How are Peer Mentors Chosen?

Peer Mentors with BYU’s First-Year Mentoring undergo a rigorous and highly competitive selection process before beginning their work with incoming students.  Because the University is committed to providing all new students, regardless of their situation and academic preparation, with a peer mentor, First-Year Mentoring is dedicated to providing outstanding young men and women to work with these bright and promising new students.

In order to be considered for peer mentor positions, applicants must have demonstrated personal academic excellence and achievement.

  • High academic excellence: at least a 3.40 GPA
  • Recommendations from faculty members and others who know them well
  • Evidence of love for learning and growth
  • Successful completion of selected General Education courses (since Peer Mentor assignments are based on these courses during fall semester)
  • Excellent collaboration and teamwork skills
  • The ability to work with faculty (Peer mentors work closely with faculty members and play an important role in helping their students to have meaningful experiences with faculty within and outside of the classroom)
  • Outstanding time management and personal organization skills, so they can model these wise habits for their students

Selected applicants are then invited for an in-depth Interview by the First-Year Mentoring staff. Selection committee members carefully seek out those candidates who display a sincere concern for fellow students, and who have a desire to help and support others.

Once hired, peer mentors participate in a rigorous 4-month training to prepare them to interact with and assist their student mentees. In this training mentors do the following:

  • Learn about campus policies and procedures
  • Become proficient with University’s registration system
  • Be able to explain the intricacies of the General Education requirements
  • Develop a sound understanding of first-year student needs
  • Refine interpersonal and communication skills so they can establish a comfortable and natural relationship with your student

Peer mentors continue with ongoing weekly training throughout their period of service.

Having a highly selective process helps First-Year Mentoring recruit and train dedicated peer mentors, who are examples of disciple scholarship and prepared to touch the lives of incoming students. Because of their own positive experiences being mentored, many of those who were once mentored pursue becoming a mentor themselves.

 “I decided to become a peer mentor because my own mentor saw my potential and encouraged me to reach it. She met with me quite a few times and was always willing to listen to my random stories. I talked to her about my goals and she followed up with me and helped me figure out different ways I could accomplish them. She was a friend who cared about me as a person and not just as a student. I wanted to be like her when I became a mentor.” - Jill Rowan, Peer Mentor

“When I first met with my First-Year Mentor, I expected her to give me generalized advice and info about BYU and she did that.  Even more, she offered a listening ear. I regularly talked with my parents and good friends, but it was a great release to visit personally with someone who had a little more experience at BYU and wanted me to succeed, too. I could freely talk about my dreams and goals, and when I was stumped with major planning, she helped me know where to go and what questions to ask. The experience I shared with my mentor helped shape my first semester at BYU into a reflective, growing experience. And because of her example, I, too, am now a mentor! I love it and know that First-Year Mentoring can help us take control of our education and enjoy moving forward.” - Laurel Larsen​, Peer Mentor

Hayley Jensen is a Peer Mentor Specialist in the Office of First-Year Mentoring.