Profile: Di Chen

Student Services Lead to Student Success

dichenIn addition to the normal challenges that any first-year student might have to overcome, international student Di Shen had to grapple with a few more. Moving to Canada from China, Di – like any international student – had to adapt to a new culture, environment, and educational system. While many international students have had negative relocation experiences, Di was able to forge a positive entry to Canada, thanks in large part to Brescia’s Tri-Mentoring Program.

Created to connect first-year students with upper-year students, and upper-year students with established members of the community, the Tri-Mentoring program provided Di with the continuous support system needed to flourish in a new environment. In her first year at Brescia Di had a fourth-year mentor who was also enrolled in the Foods and Nutrition program. Watching her mentor “succeed in her program and obtain a great internship” provided inspiration for Di to volunteer at the hospital and be active in the nutrition field more enthusiastically than she would have been without her mentor’s encouragement.

In addition to providing educational guidance, the program provided knowledge that was also helpful in work situations. In her second year Di was paired with a mentor from the London community. During this time she was experiencing difficulty communicating with her supervisor at work. Intuitive to the kind of person Di was, her mentor understood the issue that Di was describing and provided her with practical advice. Di’s community mentor also made Di think beyond the boundaries of her undergraduate studies and showed her different career paths that would be available after graduation. Since Di hopes to remain in London after graduating, she was pleased with the networking opportunities that presented themselves. From this relationship she gained connections to community business leaders, which will be useful when searching for a full-time job when the time comes.

If Di happens to return to China after her studies, her experience with the Tri-Mentoring program will still have been useful. In fact, Di thinks it would be beneficial to create a similar program in a Chinese university or community. By being a mentor to a younger student, Di said she was able to “develop her own leadership qualities and a sense of confidence that she saw in her own mentors.” It is certain that her newfound sense of confidence and ability to lead will be useful in Canada, China, and anywhere else on the globe.

Visit Brescia’s website for more information about the Tri-Mentoring Program!