When Joan Webster decided to take part in the Kinesiology Mentorship Program five years ago, she had one goal in mind: To give back.
As a community builder and youth advocate, Webster also recognized the value of mentorship for students and how it can enrich their undergraduate experience.
“[The Mentorship Program] is a unique opportunity to learn one on one from key people in your field. I don’t know a successful person who hasn’t had a mentor along the way in his or her industry.”
“Also, my own children were about to enter university, so I understood the importance and the relevance of mentorship for undergraduates, ” says Webster.
Now, as a long time mentor with the program, she has guided many Kinesiology students in their transition from university to a career after graduation.
Webster, who graduated from UBC with a degree in Recreation Education in 1980, is no stranger to mentorship and student development. During her time at UBC, she became one of the co-founders of the UBC Intermural program and served as its first full time associate director until 1990.
Twenty years after leaving UBC, she saw the mentorship program as an opportunity to reconnect with her alma mater and offer valuable guidance to the next generation of Kinesiology students.
“My intentions were to assist in a discussion of options available to Kinesiology graduates in the ‘sports and leisure’ industry of which I have had experience. I also wanted to build their resumes in a way that offered value, based on their own experiences, “ says Webster.
“We also looked at gaps in their skill set needed for a successful transition to a career after graduation, and introduced them to people who have been at the pinnacle of the sport and leisure industry.”
Most recently, she was paired with Noel Lai, a 4th-year Kinesiology student in the interdisciplinary stream. Lai credits Webster for helping her discover her interests and narrowing down her career options.
Apart from contributing to her alma mater, the Kinesiology Mentorship Program has helped Webster to connect with industry professionals and other past graduates.
“The events that are hosted are wonderful mixers that bring together other mentors, current students and alumni. There’s so much happening in the health, sport and leisure industry and Kinesiology graduates from the past 65 years are at the forefront of this movement,” says Webster.
“It’s great to mingle with such successful people.”
Learn more about the Kinesiology Mentorship Program and how to participate here. | Blog post by Kamil Somaratne