Students Staff

Information for mentees

Someone to help you find your way

Are you new to University of Essex? Are you returning from a year abroad, a placement or a study break? If so, peer mentor will help you settle in.

  • What is a peer mentor?

    A peer mentor is another student (normally from your department) with experience of the University who can offer practical advice and information, and point you in the right direction to services that may be available to you.

    You might be feeling confused about where to find things on campus, how to use the library, who's who in your department, or how to get to know other students. Or, you might just feel like having a chat with someone who's had experience of adjusting to university life and who can give you tips about how to settle in. This is where your peer mentor can help you!

  • Getting a peer mentor

    Undergraduate students

    All new undergraduate students are offered the opportunity to have a student Peer Mentor. If you're an undergraduate student you may either be automatically assigned a peer mentor or you can sign up for a peer mentor from your department or school.

    If you’re not sure who your peer mentor is or if you’d like to request a peer mentor, please contact your Departmental Peer Mentor Coordinator.

    East 15 Acting School operates a buddy scheme, not a peer mentor scheme. (Refer to the section below for differences between peer mentor and buddy schemes).

    Postgraduate students

    Postgraduate students aren't automatically assigned a peer mentor. However, if you would like to have a peer mentor, we're happy to arrange this for you. We will normally allocate you a second or third year student to be your peer mentor. If you're studying in the Department of Psychology you will be allocated a postgraduate student. To request a peer mentor, please contact your Departmental Peer Mentor Coordinator.

  • Meeting your mentor

    If you're in a department that runs a peer mentor scheme, then you will normally meet your peer mentor in the first few weeks of term. Please contact your Departmental Peer Mentor Coordinator.

  • Difference between a peer mentor and a buddy

    The Students’ Union co-ordinates a buddy scheme for specific groups of students including mature students and LGBT students. To join a peer mentor or buddy scheme contact your Departmental Peer Mentor Coordinator.

    Peer mentoring scheme

    • Department-based scheme
    • First port of call for referral
    • Professional mentor - mentee relationship
    • Peer mentors are trained
    • Peer mentors are automatically vTeam members (opt-out)
    • Peer mentors can log hours via vTeam and the Big Essex Award

    Buddy scheme

    • Students' Union club or society-based scheme
    • Informal, social
    • Friendship-based
    • Buddies are not trained
    • Buddies are not automatically vTeam members
    • Buddies cannot log hours

Confidentiality, record keeping and data protection

It's important you understand that the mentoring relationship will remain confidential. A peer mentor is in a position of trust and is expected to treat student concerns and private matters with utmost sensitivity.

However, they're not expected to keep secrets. To handle information confidentially means that information isn't shared beyond the scheme, and it will normally only be shared with your scheme co-ordinator or your Student Services Hub. Details of the confidentiality to be offered within your scheme are available from your Peer Mentor Co-ordinator.