Our peer mentors are a dynamic group of students who, along with having exceptional academic records, have also experienced Summer Abroad, the Research Opportunities Program, worked as research assistants for professors, taken-up internships and given their time to clubs, sports teams and not-for-profits.
Take a few minutes to read more about the peer mentors you will be learning with throughout the year and why they choose to invest their time, resources and energy with the FLC program.
- Actuarial Science
- Computer Science
- Life Sciences
- Rotman Commerce
- Social Sciences
- Senior Peer Mentors
Harsh Rughani, Peer Mentor, Actuarial Science
Harsh is currently pursuing a major in Actuarial Science and Economics. He volunteers his time with the Actuarial Students National Association Conference and he also participated in the North American Model United Nations. Outside of the classroom, Harsh enjoys playing badminton and cycling.
Why does Harsh make the time to be a peer mentor? "Being a part of FLC allowed me to learn so much more about the field I was pursuing, meet new people, make study groups and learn more about the University of Toronto and all the services it has to offer. I got to meet other individuals from the actuarial field and learn more about their experiences and get advice on what I can do to be successful within the field. It helped me improve on my networking skills, become more confident and outgoing, and learn more about the diversity and fast-paced life Toronto has to offer. FLC was one of the highlights of my first-year."
Himanshi Sehgal, Assistant Peer Mentor, Actuarial Science
Himanshi is a second-year student, who is majoring in Actuarial Science and Economics. She has great experience as a mentor working with international students on their conversational skills and tutoring local high school students in Toronto.
Why does Himanshi make time to be a peer mentor? "Being in the FLC helped me polish my teamwork and collaborative skills as well as enhance my communication and networking abilities. Most importantly, it taught me how important a community is and what a positive impact it can have on one's life. I wanted to be a peer mentor so that I could give back to the program that helped me throughout my first-year."
Anam Alvi, Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Anam is a fourth-year student who is majoring in Computer Science. Along with dedicating her time to FLC, Anam has been actively involved with the Computer Science Student Union organizing events such as Hack Night. She has also held internships with software developers including Tumblr (New York City), IBM (Toronto) and a start-up in Toronto.
Why does Anam make the time to be a peer mentor? For Anam, it's important to help students find success in their academics. "I have found it a good strategy to introduce students to program concepts early on such as degree focuses, PEY, academic integrity, and major/minor/specialist. By bringing in professors and experts on the topics and equipping them with this knowledge, students will gain better insight of what they can expect getting this degree, and will focus them on planning their trajectory for the next few years."
Jacob Kelly, Assistant Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Jacob Kelly is a second-year student specializing in Computer Science and Math. In his first-year, he was part of the Computer Vision Team working on the Autonomous Rover as part of the Robotics Association at U of T. This summer Jacob will be interning at EPSON R &D, working on computer vision for robotics. When he's not working on programming, Jacob is preparing for his first 10k run.
Why does Jacob make the time to be a peer mentor? "If it weren't for the many mentors I had during my first year, I'm certain I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now. As a peer mentor, I'd love to do the same for incoming first-years. Making friends in your courses can often be difficult, however, in my opinion it is crucial to academic success. Having friends as emotional support when you feel like quitting when your courses seem too hard, as well as academic support, in explaining and having concepts explained to you, solidifies your own knowledge and exposes you to different ways of seeing things."
Sami Mortage, Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Sami is a third-year students who is specializing in Computer Science with a minor in Statistics. Along with his work as a FLC Peer Mentor, Sami has a Research Assistantship at the Rotman School of Management where he is working on a project that looks at creating and testing different expressions. He is also active on the Victoria College Men's Volleyball Team.
Why does Sami make the time to be a peer mentor? For Sami it's important that students develop the skills to be successful in their first-year as well as know they can always ask for help and where to turn for that help. It's also key for first-year students to make new friends. "It’s important to make weekly meetings engaging and interactive so that students can feel comfortable at the meetings, have fun and meet people in their program."
Monica Iqbal, Assistant Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Monica Iqbal is a fourth-year student with a major in Computer Science, and minors in Environmental Geography and Environmental Studies. Recently she held a Research Assistantship, where she researched and supported game design by conducting playtests, analyzing playtest data and writing a research report on her findings. She has also been active in the Department of Computer Science, organizing and facilitating activities for students.
Why does Monica make the time to be a peer mentor? "I enjoy helping people and I want to make sure that first years cope well with the transition from high school to university. I was also once in their position and can relate to them greatly, and I would be happy to give advice if they need it."
Kushagra Agarwal, Peer Mentor, Economics
Kushagra is a third-year Economics student, who is minoring in Statistics and Mathematics. Along with being the Economics Peer Mentor for FLC, Kushagra volunteers his time as a Committee Member with the Heart & Stroke Foundation (Toronto) and serves as the Assistant Director of Finance for the Hindu Student Council.
Why does Kushagra make the time to be a Peer Mentor? Kushagra believes strongly that the FLC program helps first-year students develop skills such as time management, that will allow them to be successful in their university students. It's also an opportunity for students to connect with their peers, "and try talking to anyone and everyone."
Lily Yang, Assistant Peer Mentor, Economics
Lily is a second-year student styling mathematical applications in Economics and Finance. She is also an e-Mentor at Woodsworth College.
