Online Workshop for Mentoring Coordinators Organized by Amity University

An Online Workshop on Mentor-Mentee System for Mentoring Program Coordinators was organized by Amity Academic Staff College, Amity University Uttar Pradesh (AUUP). The day-long workshop was organized for the orientation of the Mentoring Program Coordinators for an effective and outcome based mentoring and had the presence of 270 Mentoring Program Coordinators (MPCs) and Faculty Mentors (FM) from all AUUP campuses at Noida, Lucknow & Greater Noida.

Dr. Balvinder Shukla, Vice Chancellor, Amity University began the proceedings by sharing that mentoring system is an integral part of Amity Education system and the mentor- mentee system is an important pillar at AUUP. “It has been two decades of the program where the mentees are getting nurtured and cared by mentors. At AUUP, mentoring system is four-tier model where all tier owner works in collaboration for the overall growth of the mentee,” stated Dr. Shukla. She also shared some beautiful excerpts of her experience as a mentor way back in 90s and her association and bonding with those mentees and their parents till date. She further averred that a mentor is very important in the life of a student and similarly without understanding the mentee, his/her career aspirations, family background etc., the mentor cannot really help the mentee.

Dr. Shukla added that the need for this bonding grows even deeper during the times of this pandemic when people are struggling since the dynamics are encountered not only on professional fronts but on personal aspects as well. “The business will no longer be the same and now we are moving towards the generation Z workforce. The work cultures are surely going to change and the education sector cannot afford to be unaffected by it. The work from home dynamics imposes more strain on the education sector since now we must train our students for the upcoming challenges like entrepreneurial ventures, more technology driven initiatives. Higher order cognitive skills like emotional intelligence and lateral/critical thinking must be developed in students. Amidst all this mentor mentee emerges as the solution to many problems since the mentor is not only a guide but a friend and philosopher as well. Mentor understands his mentees in terms of his strength weakness, values aspirations and skill sets, and faculty mentor can surely cater to these broad rages of diversities under the mentoring umbrella. It is very important to cater to student happiness and their wellbeing and for this MPC and FM are two important pillars of the mentoring system at AUUP,” shared Dr. Shukla appreciating all mentors at AUUP for conducting online mentoring sessions and addressing the issues of the mentees.

She further added that it is the best time for self-development and identification of areas where students can help themselves develop newer skill set and asked the mentors to ensure that the students emerge as not only good professionals but good human beings; must be risk takers, innovative and service oriented and should be able to offer value proposition. Stating how AUUP is an outcome-based university and all the processes are driven by the positive and concrete outcomes, she shared that even the mentoring system should ensure that the outcomes of student development both academic, professional, personal development, best practices adoption are ensured through each of the initiatives. “Bonding and Belongingness is the key for mentor-mentee system,” Averred Dr. Shukla.

Dr. Sanjeev Bansal, Dean FMS and Director Amity Business School focused on the theme -Leveraging on Four Tier Mentor-Mentee System for Student Development for Industry 4.0. He emphasized that the objective of any mentoring program is concerned with the “Career advancement and Psychological aspects of the mentees”. He described that Amity’s 4 tier mentoring relationship of Faculty Mentor, Industry Mentor, Alumni Mentor and Parent Mentor plays a crucial role for any mentoring system to be effective. He captioned the Mentoring Process as Building Blocks wherein he emphasized the vision of Amity “Where Modernity Blends with Tradition” and mentoring inculcates the qualities of Positive Attitude, Proactive Approach, Dynamism and Team work along with integrity and dedication leads to Competitive Advantage.

Prof. (Dr.) Manoj Kumar Pandey, Jt. Head, Amity School of Engineering and Technology (ASET), presented his views on the topic “Attributes of a mentor”. He averred that mentoring is an indispensable and significant aspect in which three primary functions of the mentee are taken care of including academic, career and emotions of the mentee. “Mentoring is a serious profession where mentors should be totally invested and enthusiastic about the mentees growth. A mentor should be a good communicator and a passionate listener,” said Dr. Pande. He also shared that there must be a frequency match between mentor & mentee for a successful relation between the two.

Prof. (Dr.) Alpana Kakkar, Dy. Dean of Students’ Welfare gave a brief of the Online mentor-mentee system where she discussed the new features coming up in next version of Amity University’s Online Mentor-Mentee system on the Intranet Amizone portal. She also responded to questions raised by the mentors.

Mentoring Program Coordinators Dr Neha Taneja from Amity Institute of Public Health and Dr Kalpana Singh from Amity School of Economics shared the functioning of mentor-mentee group activity sessions and Individual sessions at their respective Institutions both before and after lockdown. Both the speakers highlighted the importance of the student interaction outside the classroom with faculty mentor, handholding by alumni mentors and guidance by Industry mentors in the overall development of the students on academic, personal and professional front. They also focused on some important cases where the mentors supported the mentees in their changing behaviors like depression or anxiety; feelings and experiences during the lockdown which their mentees had shared on Ms-Teams Mentor-Mentee online sessions and how constant connect of Mentors have given them strength to take COVID-19 as a challenge to fight and win.

Students were guided how to keep themselves engaged during this lockdown period by participating in webinars, pursuing hobbies, doing research work, meditating and also participating in Amity Youth Festival. The anxiety related to the upcoming examinations was also addressed. Both the sessions reflected the importance of individual mentor mentee sessions and how group activities could be made more engaging.