The mentorship program in Galipatia provides all students with a learning opportunity and helps them develop camaraderie that lasts beyond their time in the community. Each freshman is assigned an upperclassmen mentor and the mentor group is made of around 5-7 mentees. The mentorship program runs for the first 10 weeks of fall semester.
In the beginning of fall semester, mentor groups participate in Blacksburg Expedition, during which they explore campus together so that freshmen can find their classes and figure out where campus resources are located. Then, the groups attend CEED “O” Show, during which freshmen learn about hundreds of engineering organizations and opportunities.
Each week, mentors host meetings to discuss a pertinent topic. For example, during career fair week, mentors impart wisdom about how to prepare for and navigate the fair. Other discussion topics include finding campus opportunities, time management, study techniques, networking, finding internships and building relationships with professors.
Mentor groups are given Hokie Passports, which allows them to have three meals together. Many groups choose to use this opportunity to explore the Blacksburg community outside of campus while bonding over conversation. As the group members get to know each other, they plan out their own activities like playing sports, baking, attending campus events, shopping, etc.
The mentorship program ensures that freshmen have a support system that they can turn to whenever they need help. This is particularly important because it can be overwhelming to navigate college without any confidants. The program also gives upperclassmen students the chance to take initiative and learn how to be a personable leader. The mentorship program provides both the mentors and mentees with ample growth. More importantly, the program creates bonds that last all throughout the students’ time at Virginia Tech.