Why does Lily make the time to be a peer mentor? "I met a lot of friends from FLC. The friendships I gained were valuable, as we generously provided each other with help and faced difficult times shoulder to shoulder. In FLC, I also learned a lot of interesting facts about mathematics. My passion for my program of study was greatly encouraged and I felt excited to explore and analyze problems with other FLC members."
Mercedes Simon, Peer Mentor, Humanities (History, Philosophy)
Mercedes Simon is a fourth-year student majoring in East Asian Studies. As part of her program, Mercedes has been studying Korean for the last three years and has plans to teach in Korea before pursuing a law degree.
Why does Mercedes make time to be a peer mentor? "Throughout university, you will inevitably be the person who struggles, the person who watches other people struggle, and finally, the person who makes it look effortless. I've been all three, and, I've had the inevitable question of, "how do you do it". The skills and systems that I've had to acquire mostly on my own, are things I sometimes wish someone could've mentored me on earlier in my university career. So it's time to pay it forward."
Maia Harris, Assistant Peer Mentor, Humanities (History, Philosophy)
Maia Harris is a second-year student majoring in Political Science and Literature & Critical Theory. Along with being actively engaged with her program, Maia has dedicated her time to leadership and mentorship programs including literacy programs, high school mentorship and arts camps.
Why does Maia make time to be a peer mentor? "FLC aids in developing time-management skills to meet the University level demands, provides resources to cultivate success academically and socially, facilitates a healthy dialogue between first-years, and acts as a support system for incoming UofT students. It is my belief that programs such as FLC are crucial for a healthy transition into higher education and can often make a difference in students' success there. I want to be a part of this, to help first-years get the most out of this exciting time as possible!"
Megan Hill, Peer Mentor, Humanities (Art History, English)
Megan Hill is a third-year student majoring in English and minoring in Sociology and Diaspora/Transnational Studies. Megan has had the opportunity to work as research Assistant for Professor Lorne Tepperman as well as for Ventures in Research. She volunteers at Harvest Toronto, Accessible Yoga and the ISA World of Sociology. Prior to being a full-time student at U of T, Megan was pursuing a career in classical ballet that saw her travel and perform in England, Poland and Toronto.
Why does Megan make the time to be a peer mentor? "I want to be a guide for those embarking on their academic careers. I remember when I first started at university and I believe that I can draw on my own experiences to help others get settled. As everyone is coming from such a unique set of backgrounds, I am sure the collaborative nature of the program will expand each participant’s horizons, including my own!"
Joanna Faisman, Assistant Peer Mentor, Humanities (Art History, English)
Joanna Faisman is a second year student who is majoring in History and Religion with a minor in English Literature. When not frantically writing essays, she spends a lot of time as an Assistant Peer Mentor in the FLC Program and an Assistant Transition Mentor at Victoria College.
Why does Joanna make time to be a peer mentor? "First year is tough and the size of UofT can sometimes make it feel isolating and overwhelming. While it's possible to overcome this on your own, the FLC program creates a welcoming environment in which you can feel secure while taking on all the challenges that come your way during first year. Creating a space for yourself in a new place is difficult, but the FLC program does a lot of that work for you before you even enter the school."
Lucy Lu, Peer Mentor, Innis College
Lucy Lu is a fourth-year student studying Neuroscience & Physiology. Last year Lucy was part of the Research Opportunity Program (399Y) in the Wojtowicz lab studying neurogenesis and also travelled to Hebrew University in Israel for a research project in neuroscience. When Lucy is not in the research lab, you can find her rowing on UofT’s Varsity Rowing Team and Co-Chairing Innis College’s Insight Mentorship Committee.
Why does Lucy make time to be a peer mentor? "It's a way to immediately connect with an upper-year through your assistant and peer mentors. They are really great go-to’s for resources you wouldn't know or expect to be offered around campus.”
Tiffany Leung, Assistant Peer Mentor, Innis College
Tiffany Leung is a fourth-year student who is majoring in neuroscience. In her first-year, Tiffany was a FLC student and learned about the Research Opportunities Program. She went onto to apply to the program, and earned a position in a psychology lab over two years. Tiffany also volunteers her time at Sunnybrook Hospital, working with patients in the Oncology Unit as well as those in need of recreational therapy.
Why does Tiffany make the time to be a peer mentor? "I am a Peer Mentor with the FLC program because FLC has helped me in more ways than I could ever imagine. I was able to develop lasting relationships with other members and my mentors. Even to this day, my mentors are still able to give me guidance and check up on me from time to time. Now that I’m at a place where I'm doing well, I would love to help and support the next generation of FLCees. I've also have many experiences with other things the students might want guidance on and would be more than happy to be a pillar of support for anybody who might be struggling in their transition to university."
Eva Gajic, Peer Mentor, New College (Tuesdays)
Eva is a Life Sciences student, with a focus on neuroscience. She is a dedicated youth leader in the city of Pickering and has been given awards for her work there.
Why does Eva make the time to be a peer mentor? "The increased workload in first year can cause a rift in work-life balance. A mentor can be helpful in sharing effective study strategies and offering relevant resources. It can be a challenge to make friends in a new school, but also a wonderful opportunity to meet great people. A mentor is crucial for encouraging first-year students in the FLC to get to know one another and to get involved in their communities. First year is also an exciting time for students to explore their interests, and mentors can help students discover new education or career paths."
