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Students and Alumni Connect at Science Mentor Event

Physics students were the beneficiary of a St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) first recently through a unique opportunity to hone their networking skills while learning more about life at prospective universities straight from current students.

“The Science Mentor Event is an opportunity for Grade 11 and 12 students in a physics course to speak with young SMCS alumni in the first and second year of an engineering or science degree,” says Patrick Feghali, physics teacher. “This allows students to develop their networking skills and gain valuable insight into the expectations and rigours of a university programme in science and engineering.”

SMCS alumni network with students at the Science Mentor Event
Grade 11 and 12 physics students connected with alumni in their first and second years of university to discuss their experiences and more.

In total, 25 alumni joined 35 Grade 12 students and five Grade 11s for the after-school event on May 24, 2023.

“I attended the mentor event to get some insight into the universities I was picking from,” says Spencer Dionisio, Grade 12 student. “Talking to our alumni from each school gave me the opportunity to get much-needed accounts from like-minded individuals. At the time, I was trying to decide between the University of Toronto and Waterloo, and getting to hear perspectives from each helped me paint a picture of what life in each of the universities might be like.”

Fellow Grade 12 student, Anthony Casey, shared similar reasoning, “I wanted to learn more about the ‘human’ aspect of my university programme. Whether this meant the kind of hours I should expect to spend studying or the potential encounters I would have with future professors, I was generally curious about what life would be like for an engineering science student (the programme I’m going into).”

SMCS alumni network with students at the Science Mentor Event
The inaugural Science Mentor Event provided students with the opportunity to hone their networking skills and get insights into the university programmes they applied for.

As this was the inaugural event, Feghali hopes to also invite third- and fourth-year alumni to future events and provide even more value to student and alumni attendees as they could offer guidance not only to students but to younger alumni as well on summer programmes, jobs, and internships.

“It’s so important that SMCS gives their students, especially their seniors, an outlet to communicate with those more experienced than them,” says Dionisio. “The untapped knowledge found in the mentors’ experiences provides crucial information to those who otherwise would only know half the story. By giving students a way to talk to those who have lived similar experiences, we can more thoroughly educate our decision-making process.”

Feghali adds, “My hope is that students have more confidence in the early months and years of a challenging programme. I also hope this event helps foster connections between SMCS alumni in various years and programmes, and eventually helps introduce students to an established SMCS community in science and engineering programmes.”

SMCS Science Mentor Event | Physics students and alumni networking
The Science Mentor Event welcomed 25 alumni along with 35 Grade 12s and five Grade 11s.

“I am incredibly grateful for all of the alumni that agreed to be a part of the event and helped get it off the ground. It would not have been possible without them.”

Related links:

Mentorship and Leadership


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