Hart House Mentorship Program

What is it?

Graduate students and mature part-time undergraduate students at the University of Toronto told us that they were looking for more opportunities to work with mentors. As coincidence would have it, Hart House has a wealth of accomplished, engaged and generous alumni, friends and senior members with a wide variety of life experiences who welcome the chance to develop mutually-rewarding one-on-one mentor-mentee relationships with graduate and mature students. We put two and two together and developed the Hart House Mentorship Program. This program involves approximately forty (40) matched pairs.


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What Makes This Program Unique?

Most mentorship programs tend to focus on providing only career-related advice and networking opportunities to participating mentees. However, in keeping with the spirit and tradition of Hart House – where broad, holistic and lifelong education has been our commitment to students for almost a century – the Hart House Mentorship Program matches mentors and mentees on the basis of both their professional ambitions AND their personal priorities, interests and passions. In many cases, mentees will be matched with mentors who have similar interests, but are in completely different career fields. Engaged in the arts? Committed fitness enthusiast? Advocate for social justice? This may be the mentorship program for you.


Being a Student Mentee

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Applications are now open for the program starting Fall 2019

“I was pleasantly surprised that the program was able to match me with a mentor who shares similar cultural interests and passions even though we are in different fields. I enjoyed meeting up with my mentor who was always open to sharing her perspective as a successful creative innovator. The experience of being a mentee broadened my horizons and I would recommend this program to other graduate students who might want a different perspective outside of academia.”

—Jennifer Lau, PhD Candidate,
East Asian Studies, Co-Editor of Fête Chinoise

Eligibility:

If you are either a U of T graduate student or a mature part-time undergraduate (at least 2 years older than your cohort) and will be enrolled in courses starting in the Fall of 2019, then you are eligible to apply.

There are many benefits to be gained through your participation. They include:

  • Expanding your professional and personal networks;
  • Discovering new strengths and building on existing ones;
  • Increasing your confidence in social and business settings;
  • Enhancing your engagement in the broader community; and
  • Learning from the experience and acquired wisdom of a committed supporter.

Being a Mentor

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“After many years it felt so good to reconnect with Hart House and to be part of the mentorship program. It reminded me of what makes Hart House so unique and special. Furthermore I was paired up with an impressive and thoughtful student and as with all relationships, I found the mentoring experience to be a two way street of sharing and learning.”

—Paula Glick (BA, Innis College), Hart House Mentor 

Mentors will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping to provide direction and opportunities to a student that could help change the course of his or her life for the better. In fact, many mentors report that they benefit at least as much from the process of mentoring as do their mentees, and oftentimes more.

Serving as a mentor will allow you the opportunity to provide a graduate student or mature part-time undergraduate student with:

  • Access to professional and social networks;
  • Focused attention on the discovery of new strengths and the reinforcement of existing ones;
  • Increased confidence in social and business settings;
  • Introductions to communities of interest outside the classroom; and
  • Encouragement in the discernment of professional pathways.

Details of the Program

  • The mentorship program will run from the autumn of 2019 until the summer of 2020, although individual mentors and mentees may wish to extend their mentor/mentee relationship beyond this timeframe.
  • Each mentor and mentee will decide together how often they would like to meet, but a minimum of three (3) meetings over coffee or a light meal during the course of the year (2 initiated by the mentor, 1 by the mentee) is strongly recommended.
  • Hart House will host a reception for all mentors and mentees to officially “launch” this initiative in the fall.
  • All program participants will receive special invitations to a number of additional Hart House events throughout the year.

For more information about the Hart House Mentorship Program, please contact Andrea Blackler, Development Coordinator, Hart House at andrea.blackler@utoronto.ca or 416-946-7325.