Hiba Bhumani, Assistant Peer Mentor, New College (Tuesdays)
Hiba is a second-year student in the Life Sciences, who was also a FLC student in her first-year.
Why does Hiba make the time to be a peer mentor? "I wanted to become a peer mentor because FLC helped me: I made new friends and learned so many things such as time management. Knowing how hard it was for me and how beneficial the FLC program was for me, I want to share my knowledge and help other first years transition to university."
Vivian Sing, Peer Mentor, New College (Thursdays)
Vivian Sing is a fourth-year student who is double majoring in Health and Disease and Nutritional Sciences. Vivian was a research assistant in Dr. Ferrari's Motivation and Virtue lab, transcribing interviews, performing statistical analysis using quantitative coding methods and presenting research. Currently, she volunteers at Toronto General Hospital.
Why does Vivian make the time to be a peer mentor? "I was apart of FLC as a FLCee in my first year at New College. At the time I was finishing high school, I knew very few people that would be attending the University of Toronto. Luckily, one of my friends recommended the FLC program to me as a way to get to know other new-incoming students and upper year students and tips for better studying habits, which I was highly interested in. The program really helped me build my own character, taught me essential life skills, as well as offered me many valuable opportunities relative to my career path. As a peer mentor, my goal is to give back to the FLC community as much as the FLC community has given me throughout my time at the University of Toronto."
Kezia Rafique, Assistant Peer Mentor, New College (Thursdays)
Kezia is a fourth-year student who is majoring in Health and Disease, with minors in Immunology and Psychology. Kezia is an incredibly active volunteer. Along with volunteering with the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the Harvest Kids Nursery, Kezia teaches STEM to children in marginalized communities across the GTA with the Visions of Science Network. Currently, Kezia is also a research assistant with Doctors for Doctors and Nurses for Nurses.
Why does Kezia make the time to be a peer mentor? "It is a big leap from high school but if you seek the right help, this shouldn’t be too much of a struggle, and therefore, I would love to create a community in my FLC that seeks to facilitate this transition."
Michael Coleman, Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Tuesdays)
Michael is a third-year student double majoring in physiology and biochemistry. Along with being an Orientation Leader, Michael also spends his time as a Swim and Lifesaving Instructor in his hometown of Caledon.
Why does Michael make the time to be a peer mentor? “FLC is in an invaluable program because not only does it inform you about many different resources on campus that pertain to your field of study, it also serves as a great period of time to unwind and meet new people. I decided that I wanted to be an FLC Mentor because it would provide me an opportunity to provide the same guidance and assistance to incoming students as I was provided in my first year.”
Mary Dominicis, Assistant Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Tuesdays)
Mary is a second-year student in the Life Sciences. Mary is dedicated to volunteering in her community previously working with the Leading to Reading Program at the Toronto Public Library. She was also involved with implementing a fully integrated health information system at SickKids Hospital. Currently she volunteers with the Humber River Hospital and the Weis Lab at U of T.
Why does Mary make the time to be a peer mentor? "After personally experiencing how valuable FLC is as a first year student, I have developed a desire to help those students who were in the same shoes as me in my first year. As an Assistant Peer Mentor, I have the opportunity to not only give back to my community, but also to further develop my own leadership capabilities, management skills, as well as my confidence. FLC has allowed me to step outside of my comfort area and explore new opportunities, and I wish to show students how valuable it is to do so starting in their first year."
Angela Zhou, Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Thursdays)
Angela is a third-year student specializing in Pharmacology and Biomedical Toxicology. She is a member of a research lab in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. When she’s not studying or in the lab, Angela volunteers as a coach and swims for the University of Toronto Synchronized Swimming Team.
Who does Angela make the time to be a peer mentor? “FLC provided me with a unique experience in first year where I met many of my closest friends and learnt many valuable skills. It was these experiences that inspired me to become a Peer Mentor because I wanted to share my knowledge and experiences to help first year students transition into university.”
Nicole Machado, Assistant Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Thursdays)
Nicole Machado is a third-year student with a focus on Pharmacology and Toxicology. Active on campus, Nicole was an Orientation Leader at St. Michael's College as well as acting as the Outreach Coordinator for the University of Toronto Drama Coalition. She is also a volunteer with North York General Hospital.
Why does Nicole make the time to be a peer mentor? She would like to help first year students "adjust to university teaching and exams formats and how to manage their time for activities that reduce stress or increase mental health." In order to do so, Nicole will look to work with students to develop time management strategies as well as introducing them to on-campus resources (e.g. drop-in classes at Hart House or on-campus theatre productions).
Alexandra Moffat, Peer Mentor, Trinity College
Alexandra Moffat is a third-year student specializing in Neuroscience and Nutritional Science. With aspirations to go to medical school, Alexandra volunteers at a UofT psychology lab, a Sick Kids Hospital lab and at the Cynamon Mother & Baby Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Why does Alexandra make the time to be a Peer Mentor? "First-year can be overwhelming: hard to meet new people and learn how to get help. Being in FLC allowed me to meet some of my best friends and introduced me to many on-campus resources. I wanted to share my experiences with first-year students so they could learn from my mistakes and the tips I found most helpful."
