Student Mentors

Our student mentors are the heart and soul of the Club, supporting all activities alongside Caledonian Club and university staff.  Mentors are recruited from across all three of GCU’s academic schools and are PVG checked.

Working as a Caledonian Club mentor gives students the chance to play an active role in their university, meet other mentors from a variety of disciplines and further develop skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork, which will assist with their own future global employability.  The role is also linked into the University’s Student Leadership Programme.

Meet the mentors:

There are currently around 115 mentors working for the Caledonian Club. Find out what a couple of our mentors have to say about the role:

Mark McDowell - BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation

Mark Student Mentor"University wasn’t really spoken about where I grew up, it was more college, apprenticeships or going straight into jobs. I was introduced to the Caledonian Club in my sixth year of Springburn Academy and they made it seem like university was a possibility.

"The mentors were inspiring; when they took a group of us around the GCU campus they'd interact with everyone and it was so relaxed, it seemed like a big family. Visiting the campus was great as it made as it made me realise that university wasn't as daunting as I thought and I could see myself fitting in.

"I joined GCU in 2010 - I was the first in my family to go to university so it was quite an achievement for them as well. I became a mentor the following year, I’ve worked through all the projects, mainly in high schools, and it has been brilliant. Being a mentor has definitely given me new skills, it has boosted my confidence and I’m more outspoken than I was in school – I would never speak up at all. I can’t thank the Caledonian Club enough for that."

Mandy Smith - BA (Hons) Business Studies

Student Mentor Mandy"Although I’m only 21 and I’ve got a million and one other things I’ve yet to encounter, I’ll never, ever forget the Caledonian Club - it has been one of the best experiences of my life.

"I was one of the Caledonian Club’s first pupils back in 2008 when they ran a pilot of the project in my high school, All Saints Secondary in Barmulloch.

"I got an unconditional offer from the university two years later, and becoming a student mentor seemed like such a natural transition, I didn’t even have to think about it.

"As a mentor there’s continuous support from the development staff, plus you gain invaluable experiences and you can’t put a price on that. I always come out of a project feeling like the most alive person ever! It also allows you to go forward for the Student Leaders Programme and I won Student Leader of the Year at bronze level in 2012.

"My dad left school at 14 or 15, and always pushed me to work hard. He wanted me to go to university but he had his doubts because of where we lived. The Caledonian Club understood that, but they were just like ‘get yourself to university, nothing is going to stop you’. Now my dad thinks the Caledonian Club is just as important as a degree."

Ryan Bounagui - BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism

Student Mentor Ryan"I first experienced the Caledonian Club in fifth year at Whitehill Secondary School in Dennistoun, and when I came to GCU I had no qualms about becoming a student mentor; it’s amazing to be given the opportunity to repay something to the community I grew up in, as well as the wider city of Glasgow. The Caledonian Club offers that - to go out and make a difference.

"Since then I’ve worked with nursery children aged three and four right up to those who are about to leave secondary and each age group is an absolute pleasure in their own right. It has given me a different outlook on education as a whole and on young people and how they are the future.

"Personally being a mentor is incredibly rewarding and it has helped shape the person I am today. It builds character and has developed skills I never knew I had. It also works wonders for CVs. When the BBC visited to do a news package on the Caledonian Club, the staff knew I was studying journalism so they phoned to tell me they were coming in and I ended up being interviewed on TV. I really appreciated being put in that professional situation.

"Now that I’ve worked with them and have that Caledonian Club ideology about raising aspirations, I’ll always be involved in things like this. You just can’t stop. Once you’re in, you’re in."