A lot of us here at the Brandcenter appreciate the casual mentor/mentee student partnerships; a 1st year student (mentee) is paired with 2nd year student (mentor) in their track.
Robbie: When I first began Brandcenter, I had so many questions. Richmond was a brand new city, Brandcenter was a new school for me, and I met more people than I could put names to. I connected with my future roommates over a Google Doc that the Brandcenter admissions put out (and luckily I ended up finding and living with some of my best friends). But I do not think I am alone when I say that most of us entering the program had no idea what to expect.
The first couple of weeks in Richmond I met some second years and asked them about my mentor who they said was awesome. We had connected over Facebook over the summer.
Raiven, my mentor, and I finally met face to face after new student orientation in August. We went out to coffee at Lamplighter and I asked her a bunch of questions- what classes I was taking were going to be like, what professors were like, what was cool in Richmond (turns out, everything), and what my day to day schedule might be like. Raiven was able to give me the lowdown on everything, and this really eased my tension. Having this connection was great, because she knew what my track was like and I had a face to find in the crowds.
Raiven introduced me to a bunch of second years, has shown me lots of cool places in Richmond, and is my pillar of support (I always bother her with questions, most recently with what kind of spray adhesive to buy and how to use it).
Raiven: Everyone at the Brandcenter is always talking about our network and how great it is, and it starts by simply talking to the people you’re going to school with. I think a lot of us forget that, and the resources available to us while here at the Brandcenter, but I think the mentor/mentee partnership helps us reach out when we wouldn’t normally.
Robbie, my mentee, and I would’ve been friends regardless (hopefully) but our connection gave us a reason to talk. This mentor/mentee partnership helps bridge the gap between the 1st & 2nd year students. Just as he’s met a lot of 2nd years through me, I’ve met a lot of the 1st years through him. Outside of class, we’ve (literally) climbed mountains together, had a painting night, and countless coffee dates. We’re even making plans to go on a road trip for spring break. And the mentor/mentee relationship kicked everything into motion.
The VCU Brandcenter culture promotes helping each other.
I think that we have taught each other stuff, and it’s great to have each other as friends we can rely on.
-Raiven Delisle and Robert Persky, art direction track, class of 2017 and 2018