Victoria Chen, Assistant Peer Mentor, Trinity College
Victoria is a second-year Life Sciences student. Along with being an accomplished pianist, Victoria has also received mentorship training from ErinoakKids, Ontario's largest children's rehabilitation centre. She applied those skills as a volunteer at Respite Camp where she work with children with developmental, communication and/or physical disabilities.
Why does Victoria make the time to be a peer mentor? "From my experience as a first-year FLCee, I learned that building a sense of community on campus, along with an awareness of all the support available, is essential to a positive student experience. Through the FLC program, I was able to form study groups and new friendships, and had access to unique resources and opportunities, such as guest speakers and trips to Grant's Anatomy Museum and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. My experience with FLC made my gruelling first-year of university much more enjoyable."
Anson Lau, Peer Mentor, University College
Anson is a fourth-year student specializing in Pharmacology and Biotoxicity and majoring in Neuroscience. Anson is actively engaged on-campus, planning academic events for students with Student Housing and Residence Life at U of T. He also participated in U of T's Research Abroad Program, studying the pathology of neuropathy.
Why does Anson make the time to be a peer mentor? "I believe FLC is valuable to first-year students because university has a drastically different learning style than previous educational systems. In addition to the new learning style, students might also face difficulties being involved with the university and developing new connections. FLC provides a platform to aid students to overcome these challenges by enabling them to swiftly and easily adapt to these new changes which will ultimately guide them on the right path to success."
Sofia Recio, Assistant Peer Mentor, University College
Sofia is a second-year student in the Life Sciences program.
Why does Sofia make the time to be a peer mentor? "I wanted to be a peer mentor to encourage future FLCees to take advantage of this platform to enhance their first-year experience. FLC provides first-years with the perfect opportunity to build friendships and become familiar with the campus. In addition, I wanted to share the knowledge that I acquired with FLCees, to help guide them through certain challenges they might encounter."
Aisha Adil, Peer Mentor, Victoria College (Tuesdays)
Aisha is a third-year student specializing in Health and Disease. Along with assisting in research projects at Toronto General Hospital and Women's College Research Institute, Aisha also participated in the Research Opportunity Program. Under the supervision of Dr. Brad Bass, Aisha was part of a team investigating the role of upstream regulatory proteins and potential mechanisms of the Hippo pathway on cell growth. She is also active in identifying STEM-oriented opportunities in data science and scholarly writing for high school and undergraduate students across Canada.
Why does Aisha make the time to be a peer mentor? "The University of Toronto has a plethora of resources (eg. health-wise, academics and so forth) available however how to use them to one’s own individual advantage or simply knowing these resources exist is often challenging for first-years." Aisha looks forward to the opportunity to raise awareness of these resources, and how her students can become actively involved.
Anna Hwang, Assistant Peer Mentor, Victoria College (Tuesdays)
Anna is a second-year student majoring in Biological Physics. Along with being a tutor in her high school, Anna has also been summer camp counsellor at Ohsweken Six Nations Reserve and volunteers her time at an after-school program for lower-income families in Toronto.
Why does Anna make the time to be a peer mentor? “As a first-year student in FLC, I learned that being an active member of my community is an important part of university life. I learned about many different opportunities to get involved, both on campus and outside as well. I also got helpful tips from the peer mentors and my fellow FLCees, such as how to manage my time well, how to approach professors, or where to go to get good food. LC gave me the unique opportunity to connect with students, faculty members, and staff in an open, friendly environment. As an assistant peer mentor, I hope to give my FLC the same great experience I had in my first-year.”
Abban Yusuf, Peer Mentor, Victoria College (Thursdays)
Abban is a third-year student focusing on Biological Chemistry. Outside of her coursework, Abban looks for volunteer opportunities. She is a volunteer with a local rehabilitation centre, and previously, planned after school programs for community youth with Women for Change in Toronto.
Why does Abban make the time to be a peer mentor? By introducing her students to time-management tools and coping mechanisms for stress, Abban hopes to help her students successfully adjust to the academic challenges of university. She also will look to introduce students to resources across campus (e.g. Learning Strategists, Chemistry and Physics tutors), to help ensure her students take advantage of them and reach their learning goals.
Aiwen Qian, Assistant Peer Mentor, Victoria College (Thursdays)
Aiwen is a second-year student in the Life Sciences program.
Why does Aiwen make the time to be a peer mentor? "The main reason why I want to become a peer mentor is because I am grateful for what my peer mentors did in helping me transition as seamlessly as possible from high school to university, and I would like to do the same for the incoming first year students. My primary goal is to create a positive, welcoming, and reliable community, where they will feel comfortable to discuss any topics and feel a sense of belonging. I understand both the challenges and opportunities that first year students typically encounter, and I hope to provide encouragement and reassurance during difficult times as well as celebrate the students' successes. In addition, I look forward to the teamwork aspect of being an assistant peer mentor, and getting to know my younger peers. I believe that communication is a two way street, and I am absolutely thrilled to hear their voices and learn from them as well."
To be announced.
Maggie Xiao, Peer Mentor, Centre for International Experiences
Maggie Xiao is a fourth-year student specializing in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology with a major in Molecular Genetics. Maggie has held many volunteer positions with walk-in-clinics and hospitals including Toronto General Hospital and North York General Hospital. She has also worked as a research assistant for a variety of labs on-campus, most recently Dr. Sokolowski's lab on microRNA.
