During an HCOP Ambassador session, students get the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and experience of multitudes of professionals in academia, clinicians, and other health care professionals that help foster useful knowledge that will be necessary on the students’ journey to success. However, some of the most beneficial relationships that HCOP participants form is with one another. Since the beginning of the program, mentoring has been an integral part of HCOP, and its importance grew even bigger and broader when the program went virtual during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This gave the students the sense of a tight and cohesive community that can sometimes be lacking.
On Saturday, November 6th, 2021, HCOP participants took part in the Mentoring Kickoff, a session dedicated solely to helping students understand the importance of mentoring, become familiar with the “dos and don'ts”, and get to know their mentoring groups.
HCOP mentoring operates on a group mentoring model, and participants are organized into groups of undergraduate and high school student mentees led by a health professional student who becomes the group leader and mentor. However, a group mentoring format means that participants also get the benefit of peer mentoring as well.
Once the orientation portion of the session was complete, students had the opportunity to meet with their mentoring groups in breakout rooms and participate in icebreaker activities.
Mentoring groups are planned to meet twice a month via Zoom to discuss topics focused on navigating college and health professional schools.
Some comments from students after mentoring orientation showed a general excitement for this portion of the program to start.
"Today's session was exciting getting to know everyone and their career path!"
"This was a great session! I’m excited about mentoring!"