It has been 11 years since the University of Macau (UM) launched the Alumni Mentorship Scheme. The scheme matches UM alumni with current students based on their backgrounds and interests. As mentors, the alumni are expected to share their life experience with their mentees and provide suggestions for their development. The scheme encourages alumni to give back to their alma mater while creating opportunities for students to learn more about society.

Social Education Outside the Classroom

Abel Fong, who is a frequent participant in the scheme, graduated from UM in 2000 with a master’s degree in education administration and is currently working in the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau. ‘The Alumni Mentorship Scheme offers a different mode of education,’ says Fong. ‘Outside the classroom, the scheme allows students to gather information about the job market and learn from people who are working. It can help students plan their future.’ Fong likens the relationship between a mentor and a mentee to a puzzle game. ‘It’s like we are playing puzzles together. The more pieces we put together, the more we learn about this world,’ says Fong. ‘This is the most practical aspect of the scheme.’

Karrie Wong, a fourth-year student of pre-primary education, says that the scheme allows her to meet more people from the education industry. ‘I have gathered a lot of information from them,’ says Wong. ‘The information will be very useful to me after graduation.’ Her mentor happens to be Fong, who has rich experience in education. During the activity, they shared ideas about education with each other.

Tiffany Chui, an employee of the Macao Government Tourism Office, graduated from the Department of Management and Marketing in 2013. She hopes to share the information and experience she gained at work with students. Her mentees happened to graduate from the same secondary school that she went to. ‘I feel very warm talking with them,’ says Chui. ‘From them I can learn about the hot topics among younger people and their perspectives on different things.’ She hopes the UM students who are graduating this year will be brave and try different jobs.

Joseph Tsui, a UM alumnus who is also the president of the University of Macau (Hong Kong) Alumni Association, says that the Alumni Mentorship Scheme can benefit both current students and the alumni as both parties can learn from each other. He hopes that the students will keep a positive attitude, discover their own potential, and put it to good use. He also wishes the students good luck in achieving their goals with the assistance from their mentors.

Sara Wong, the supervisor of the Supervisory Committee of UM’s Alumni Association, says that her mentees have given her a lot of positive energy. ‘I like this mentor-friend relationship very much,’ says Wong. ‘The students have provided new perspectives for me on real-life issues. It is a very rewarding experience.’

Kristy Kuan, a second-year student of Portuguese studies, says that she joined the scheme to learn from the UM alumni. ‘I hope to clear my doubts and broaden my horizons,’ says Kuan.

Source: My UM