Why does Maggie make the time to be a peer mentor? Maggie hopes to help her students develop strategies to successfully meet academic expectations as well as help them to become actively involved with on-campus student organizations and research opportunities.
Riveea Satkunaratnam, Assistant Peer Mentor, Centre for International Experiences
Riveea is a second-year student focusing on Human Biology and Physiology. She is a volunteer for Sick Kids Foundation, assisting in fundraising and awareness campaigns on-campus.
Why does Riveea make the time to be a peer mentor? "Although your first-year can be stressful, FLC provides a welcoming space to share your concerns and struggles within a small community of students who soon become your friends and benefit from the perspective of students who were very recently in your position as well. Through FLC I learned about the many programs, research opportunities and student support services offered at UofT and gained exposure to a diverse array of career options related to the field of life sciences. I wanted to get involved in the program so that I could help incoming students feel more at ease during their transition into university life by sharing my own experiences and lending an ear."
Yuqing Cao, Peer Mentor, Mathematics 137
Yunqing is a second-year student focusing on Mathematical applications in finance and economics. In her first-year at U of T, Yunqing took variety of course including Mathematics, French, Statistics and Linguistics, in order to discover what area she wanted to pursue further. Yunqing is also an outreach volunteer with the Department of Mathematics and with a non-for-profit organization helping the blind.
Why does Yunqing make the time to be a peer mentor? "Personally, I have benefited a lot from FLC program when I was in my first year and I really appreciate the mentors' help. I have learned a lot about the transition, the available resources, and the effective learning method so that I hope I can contribute to the program and help the first year students as a peer mentor."
Pannah Yazdanmehr, Peer Mentor, Mathematics 137
Pannah is a second-year student focusing on Mathematical Applications in Economics and Finance. Pannah volunteered as a Project Manager with Inspire at St. Michael's College, a student organization that looks to organizes talks with Canadian leaders in various fields.
Why does Pannah make the time to be a peer mentor? "Being a member of the Mathematics (MAT137) FLC as a first-year student taught me about these various resources and who to approach for help whether for academic or personal issues. As an APM, I plan to aid new first-year students throughout their transition by passing down this knowledge to hopefully help students learn how to maximize their potential and, ultimately, their learning experience here at the University of Toronto."
Jessica Liu, Peer Mentor, Mathematics 157
Jessica is a third-year student who is specializing in Mathematics with a major in Computer Science. In the summer of 2017, Jessica took part in the Research Opportunities Program working with a team to research and identify the De Graaf classifications of Solvable Lie Algebras with the Snobl-Winternitz classifications. She is also actively involved with the Department of Mathematics, organizing talks and academic events in her role as Vice President of Academics, U of T Math Union.
Why does Jessica make the time to be a peer mentor? The opportunity to provide first-year students with the skills to be successful as well as how to navigate the Mathematics program. But most important, the opportunity to help create a sense of community for first-year students and "meet experienced people with the same interests as them who can help them, especially upper year students, TAs and professors. We can let them know about events (Math union socials, academic talks) where they can meet people."
Thomas Ma, Peer Mentor, Mathematics 157
Thomas is a third-year student who is focusing on Mathematics and Economics. He looks for opportunities to put his mathematical skills to work in academic and practical contexts. This past year he worked on a research project in classifying Lie Alegbras with Professor Joe Repka, and over the summer he will be working as a Business Analyst at Capital One.
Why does Thomas make the time to be a peer mentor? "Math is known as a field that is stressful, difficult to understand, and closed off to outsiders, but FLC helped teach me that the math community at U of T is actually welcoming and extremely helpful. I would like to pay it forward and both show first-years that math at U of T is not at all scary, while also helping them with the conventional stresses that come from entering your first year of university."
Zeyad Hamza, Peer Mentor, Innis College
Zeyad is a fourth-year student specializing in Management with minors in Economics and Philosophy. Outside of school, Zeyad is involved with Toastmasters as well as the Finance Director for U of T’s Model UN.
Why does Zeyad make the time to be a peer mentor? "I was actually a FLCee in first year, and it was an extremely fun and valuable experience. From going on a scavenger hunt to explore the campus, to preparing for my first case competition, my peer mentors offered me a variety of fun, informative sessions to develop into a more confident and enthusiastic first-year student."
Sabina Galle, Assistant Peer Mentor, Innis College
Sabina Galle is a second-year student in Rotman Commerce. In her first-year, Sabina took an internship with the Rotman Commerce Consulting Association creating an outreach strategy to increase the association's number of corporate partnerships.
Why does Sabina make the time to be a peer mentor? "Entering first year with no one to call a friendly face is a struggle many students face, one I know too well. Yet it is through the safe environment of FLC, one I would aim to foster, that I began to see familiar faces and felt comfortable to form friendships with my peers. My mentors facilitated and participated in many discussions where my peers and I felt safe to express our concerns. I was able to find comfort in knowing others were facing similar struggles. I look forward to being able to do the same for my students, and create a safe environment in which I too could empathize with students."
Kate Azizova, Peer Mentor, New College
Kate is a third-year student majoring in Management with a concentration in Strategy. Kate is actively involved in student organizations including serving as a Senior Consulting Associate and Internship Supervisor for Enactus.
