New Orfalea Students Connect with First Year Mentors

This fall, more than 850 freshmen students joined the Orfalea College of Business with the help of a brand new resource: the First Year Mentor program. The goal is to match each new student with an upperclassman to help ease their transition into college by integrating academic and social opportunities and building community at Cal Poly.

The mentors and mentees met for the first time during Orfalea’s WOW Academic Day on O’Neill Green. Mentor Elvis Nguyen describes his perspective on the program:

“Meeting my mentees felt a lot like meeting my WOWies. It was truly humbling to see genuine curiosity and the desire to learn among them. As a mentor, I hope to see where that curiosity will take them throughout the year. This quarter, I hope to get all my mentees fully adjusted to the quarter system, have a strong familiarity in planning their schedules, and most importantly feel proud to be a part of the Orfalea College of Business.”

More than 200 continuing students volunteered to be mentors. They participated in specialized training during spring quarter as well as Orfalea’s Student Leadership Retreat in September.

The First Year Mentoring Program is coordinated through Orfalea Student Services and is part of a spectrum of resources to support students inside and outside the classroom. The college also offers the Peer Mentoring Program for students of all grade levels, the Young Alumni Mentoring Program with recent graduates, and the Executive Partners Program that connects upperclassmen students with executive mentors as they make the transition to their profession.

Nguyen, who has experience in multiple programs, sees the benefits of the full-spectrum mentorship experience:

“So far, my experience as a mentor has been great. I was a mentee for Orfalea’s Peer Mentor Program as a freshman and am starting out as a new mentee for their Young Alumni Mentor program this quarter. It’s interesting to have the perspective of both the mentor and mentee. In a way, it’s like I’ve gone full circle.”

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