Mentorship Programs!? Should I participate in it?

Most universities in Hong Kong try to bring their alumni and students together by organizing mentorship programs. And I was lucky enough to participate in a couple of them as a mentee. In this post, I would like to share my own experience as a mentee in a mentorship program organized by my college (United College) in the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

What is a mentorship programme?

Before I go any further, I would like to give a brief introduction to what the program is about, as you may be wondering what exactly a mentorship program is and why such an event is organized. A mentorship program consists of mentees (students) and mentors (former graduates) in which each mentee is matched with a mentor. By having the opportunity to meet mentors, mentees are able to learn what paths mentors have taken after their graduation and hear their experience and advice. Thus, international students, like myself, benefit a lot from spending time with mentors who can both help you better adapt to the local customs and culture, and provide personal life experiences. Such interaction is made possible by various events, like hiking, dinners, or local tours, that are organized from time to time throughout the year.

My mentor: Mr. Ng

My own mentor, Mr. Ng, was one of the earlier graduates who had experience in physics and electrical engineering. It was pretty eye-opening for me to hear his experience in his former company which eventually went bankrupt but gave away all its shares to its employees. Mr Ng was also a devout Buddhist who had a meditation center. Hence, I was able to know more about his faith and a lifestyle that I had a little knowledge of.

Events and Activities

When it comes to the events that we had, we first had an orientation dinner where we met other mentees and mentors.

Later, we grouped up with other mentors and mentees and went hiking (as Hong Kong is one of the hiking paradises.)

In another event, during the Chinese New Year, we went to visit a temple and got to know more about the local beliefs that center around this special time of the year.

And we visited Hong Kong’s heritage sites in Wan Chai.

Worth it?

During all these events, I met a lot of people with diverse personalities, heard their stories, knew more about Hong Kong, and received advice regarding my future options.

I would recommend everyone to participate in such events organized by your universities/colleges/faculties/departments. It not only serves all the benefits that I listed above but also acts as a way to enrich your sometimes-stressful student life.

Written by: Huzeyfe K. ????????

A 3rd-year Anthropology student at The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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