A question I seem to hear a lot is: Why should I get a mentor? Or why should I mentor someone? Both of these can be extremely rewarding and I definitely encourage you to participate in at least one of these activities. Being a mentee gives you the opportunity to acquire skills and learning from someone who has experience in the field of study. It is a way to challenge yourself and it allows you to expand your knowledge. With the mentorship programs offered by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Toronto you are able to get the opportunity to complete a fun an exciting project. You are also able to work closely with someone potentially in your field which can allow you to get some insight on what you can really do with mathematics after you graduate.
The Department offers two specific mentorship programs. One of these is targeted towards grade 11 and 12 students and gives students the opportunity to pair up with either a PhD student, or faculty. They meet once a month and work on an interesting topic to create a poster of. Some of the very exciting topics that students worked on in previous years included knot theory, algebraic geometry, and abstract geometry. Through doing these projects, students also become more familiar with research and are able to see if that is something they would like to continue as a career.
Furthermore, the Department of Mathematics also created a brand new mentorship program this year! This mentorship programs is targeted towards grade nine students. Students work with university level students to review topics and ask questions on any topics they may find confusing or need more help and clarification on. They meet approximately once a week from January to April, which may also be extended, provided everyone is available.
I especially encourage you to apply if you feel you need a little bit more help understanding difficult topics. There is no fee so it is much better than going through the hassle of finding a tutor who often charges a fee for their services. One of our students who participated in our mentorship program stated, “I really enjoyed the program! It was a unique opportunity to not only learn some new mathematical topics but to do so in a new way of learning in a more mentoring setting. I also liked the flexibility of the schedule and the freedom given with independent works. I’ve learned not only cool math topics but also time management as well as organizing with a small group. I’ve also learned to present and format my mathematical ideas and communicate it in a way that is informative and understandable for all. I would absolutely participate again!” Another student mentioned, “this was one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had in my life. This really sparked my interest in Mathematics once again!”
Thus, it is evidently seen the many benefits that arise from participating in our mentorship program. If you are interested in finding more about these programs and to register for them, please visit our Mentorship page. If you'd like to be a mentor visit our Opportunities page