Mentor Program

10:33:00 am McGill Undergraduate Geography Society 0 Comments

The McGill Geography Graduate-Undergraduate Mentoring Program

Application Forms 2016-2017 can be submitted online at the following links: 
Mentor and mentee application forms for the 2016-2017 mentor program are due by October 6th.

If you have any questions please email us at


The aims of this program are twofold: 

  1. To help undergraduate students navigate academia and figure out ‘what’s next’ by pairing them with a graduate student mentor; and 

  2. To create cohesion between the graduate and undergraduate students in the Geography department by facilitating informal conversations between them.


The mentoring program aims to help undergraduate students prepare and plan for the future. Planning for life after graduation is a major source of stress for some undergraduates. Graduate students have successfully navigated academia themselves, and have recently had to make many of the same decisions that undergraduates are facing. Many graduate students may thus have helpful life experience to share. This program will match undergraduate and graduate students with similar interests so that undergraduates can benefit from this experience.

Undergraduate students in the program will meet with their graduate student mentor to discuss strategies for gaining life and work experience, grad school, and to ask questions about life after undergrad in general. Meetings will be one on one in an informal setting, perhaps over a coffee. The program is not intended to provide support for coursework –the mentor is not an academic tutor, nor are they there to write or edit job or school applications (although they could help brainstorm content or discuss application strategies). Mentors can, however, refer students to tutorial or writing resources at McGill should they require them (see the resources listed at The program is open to undergraduate students majoring in Geography, and graduate students in the Department of Geography or Urban Studies, or alumni from the Department of Geography at McGill.

How it works

The program is completely voluntary for both graduate and undergraduate students. Interested undergraduate students majoring in Geography will fill out a form with their year of study, academic fields of interest (optional), tentative plans for after undergrad (work, travel, grad school, volunteer, etc.), and a written paragraph on why they would like to have a grad student mentor. Graduate students will also fill out a form where they describe their research interests, experience with work, travel, and grad school, and the universities they have attended. In the case that there are more mentor requests than mentors, we will use the written paragraph and the availability of mentors with suitable experience to determine who receives a mentor.
The program coordinators (in Fall 2015: Tanja Prsa, PhD Candidate, Stephanie Austin, MA student, Laura Lyon, U3 student) will match mentors and mentees by the week of September 28th. Once a mentor has been assigned, the mentee has until October 13th to contact their mentor to set up a meeting. For the first meeting, the coffee is provided by MUGS who will provide $10 gift cards for a nearby coffee shop. At the first meeting, both mentor and mentee will sign a contract of expectations outlining their roles and responsibilities, which they then return to us. In the case of a mentor shortage, if the mentee does not contact the mentor before October 13th, the mentor will be reassigned to another student.

Mentors will attend an information session in the beginning of the semester where they will learn about the goals of the program and the expectations for mentors and mentees. They will also receive information on other support programs offered at McGill to refer the student to if necessary (i.e., CAPS, the McGill tutorial service, the writing centre, the McGill Counselling Service, the McGill legal clinic, and so on. A full list can be found at

"Finding Your Coordinates" Alumni Panel 2014

In March 2014 the mentorship program hosted an alumni panel with five alumni speakers and a CaPS representative to give undergraduate students another perspective on life after undergrad. The event was highly successful and the evening ended with cheese and a chocolate fountain! See photos below of the alumni panel event.