The December member spotlight is on Oliver Cooper, at Warwick University. Oliver is a mentor for the AUA’s PgCert programme.

Why do you do it?

A large part of the ethos of the AUA is helping others in their professional development. I had an amazing PG Cert mentor (an AUA celebrity – Nick Allen), who was a large part of my PG Cert journey but also my professional development in general. His advice and guidance was invaluable. When the PG Cert mentor opportunity arose, I felt compelled to give back. I also knew several of my MSc cohort were planning to do the same, so it was nice to do it together with peer support.

Progressing to a mentor, feels like the completion of my PG Cert experience, seeing things from the other side and bolstering my CV with new skills. Having completed the PG Cert, I am able to draw on my own experiences to advise and guide new students on the challenges of academic writing, work/life balance and critical analysis.

What has been the best bit so far?

I haven’t been a mentor long and my first mentee is still working their way through the course. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know them, discovering about their role and their institution, their motivations for doing the course and finding the ways I can best help them and add value. My mentee recently passed their first assignment, which was an amazing achievement and a great first step on the PG Cert road.

Would you recommend the role?

Definitely. It doesn’t take up much time and its really enjoyable. I learn just as much as my mentee and it gives a great feeling helping someone go through challenges you have already overcome. We also spend a lot of time laughing and having fun in our calls.

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