Peer Mentors 101

Peer Support Award – Jacob Bennett (Law)
Jacob devoted much of his time to supporting and engaging his fellow students. Working as a Course Representative, Peer Mentor and Law Clinic Adviser, Jacob completed the Gold level of the Big Essex Award. He has also extended his support for fellow students whilst on his year abroad by encouraging students to participate in the Erasmus scheme.

What is a peer mentor?

A peer mentor is another University of Essex Law student in their second or third year of study who can:

  • Help you settle in to University life
  • Offer practical advice and information
  • Point you towards any University services that may be beneficial
  • Help you to make the most of your university experience

How do I get in touch with a peer mentor?

Students are encouraged to contact peer mentors with questions about any aspects of their studies by emailing them at lawpeermentors@essex.ac.uk. There is no such thing as a stupid question and they treat all information you share with them confidentially.

Let’s hear from our peer mentors!

Why should students get in contact with a peer mentor?

Haley, a second year student and peer mentor, said “There are lots of things I wish I had known in first year, so speaking to peer mentors is a good opportunity for new students to learn about their experiences and for them to offer advice”.

Wiktoria a peer mentor in her third year added, “I remember how anxious I felt after arriving on campus and my peer mentor explained how to use basic platforms and showed where my classes were. This really helped me feel more relaxed.”

Why did you become a peer mentor?

“I became a peer mentor to contribute to the cycle of making new students feel welcome and settled into their new lifestyle. I also get to interact with students from various different backgrounds, which helps me to broaden my cultural awareness.” described Flavia, a third year who has been a peer mentor for the past two years.

Haley agreed, “I decided to become a peer mentor because I fell absolutely in love with the University of Essex and I wanted to show new students how great this university is. Plus, peer mentors are given the opportunity to strengthen their own communication and leadership skills!“. Flavia added, “It’s not a one-sided role; you give something and you get something too”.

What does your role as a peer mentor involve?

My role involves being a part of the Welcome Week activities. For example, I work with personal tutors to deliver a presentation about the course during Welcome Week.” described Flavia. “We also help the first-year students to settle in by meeting them and organising campus tours.Wiktoria added.

Another part of our role is administering the Law peer mentors inbox.” said Flavia. “This involves answering any questions that students may not want to ask staff. We can also refer the students to University resources that are able to provide more adequate support.Wiktoria continued.

Haley summarised the core aspect of the role. “Peer mentors provide a support system for incoming students. We’re there to help them transition into university life, and answer any questions. We can point students in the right direction, such as where to study or what societies to join. We’re also a friendly face if students have any issues, or just want to talk!

How can I become a peer mentor?

If you’re interested in becoming a peer mentor, please email Bev Jackson at bjackson@essex.ac.uk.

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