The Chiasma Connect Mentorship Programme Launch occurred on the evening of May the 4th, unfortunately only a coincidence that it aligned with Star Wars Day. It is a 20 week programme which pairs students with industry professionals from their field of interest. As the first opportunity for the students to meet with their mentors, it was important to give a good first impression. We could say it was much like a first date, but perhaps without any of the awkwardness since everyone seemed to get along with each other nicely; plenty of laughs here and there. Of course, the free food and drinks – compliments to Chiasma’s supporters – contributed to the sparkling atmosphere and helped avoid the ‘should you pay or should we split the bill’ situation.
About a third of the way through, the students gathered in one room, while the mentors gathered in the one next door for separate seminars led by two brilliant and energetic speakers from the TeachFirst NZ organisation. The mentors’ eyes widened with excitement as they were asked to form two groups and were handed a pack of laminated coloured cards. Plenty of examination and debate went into assessing which cards belonged in the ‘how to be a good mentor’ pile – more an entertaining sight than a worrying one.
The concluding event of the night, and possibly the most anticipated one, was the intimate one-on-one session between the student and their mentors. This provided them a chance to understand each other a bit more, establish the grounds for subsequent meetings and if they were lucky enough, to exchange their details in agreement for the second date, a milestone that everyone achieved.
Overall, the evening was a success! Huge thanks must go out to the mentors for giving their time for this valuable cause and contributing to a highly-respected part of the Chiasma programme. The Industry Support Team want to acknowledge the high-calibre of the students who were selected for Chiasma Connect and wish that you get as much out of the programme as you hoped for. These could be some of the most important connections you make in your university careers.