UW Graduate School

September 25, 2014

Peer Mentoring: Connect With Your Community

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Core Programs staff enjoyed meeting many of you at the recent Husky Sunrise event on Rainier Vista lawn (700 new and returning graduate students attended!).  A highlight of the event was witnessing graduate students foster community—through formal and informal conversations—with peers from across the disciplines. And it doesn’t have to stop there.

We encourage you to continue seeking out these important connections in order to grow your peer support network.  This network can come from within your program and from across campus and should comprise of peers whom you look up to, gain insight from, and build trust with.

Peer mentors can become a cornerstone to your graduate experience and take many forms:

  • A peer mentor is familiar with departmental culture, faculty, and expectations and provides suggestions that help you acclimate to your program.
  • A peer mentor is someone who shares similar life experiences based on race, gender, sexuality, class, ability and citizenship.
  • A peer mentor offers insight into balancing academic, professional, and interpersonal responsibilities.
  • A peer mentor points you to on and off campus resources.  They can also give you the lowdown on local eateries, hangouts, and events in your area and encourage you to avoid isolation.
  • A peer mentor is a graduate student outside of your department who acts as a neutral sounding board.

Just like your faculty mentoring team, you can always have more than one peer mentor.  Getting and staying connected to others, and seeking guidance and input when you need it, is key to your success in graduate school. To enhance your informal networks, Core Programs is partnering with the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) on a new service called Grads Guiding Grads (G3)–a peer mentoring system available to you on a one-time or longer-term basis.

G3 can be a place to bring questions you do not feel safe talking about within your own department, or can be a gateway to finding other students or organizations across campus where like-minded students are building support and community with one another.

Stay tuned for the next recruitment of new peer mentors coming this fall!