Earlier this month, Opportunity Scholars held its Fall peer mentoring kick-off event.

Peer-to-peer mentoring is an important aspect of the Opportunity Scholars experience. Seniors and juniors are paired with freshman and sophomore students to provide support and direction throughout the academic year. These supportive, coaching relationships are unique, as mentors know almost exactly what their new classmates are facing. After all, they’ve recently been through most of the same experiences themselves. Research on peer mentoring reinforces the benefits of this community-building experience, creating a sense of belonging, support, and channeling it into academic and personal success.

Offering advice to mentors, Program Manager Latu Kinikini stressed the importance of sharing one’s individual story and asked others to share theirs. Each student has a unique perspective and as they find common ground, they create a safe place for honest feedback and discussion. This sentiment was echoed by Emma Kapaya, a senior, majoring in Marketing, as she spoke of how having this safe space allowed her to be vulnerable and open to new academic and engagement opportunities.

Several students spoke of their experiences within the mentoring program.

“Mentoring is the blessing I didn’t know I needed,” said Eric Jara, a senior majoring in QAMO. He spoke of networking and career opportunities that his mentors have opened up for him and how their willingness to give has inspired him to mentor others.

Vika Maile, a senior majoring in Business Administration, spoke of how peer mentoring led her to internship opportunities that she otherwise would not have sought out. This resulted in an internship with Goldman Sachs that has now led to a full-time job offer.

Mentoring in higher education promotes student success. Several students mentioned the important role mentorship has played in helping them stay engaged in their education, even through difficult times. It reminded them that your college experience is not something you have to do alone.

Mentors and mentees check in with each other weekly (or more often), set goals, and create plans to achieve them.

The goal of the Opportunity Scholars Program at the Eccles School is to support and enhance the educational experience of first-generation business students as they progress toward graduation. For more information, visit Eccles.Link/opportunity-scholars.

Your premier Eccles Experience. Eccles students have several opportunities to forge mentoring relationships with peers, faculty, staff, and alumni. Building your network and learning from those who have walked similar paths is an important and valuable part of your Eccles Experience. To learn more about some of our mentoring opportunities, check out our Alum from Day One program.

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