Asian Institute Mentorship program

Asian Institute Mentorship Program is written in black text on a white background with the Asian Institute logo below. The white background is surrounded by a colourful frame comprised of textile patterns from East, Southeast, and South Asia.

Call for student mentees and alumni mentors

Applications to the 2023-24 Asian Institute Mentorship Program (AIM) are due 11:59pm EDT, September 18, 2023.

Make connections

Each year, the Asian Institute Mentorship program (AIM) connects current students in the Asian Institute’s undergraduate and Master’s programs with alumni for professional development and networking opportunities. We welcome you to participate whether you’re in Toronto or anywhere in the world!

Whether you're joining as a student mentee or an alumni mentor, participating in the program will strengthen your communication skills, expand your personal and professional network, and invite you to reflect on your career goals while identifying areas for growth and opportunity.  

How It Works

  • Submit an application: Complete an application form (for prospective mentees; for prospective mentors) outlining your career interests and mentorship goals by September 18, 2023
  • Meet and greets: Meet your fellow mentors and mentees at an online orientation workshop and participate in optional in-person social events throughout the year.
  • Training and guidance: Mentors and mentees will receive resources on how to make the most of the AIM experience through a presentation and discussion at the orientation workshop and an accompanying pdf guide with further reading, resources, and suggestions for how to structure your meetings.
  • Connect over the academic semester: Attend at least two meetups with your mentorship match per semester (these can be virtual or in-person where possible). 
  • Co-curricular record recognition: Student mentees can attend a career skills workshop and submit a short reflection to receive CCR recognition for participation.

Connect with the Asian Institute community in a personal and meaningful way.

Interested to learn more? Please reach out to Shannon Garden-Smith, Research Coordinator at the Asian Institute, at

From our mentors

Anastasia Belashov headshot
Anastasia Belashov is a Sales and Partnership Specialist, Canadian International Student Services (CISS)

Anastasia Belashov

"My participation in AIM helps me to continue to be connected to U of T. When I was a graduate student at the Asian Institute and a newcomer to Canada, I was helped by so many people. Being a mentor gives me an opportunity to pay back. In this program, through the eyes of my mentees/students, I have a chance to learn about different experiences, cultures, adaptation and flexibility. This experience is very rewarding in so many ways."

Dennis Lee headshot (AIM mentor)
Dennis Lee is a Senior Sector Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Dennis Lee

"When I was a student, I always felt the Asian Institute was invested in my success. Serving as an AIM mentor allows me to pay that forward, and demonstrate that there's a community to help support students' achievements. Also, spending time with a student makes me feel like a student again...with less stress!" 

Mia Nguyen AIM mentor
Mia Nguyen is a Digital Customer Success Manager at Rose Rocket

Mia Nguyen

"I joined AIM as a mentor because I wish I had this program when I was in university. I wanted someone who was five steps ahead of me to guide me through the early years of my professional journey. As a graduate, I was ready to give back. Little did I know I would gain a lot as a mentor too. Mentoring provides me the space to reflect on my own journey and strengthen the ties with my beloved Asian Institute community. I'm so happy to see how the program has scaled over the years!" 

Alice Niu headshot AIM Mentor
Alice Niu is a Digital Strategist at the Ontario Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery

Alice Niu

​​​​​​"Being a mentor prompts me to reflect upon the paths I have taken and share lessons learned in a constructive way. Moreover, supporting my mentees during crucial periods of transitions inspires me to be more diligent in my own work as well."

Hui Wen Zheng (AIM mentor headshot)
Hui Wen Zheng is an Associate at Boston Consulting Group

Hui Wen Zheng

"It's been so interesting to learn about my mentee's background and interests, which are different but complementary to my own, and I think we are able to teach each other things every time we meet.

"One of the exciting things I could help my mentee with was around program selection, which is a big decision at U of T. Though unplanned, she ended up choosing the same degree combination as me after our many discussions, and I am super excited for her!"