They’re both unafraid to voice their opinions. They both love education. And when it comes to their monthly meetings where they discuss course work and job hunting, they both benefit.
Amanda Fretz and Alexandra Cotric are in their second year of being matched through Brock’s Mentorship Plus program. Fretz, who earned a Bachelor of Education pre-service degree from Brock in 2008, is the mentor. Cotric, a teacher candidate in the Faculty of Education, has been learning from her since they were matched up through the program in September 2009.
Mentorship Plus involves matching a student with someone more experienced in the field to advise on career and academia. In their first three years at Brock, students may be partnered with senior student mentors, participate in leadership and skills training and act as mentors themselves. In the student’s last year of university, he or she is partnered with an alumnus or a community member.
Cotric heard about the program from a friend and went to the Career Services office to investigate. She looked at the profiles displayed and was impressed by what she saw. As a student with a learning disability, Cotric hopes to change the education system for the better, ideally in an administrative role. But she wanted a mentor to help her with time management and communication skills.
Fretz, who lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, was a mature student when she earned an undergraduate degree in Child and Youth Studies. She ended up being a mentor to other students in her class, so “it’s a role I feel comfortable in,” she said.
They meet two to four hours per month, although that fluctuates depending on what’s happening in Cotric’s life. Cotric describes Fretz as “kind of like a mother to me.” The alumna helped her through the hectic application process for the teacher education program. It’s also nice to have someone to sit back and listen to her thoughts and frustrations, she said.
“Amanda’s good at reminding me not to be too strong in my opinions,” Cotric said. “Strong opinions are something that we share and that makes it work. We have similar frustrations in education and in society. She helps me be centred in what my goal is.”
Fretz gets a lot out of being a mentor too.
“There’s the personal gain of helping someone and supporting Alexandra,” she said. “There’s professional gain because this is something that will look nice on a resume.”
Mentorship Plus needs Brock faculty and staff to be mentors. The role includes offering tips of the trade, networking strategies, resume and interview advice, job shadowing and providing a sounding board for the student’s ideas.
Program requirements are as follows:
- Ability to meet with your mentee at agreed upon times for two to four hours per month during the academic year.
- Attend two to three Mentorship Plus activities throughout the academic year, such as networking and social events.
- Participate in training at various levels.
To register, visit https://mentormatch.brocku.ca