the first Mentor & Mentee workshop was overwhelming – 40 students participated in a fun-filled 3-hour session facilitated by Shazaf Moonis. The workshop introduced students to their roles and responsibilities as mentors/mentees through a range of interactive activities. The energy was high and participants were thoroughly engaged throughout the workshop. Olga Pistina, an MPP Junior from Russia, remarked: “This event was outstanding because it brought a lot of people from different backgrounds together and encouraged us to collaborate in a different way from what we are used to during class projects.” It was extremely heartening to see how participants connected with their respective mentors or mentees – the chemistry was evident and infectious! Fathimath Lahfa, an MPP Senior from Maldives, echoed this observation: “When I signed up, I didn’t expect the organizers to find a good match or to be paired with an amazing mentor. I’m really happy with my mentor and I can see us continuing the relationship.”
The workshop concluded with mentors & mentees signing a mutual agreement to continue their interactions within the approved framework. Based on her interactions with students who were unable to attend the first workshop, Eléonore Blanc – an exchange student from the University of Geneva – shared: “The feedback has been amazing – people keep asking me when is the next mentor/mentee event!” We are currently in the process of gathering feedback from mentors and mentees based on their first interactions after the workshop.
Our aim is to build and strengthen collaborative mentor/mentee relationships within the LKY School student community. Ultimately, we sincerely hope this pilot will create an invaluable pool of future Alumni mentors and set the stage for the development of an LKY School Alumni Mentoring Network.
View photos of the inaugural Student Mentor & Mentee workshop in the LKY School’s Facebook photo gallery.
* The pilot is an initiative by a team of students comprising of Rebecca Aster Yi Huang (MPA), Samuel Woodcock (MPA), Warangkana Imudom (MPM), Otini Mpinganjira (MPP), Eléonore Andrea Blanc (Exchange Student from University of Geneva) and Divya Chandran (MPP). We are extremely grateful to Kartini Rahman, Associate Director (Student & Career Services) for supporting the pilot and to Nigel Lian for his generous assistance with event coverage.