Why does Kate make the time to be a peer mentor? "I love mentoring younger people, whether it is academic or developmental. FLC provides an opportunity to give back and be a part of someone else's development, which is extremely rewarding. To me this opportunity is all about giving back to the Rotman community. I have met many meaningful mentors and I only hope to make a significant difference in someone else’s path."
Angela Bosenius, Assistant Peer Mentor, New College
Angela is a second-year student specializing in Accounting. Angela is an accomplished musician, and was a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Why does Angela make the time to be a peer mentor? “I found that my experience as a FLCee was really valuable, as I learned of different ways to handle the new challenges that come with transitioning from high school to university. I applied to be a peer mentor as I really wanted to continue my involvement with the FLC program! I would like to help create a supportive community for incoming first-years, which would allow them to successfully adjust to university and overcome any challenges they might encounter.”
Isabella Kock, Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Mondays)
Isabella is a fourth-year student specializing in Finance and Economics. As well, she is Director of the International Students' Liaison and a Global Learning Ambassador with the Rotman Commerce program. This summer Isabella is undertaking an internship at Neslté to learn more about finance.
Why does Isabella make the time to be a peer mentor? "I really enjoyed FLC in my first year, and I wanted to share what I had learned to help incoming students that would be in the same position as I was. I love what the program stands for, and I really enjoy being a mentor, because if I can positively impact a first year's life, even just a little bit, then I am happy. I have learned quite a lot in these past three years, and I like sharing my knowledge because I wish I had known some of these things in my first year. I also really love seeing FLCees grow in their first year and, by the end of the year, I can really see everyone becoming friends and being really comfortable with one another."
Victoria Terech, Assistant Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Mondays)
Victoria is a second-year student in Rotman Commerce. In attaining a role as an Assistant Peer Mentor, Victoria is continuing the peer mentorship work she performed at her high school. She has also been selected as one of eighteen female undergraduate students to participate in the TD Securities Women in Leadership.
Why does Victoria make the time to be a peer mentor? “I heard about FLC before applying to U of T and immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it. I developed personally, academically and socially through my experiences in FLC. I learned about balancing school work with a part-time job and extra-curricular activities. I took more risks and was able to become more confident in myself and my skills. I love sharing advice and acting as a mentor for those who might go through similar experiences that I did.”
Yaakov Spivak, Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Wednesdays)
Yaakov is entering his fourth-year in the Management stream at Rotman Commerce. In 2017-18, Yaakov took a Professional Experience Year (PEY) at Vaughn City Hall where he was a Special Projects Interns with the Public Works Portfolio.
Why does Yaakov make the time to be a peer mentor? "By collaborating with fellow FLCees and their mentors, they learn to develop their interpersonal and organizational skills, are better able to understand what other people can bring to the table, and develop better time management and studying techniques that translate to success during their time at U of T. I really want to help out first year students as they enter such an important chapter of their lives, and offer some much needed perspective and light hearted humour along the way."
Mehwish Siddiqui, Assistant Peer Mentor, St. Michael's College (Wednesdays)
Mehwish is a second-year student in Rotman Commerce. Along with her involvement with the Rotman Commerce Students' Association, Mehwish is also active in law and business case competition participating in the DECA Provincial 2018 Competition and the Mock Trial Team at U of T.
Why does Mehwish make the time to be a peer mentor? "To me it is important to dedicate FLC sessions to discussing student struggles and how various resources can be found to address those issues. I believe students mainly need to be made aware of the resources that are available so that they can take the initiative to use them. I also strongly believe that presentations from advisors, career coaches, and experts from Rotman Commerce will be great assets in allowing students to have support going forward."
Diana Selemeneva, Peer Mentor, Trinity College
Diana is a third-year student specializing in Public Accounting with a minor in Economics. Diana is actively engaged in the Rotman Commerce community. Along with being a member of the Rotman Commerce Students' Association, Diana is an Internship Supervisor with Enactus and the Director of Events with the Accounting Society. Outside of Rotman Commerce, you can find Diana coaching the Olympium Synchronized Swimming Club.
Why does Diana make the time to be a peer mentor? By providing students with the resources to succeed academically and developmentally, Diana believes she will help students to meet any setbacks they might encounter in first-year. It is also important that students feel a sense of connection. "I will encourage the FLC group to get involved in the community and make sure that I am keeping them updated with all of the events that I know off that are happening around campus, as it is a crucial part of the university experience."
Jim Ho, Assistant Peer Mentor, Trinity College
Jim is a second-year student in Rotman Commerce. From British Columbia, Jim has worked with various organizations on successful fundraising initiatives.
Why does Jim make the time to be a peer mentor? “After participating as a FLCee, I have developed a more profound understanding of the university. I learned the different benefit that the campus provides as well as the resources and opportunities that this community has to offer. Moreover, I was also able to further expand my social circle by meeting with my peers regularly. This program has enabled me to acquire academic and personal skills, which are key factors that are integral to success in university.”
Vaidehi Viswanath, Peer Mentor, University College (Mondays)
Vaidehi is a third-year student specializing in Finance and Economics. Vaidehi is actively engaged on-campus, taking roles as the Brand Manager for the Rotman Commerce Consulting Association and Treasurer for Ferguson House at University College. She is also part of a consulting team with other undergraduate students conducting research and developing strategies for the growth of start-ups. Outside of the University, Vaidehi was a member of the social media team for Toronto Men's and Women's Fashion Week 2018 and volunteered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017.
