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What it’s like being a peer writing mentor at Bangor University: Interview with Shannon Lock

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The Peer Writing Mentor role is run by the university’s Study Skills department. It is a part-time job that involves helping students develop their writing, work on assignments and plan their time. Shannon is a PhD student at Bangor university, studying Welsh History, focussing on the history of female Welsh Gypsies in Wales. I asked her some questions about her experience of being a Peer Writing Mentor.

How did you hear about this job?

I was researching jobs on the Bangor University Jobs page when I came across the mentoring position. One requirement of my role was to be able to speak Welsh, so I thought it would be a perfect fit for me. (Not all peer mentors have to speak Welsh).

What did you have to do to get this job?

Firstly I filled in an online application form, where I outlined the skills I had which were relevant for the role. I also attached relevant documents to the application form, such as my degree certificates and CV.

What kind of people do you work with?

My role is to work alongside Bangor University students, encouraging them to improve/enhance their writing and study skills. This can include giving tips on how to improve essay structure, where to find referencing guides and tips on how to study more efficiently (the job is very varied).

There are meetings held every other week where all of the study mentors come together with our supervisor to discuss how the job is going, share relevant advice with each other and discuss any events coming up that the Study Skills Centre are holding. These meetings are a great way to get to know the whole team of mentors here and to advise each other.

How has this role helped you in your studies?

I was surprised how much this role helped me with my studies. It’s definitely made me more aware of how to edit my own work effectively and the common mistakes to look out for in my work. The role has given me the chance to really think about the way in which I study, the positive and negative things that I was doing. As I’m studying for a PhD (with the hope of becoming a researcher/lecturer), this role has given me the chance to get some experience of working first-hand with students.

What have you learned from this experience?

I’ve learned to just go for it when applying for jobs. I didn’t think I’d be able to pass the application form stage, let alone get the job, so it’s taught me to apply for things because you never know if you’ll get lucky. The role has helped improve my confidence and I now feel comfortable talking in groups, which will help with future career aspirations. I was nervous about starting a new job, especially one at the University, because I didn’t want to let anyone down. What I’ve come to realise though, is that the University prides itself on creating a welcoming atmosphere for new staff members – even student staff members.

Is it nice having a job that’s organised by the university?

Definitely! It’s great to get some work experience within such a renowned establishment as Bangor University. It looks good on a CV and helps you develop a wide range of skills, such as finding online resources and planning your time effectively. Bangor University treats its staff members with the utmost respect and I feel like my job contributes towards the great support that the University offers its students.

This position is advertised on ‘Bangor University Jobs’ page, so if you think this sounds like a role you would be good at, check it out and apply! If you would like to have an appointment with a writing mentor, you can visit the Study Skills website and book online.

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Amelia Smith

Lifestyle Editor | 19-20

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