At the SIT Alumni Mentoring Forum, SITizens celebrate their very own mentoring programme – which has become a hit despite an unlikely start amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The SIT Alumni Mentoring Programme has scored many firsts – the most recent being the Alumni Mentoring Forum which also marked the end of the Programme’s Cycles 5 and 6. At the event, held on 12 September 2023 at the Orchard Hotel, close to 280 attendees enjoyed a networking dinner and speed mentoring sessions, a keynote address on “Enhancing Graduate Employability”, as well as a panel discussion on “Communicating Employability: Nurturing Your Career Progression” featuring alumni panellists. The evening also included an Alumni Mentors Appreciation segment for Cycle 5 and 6 mentors, as well as the showcasing of the top three entrees of the Vodcast Competition: Communicating My Employability and the prize giving ceremony.
The Alumni Mentoring Forum was jointly presented by SIT’s Centre for Communications Skills, Student Life Division and Advancement and Alumni Division.
“Looking back, you may recall that the SIT Alumni Mentoring Programme had an eventful start,” said Prof Chua Kee Chaing, President, SIT, in his welcome address. “Cycle 1 kicked off in September 2020, in the first year of the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet, despite the pandemic restrictions, total of 46 mentors and 53 mentees took part. This is quite impressive, and only because this programme was born out of the wishes of our alumni who asked the Advancement & Alumni division if there were ways in which they could give back to the SIT community,” he added. “The SIT Alumni Mentoring Programme is of the SITizens, by the SITizPens, for the SITizens, thus making it very special,” he said.
Three years on, SITizens have built a network of 374 alumni mentors who have nurtured 466 mentees. Over 160 of these mentors are repeat mentors. To date, about 180 student mentees and 90 mentors have signed up for the upcoming Cycle 7 of the Programme – the largest number of mentor and mentee sign-ups thus far.
Said Mr Chan Jia Cheng, an alumnus mentor (University of Glasgow’s Aerospace Engineering programme, Class of 2019): “I like to be a mentor as I feel I can empower SIT students and their future. I feel the event is curated and facilitated for this (mentoring) purpose.”
“The event is useful as I can interact with SIT seniors and learn more about career progression prospects and life after Uni,” said Mr Mervyn Chia, a student mentee and a second year undergraduate student from the Accountancy programme).
Mr Sebastian Fernandez, a first year undergraduate student from the Applied Artificial Intelligence degree programme and Gold prize winner of the Vodcast Competition, said: “Participating in the mentoring forum was an invaluable experience. I gained insights and guidance from the industry expert mentors that will have a lasting impact on my journey in my career in artificial intelligence. I eagerly look forward to returning next year.”