The BSSA Mentor-Mentee Program is aimed towards providing UCSD undergraduate Biology majors guidance by pairing them with experienced upperclassmen who share similar career aspirations, majors, hobbies, and general areas of interest. In doing so, BSSA acts as a liaison in promoting the development of positive mentor-mentee relationships that boost the personal growth of both mentors and mentees. We hope these relationships between mentors and mentees will facilitate a smoother transition for underclassmen to receive academic advice and become more involved in extracurriculars, professional opportunities, and more. The pairings will be "family-style" -- two mentors will be paired with three mentees so that there is more than one person for an individual to go to seek advice or provide guidance. This wil help to foster a more close-knit relationship between mentors and their mentees, and will incentivize individuals to seek out each other more often as opposed to the traditional one-to-one pairings.
What are the goals of this program?
- The goal of the Mentor-Mentee program is to provide a reliable and ongoing source of support for mentees from mentors who are current upperclassmen biology students at UCSD. Mentors are expected to provide mentees with a vast array of resources to help ease transition into UCSD, BSSA, and to promote academic success such as:
- Advice on transitioning into college and how to deal with stress
- Professional development guidance such as tips for getting involved in research, applying for jobs, volunteering at local hospitals, etc.
- Suggestions for developing appropriately challenging, structured class schedule plans
- Sharing sources and opportunities around campus that may be of interest to the mentee (ex. student organizations and extracurricular activities)
- Fostering meaningful connections
- Attendance at at least one BSSA event with your mentor/mentee family
- At least one hangout with your mentor/mentee family per quarter
- However, at least one mentee and one mentor must be present for points to be counted
- Hangouts may be held on any video-calling platform (Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangouts, etc.) or other online platform
- Please fill out this Google Form to verify your meetup (if it is not a BSSA hosted event)
- A screenshot of the particpants will be needed so make sure to take a picture of your online hangouts to submit
- Another option for graduating mentors: If you are unable to meet up with your mentor/mentee for the required three BSSA events and three hangouts, then you may still be eligible for active mentorship status by having 20 BSSA membership points from attending BSSA events.
1 Year of Active Mentorship: 2 BSSA Events or mentor mentee meet-ups per quarter — 50% off your Biology Department Stole
2 Years of Active Mentorship: 2 BSSA Events or mentor mentee meet-ups per quarter — FREE Biology Department Stole
- Biology Department Stoles will be sold at the end of spring quarter, prior to graduation.
- The 50% or FREE discount on stoles is limited for one-time use per active mentor. Active mentors may not use this discount to purchase stoles for other people.
- For more information on senior stoles, visit:
Anyone who feels that they can provide advice and insight to others to augment their college experiences is encouraged to apply to be a mentor. We also highly encourage past mentees to apply to be mentors. Preferably, mentors will have some experience with classes at UCSD, but ultimately, any collegiate and professional advice is helpful to mentees. For any prospective mentors new to mentorship, don’t worry! All mentors will receive a short required training module to teach how to guide and foster connections with their mentees.
Applicants — both mentors and mentees — fill out a Google Form with various questions covering academics, hobbies, objectives for joining this program, and other topics that the Mentorship Committee will use to best match mentors with mentees who have common goals and interests.
The Mentor-Mentee Program will officially last one academic school year. It is still encouraged that mentors and mentees continue to reach out in the future if they would like to continue. Mentors and mentees can put in as much time into the program — meeting up and remaining in contact — as they wish; however, for active mentorship, there are guidelines to be completed. BSSA events are usually one to three hours. We suggest mentors and mentees interact at least once a month to help foster a consistent mentorship experience, though feel free to interact more if it works for everyone! Independently organized meetups outside of BSSA events are expected to be about an hour to best benefit both parties.
Yes! If you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee after we originally pair applicants, please contact our Mentorship Committee Co-Chairs Daniel and Ari. If there are enough mentors or mentees, we will be happy to get you in touch with them.
We know that it can be challenging at times for mentors and mentees to meet throughout the year as each person has their own schedule, and we’ve implemented the “family-style” matching process for this reason. Try your best to keep in contact with your mentors or mentees — planning meetups weeks in advance may help! Some suggested activities to do with your mentor/mentee are going to BSSA events or studying in the library together to make it less boring. :)
We try our best to match mentors and mentees. If your mentors or mentees are truly unresponsive after multiple attempts to connect, don’t worry! Send the co-chairs an email first so we can contact the unresponsive member. If this persists, then you can be rematched to another family. If this your mentor(s)/mentee(s) does not work out or if someone loses interest in the program, please contact the Mentorship Co-Chairs Daniel and Ari. We will do our best to resolve any issues, and if need be, we will be happy to try to rematch you with a mentorship family as best we can!
Mentorship points are recorded when mentors and mentees both sign in at events that they attend together. These points will accumulate throughout the academic year. In order to receive points, mentors must arrive with their mentees, and vice versa. In other words, if only the 2 mentors in a mentorship family arrive at an event together, points will not be rewarded. One point will be rewarded for each individual regardless of which/how many mentor(s) or mentee(s) that a person signs in with.
Yes, points from Mentor-Mentee specific events will still contribute to the overall total number of membership points in BSSA.