Why does Vaidehi make the time to be a peer mentor? "I continuously reflect on, try and adapt new techniques for all of my courses because each one is so unique. Having discovered Rotman’s plethora of facilities, such as the Economics Aid Center, the Tutor Network and Academic advisors, much later, I felt I would have benefitted utilizing these early on. I have experienced all of these and learned from my personal experiences. These are tips that I want to pass on to younger students so that they can navigate themselves much more efficiently through the program."
Melissa Beeson, Assistant Peer Mentor, University College (Mondays)
Melissa is a second-year student specializing in public accounting.
Why does Melissa make the time to be a peer mentor? It is important to share with her peers the knowledge she gained in first-year about study habits, organizations and resources to reach out to when they're in need of help. For Melissa, she also wants to provide students with the opportunity to make new friends. "As someone who came to school not knowing anyone, I would be able to really show how being active in FLC and other on campus clubs/groups helps everyone take control and use this amazing opportunity to make friends and connections within their program/school."
Zainab Hamid, Peer Mentor, University College (Wednesdays)
Zainab is a third-year student who is focusing on Public Accounting and minoring in French. Zainab is a member of the Syrian Resettlement Committee at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, where she helped to plan, coordinate and facilitate activities and events for over 100 Syrian newcomers to Canada.
Why does Zainab make the time to be a peer mentor? As she puts it, "As a Peer Mentor, I want to enhance the value that I add to my FLCees’ university experience." For Zainab this means providing students with the skills to develop a healthy school-life balance to help students to prioritize, balance and be efficient. It's also about expanding students' social and professional networks by providing opportunities to make new friends and introduce them to the over 1000 clubs at U of T.
Stephanie Leung, Assistant Peer Mentor, University College (Wednesdays)
Stephanie is a second-year student specializing in Finance and Economics. Stephanie feels very strongly about helping newcomers to Canada, and has volunteered her time as a peer leader, translator as well as camp counsellor.
Why does Stephanie make the time to be a peer mentor? “With the guidance and bi-weekly FLC sessions offered by my peer mentors, I was introduced into the academic resources available in the campus. In addition, I have found the case competition that was held by FLC to be a great experience in learning the necessary skills to deliver an outstanding case analysis and presentation. I have also gained insights into details of each specialist stream regarding potential career paths and course contents from a upper year panel session organized by FLC. Choosing a specialist is a crucial step that first-year students will be required to take thus FLC has achieved in assisting my decision process.”
Emily McCullough, Peer Mentor, Victoria College
Emily is a third-year student specializing in Management with a concentration in strategy and marketing. Emily is activity involved in the Commerce community as a member of the Rotman Commerce Marketing Association and the Rotman Commerce International Business Association.
Why does Emily make the time to be a peer mentor? “I learned a lot throughout my first year and still use what I learned today. One of the main things that I still use today is how to construct an effective, strong cover letter and resume. This has helped me while applying to jobs and organizations at the university. want to give back to the FLC program for all the assistance and guidance it has given me throughout my first year. I believe that it is important to share my knowledge with others around me and help them improve.”
Angela Cui, Assistant Peer Mentor, Victoria College
Angela is a second-year student specializing in Management with a concentration in Marketing and Strategy. She is a member of the Rotman Commerce Marketing Association and a Conference Committee Member for the Rotman Commerce Pride Alliance.
Why does Angela make the time to be a peer mentor? "Challenges that are common for first year students are finding spaces to fit into and finding opportunities to make friends. I think FLC is a great space to form these kinds of connections and to foster new relationships. I would encourage this further by creating welcoming and social spaces the first few meetings and allow time for students to open up and get to know each other. Being a first year also offers so many new opportunities, especially at the start of the year with the many back to school events hosted by U of T and Rotman that give a great look into the culture of this university."
Rachel Leung, Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College
Rachel is a third-year student who is specializing in Public Accounting with minors in French and Economics. She is actively involved with the Commerce community taking on roles in student organizations such as DECA and Enactus.
Why does Rachel make the time to be a peer mentor? “As a first-year student, I received a lot of support from upper year students. Not only academic advice, but also social and mental health support as well. I was seeking for an opportunity in which I could also provide the same support for others as well. I also knew I wanted to get more involved with on-campus activities and immediately felt a connection with the responsibilities and goals of a FLC mentor. The opportunity of being a mentor allows me to develop my leadership skills, but also to meet and learn from welcoming and passionate students of all years in various programs.”
Heather Ngi, Assistant Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College (Mondays)
Heather is a second-year student in Rotman Commerce. During her first-year, she had an internship with the Rotman Commerce Students' Association.
Why does Heather make the time to be a peer mentor? For Heather, being a peer mentor is an opportunity to help students reach their full potential. She would like her students to feel open to ask questions and express their doubts, but also understand that their are resources for them to utilize such as academic advisors, the Rotman Career Centre and peer advisers. She would also provide opportunities for her students to learn about ways they can engage within their communities and pursue leadership roles (e.g. student organizations).
Rachel Futerman, Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College (Wednesdays)
Rachel is a third-year student specializing in Public Accounting and minoring in Economics. She is a member of the Events Committee with the Rotman Commerce Students' Association, and also held a blogging internship with an online financial news website.
