Michal Tomaszewski - Time4Me Mentor Spotlight

Michal Tomaszewski - Time4Me Mentor Spotlight
Michal Tomaszewski

As we prepare to launch the Time4Me Mentor Recruitment drive for 2022/23, we will be sharing feedback from our current Mentors on their experiences of Time4Me. They will be commenting on how they find the time to volunteer, the training they have received and how this adds value to their roles in their different areas across the College. We hope this helps attract those who may be interested in becoming a Time4Me Mentor.

This mentor spotlight is on Michal Tomaszewski, a Hospitality Lecturer, who has been mentoring for three years.

Q: How did the initial Mentor Training course prepare you to become a Time4Me mentor?

Becoming a mentor meant that I needed to complete a one day training course. It turned out to be one of the best training sessions I have attended. I learnt from the other mentors about different challenges they faced and how to overcome them. It was a truly eye-opening experience. It explained what mentoring is, the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective mentor as well as exploring boundaries and confidentiality. We learned about different mentoring models, including GROW and Egan’s Skilled Helper. The training session also included a workshop on how to deal with different scenarios I may face with a Mentee.

Q: Can you describe the types of CPD opportunities you have been offered whilst mentoring?

One of the best benefits was to be able to attend the Mental Health First Aid course, where I could build my confidence when dealing with challenging situations. This course helped me to learn about the warning signs of mental health issues and equipped me with the tools on how to best deal with these types of situations and where to look for help. Additionally, all the mentors have the opportunity to meet for a lunch, where we brainstorm ideas and share our experiences. There are also different themed activities we can attend throughout the year. Themes have included, Managing the End of Mentoring Partnerships and Solution-Focused Mentoring.

Q: Time4Me asks their volunteer mentors for a commitment of one academic year.  You have volunteered for three years so far.  What makes you continue mentoring with Time4Me?

One of the greatest benefits of being a Time4Me Mentor is that I can make a difference in someone else’s life. Looking back, I can honestly say that by helping a student I was also developing myself. During the pandemic, I had to put my challenges aside and for an hour a week focus on supporting a student who was relying on my guidance and support, and it was totally worth it. Although one hour a week might sound like a huge commitment, the time is pre-arranged to work around my work schedule and how you spend the time is flexible. Sometimes we go for a walk or meet at the gym. This means it does not put too much strain on my busy work schedule. I have also had great support from my line manager who has been very supportive of the programme.

Time4Me recruitment will go live after the Easter break. Look out for further announcements in e-focus and for Time4Me stalls popping up in your workroom shortly. 
If you have any questions and would like to find out about becoming a mentor, please email time4me@forthvalley.ac.uk