Why does Rachel make the time to be a peer mentor? "First year students have the opportunity for tremendous academic growth. Students are able to study subjects they are passionate about and interact in a variety of forums with professors, employers, and make use of resources and services, that are accessible to them in the university community. Also, students have access to a variety of social environments, including clubs that promote a myriad of interests. In FLC, I will encourage students to explore all the academic and social options available, so their opportunity for both academic and social growth are boundless."
Sarah Dai, Assistant Peer Mentor, Woodsworth College
Sarah is a second-year student in Rotman Commerce. During her first-year at U of T, Sarah was an intern with Enactus, an entrepreneurial student group, as well as the Finance Chair with the Professional Development Committee for Woodsworth College's Student Association. She also finds time to be a contributing writer to the e-magazine Her Campus and participate in an U of T dance group.
Why does Sarah make time to be a peer mentor? "Being part of FLC really positively impacted my first year in Rotman and at the University of Toronto. Through FLC, I learned about the three different streams within the Rotman program, cool spots on campus to eat, study, and hangout with people, and how to get through first year mentally, physically, and emotionally. Most importantly, I met so many amazing people who I now call close friends. I want to do the same. I want to be a peer mentor because I want to help first year students transition smoothly into university life."
Nicholas Przulj, Peer Mentor, Social Sciences
Nick is a third-year student who is majoring in Political Science and Classics. He has held a Research Assistantship at a Toronto-based law firm where he worked to consolidate and prepare data. He is also active on-campus as a member of the Pre-Law Society, the U of T Intramural (Basketball). Nick also takes time to volunteer with CAM H and Runnymede Healthcare Centre.
Why does Nick make the time to be a peer mentor? "With the opportunity to expand horizons by engaging in new materials and developing relationships, comes the typical first-year challenges of figuring out how the university works academically and the everlasting challenge of trying to balance schoolwork with a social life, work, and other activities (along with their impact on student mental health). That is why, my primary goal will be to aid the first-year students in developing methods and blueprints to work on ways to manage balancing all the positives and amazing opportunities that U of T has to offer and the academic workload."
Rozerin Izol, Assistant Peer Mentor, Social Sciences FLC
Rozerin Izol is a third-year student specializing in Political Science. She is Co-President of the "Global Dialogue Series," a forum that allows international students and faculty to discuss events in our world today. She also volunteers with the U of T UNICEF Community.
Why does Rozerin make the time to be a peer mentor? Rozerin experienced a few bumps in her first-year managing her workload and extracurriculars. She believes that if she had been able to join FLC in her first-year she would have dealt with these challenges much more effectively. As she explains, "FLC is made up of many experienced students who have gone through the steps that the first-year students are going through. FLC therefore can help students have a smooth transition into the university through experienced upper-year students who are there to guide the first-year students into developing great relationships with their professors and teaching assistants, give them advice on how to manage their workload and encourage them to participate in extra-curricular activities."
Rachel Brunswick, Senior Peer Mentor
Rachel Brunswick is a fourth-year student majoring in Health and Disease with a double minor in immunology and physiology. Along with being involved with FLC for the last four years, Rachel has been Head Leader for the Woodsworth College Orientation Week. She also volunteers with SciHigh, an organization that travels to elementary and high schools to facilitate interactive science activities with students.
Why does Rachel make the time to be a peer mentor? As a first-year student I gained many skills and valuable knowledge through being apart of the FLC program. FLC first and foremost helped me find a community within both my college and program at U of T. It introduced me to many familiar faces in my classes which soon became friends, that had many of the same goals for undergrad and after graduation as I did. Meeting these fellow FLCees became further beneficial in forming study groups and having a group of students to help prepare for midterms with. Both of my mentors in the FLC program when I was a first-year provided me with so much guidance through my courses and how to be successful at U of T."
Shahbano Mustafa, Senior Peer Mentor
Shahbano is a fourth-year student majoring in Physiology and Immunology. Shahbano has participated in the Research Opportunities Program, inputting data and conducting a literature review with the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development. She is an experienced peer mentor and has received her Mentor Leadership Certificate from Student Life.
Why does Shahbano make the time to be a peer mentor? "During one of the first few FLC sessions, I recall thinking to myself that I want to be where these mentors are standing right now. I've been involved in mentorship since middle school so it wasn't a huge epiphany or anything. As the year went on, I realized how amazing this program is for students, mentors and mentees alike. It's a chance to give back to the people that have helped you thrive in the face of crazy, scary first-year challenges, a chance to make a difference in another's life however small the difference is, a chance to create lasting friendships and memories. I'm forever glad I stumbled upon the FLC link."
Rakhi Tilak, Senior Peer Mentor
Rakhi Tilak is a fourth-year student who is a double major in Biochemistry and Physiology. She is a research student with a lab at Toronto General Hospital and St. Michael's Hospital. Since high school, Rakhi has also been a volunteer at a therapeutic rehabilitation program for children.
Why does Rakhi make the time to be a peer mentor? I heard about FLC through my sister, and she told me it was one of the best experiences she had in first year. With that encouragement I decided to become a FLC student in first year, and ever since I have remained in the program. I became a peer mentor because I think peer learning is really valuable. Whenever I'm in need of advice, I often go to my friends as I know they can relate to what I'm going through. Similarly, the FLC program is a great way for first-year students to be able to engage with their peers to navigate the transition from high school to university, so I definitely wanted to be a part of that!