Viren Tated and mentee
Viren Tated (at left) chats with his first-year mentee


Viren Tated arrived at Queen’s confident he would elect to study Computer Engineering after completing the common first year. Today he credits his mentor from the QSuccess Engineering International Student Mentorship Program for guiding him to study Mathematics and Engineering.

It took, in Viren’s words, “big conversations” with his first-year mentor for him to realize that Mathematics and Engineering is where his educational interests lie.

Hailing from India by way of Malaysia, Viren chose Queen’s University to continue his higher education but was initially wary of his decision. It was this wariness that led to him to the QSuccess program in his first year.

“I didn’t really know anything about Queen’s,” he admits. “The only person I knew was my mentor, and they really helped guide me through the whole semester. The first semester is when I really needed the help.”

This positive support for that first year solidified his decision to do the same for incoming international students. “I realized that there’s going to be other people who need my help when I become a second-year student, so now I’m a mentor!”

The QSuccess Engineering International Mentorship Program is designed to help first-year international students adjust and thrive in their new school. Viren can attest to the value of the program for such a big life change. “I came to Queen’s with absolutely zero idea of what this place is like. That’s why I got a mentor, because I needed somebody who knew something!”

Journeying to Queen’s and Kingston also ignited another passion of Viren’s: cricket. A huge fan, he is hoping to encourage others to participate in the sport. “I love cricket! And there’s almost no cricket at Queen’s. So I got a bat and a ball and a bunch of people. In the summer we went to Nixon Field on the weekend, and we just start playing.”

Viren’s own mentor advised him to feel open to asking questions, and his own advice to his mentees will run along the same lines. “When they come here, it’s such a big culture shock for them. It was for me too! Sometimes it becomes so overwhelming that they just stop going out of their comfort zone,” he says. “So I encourage them to just continue participating in extracurriculars. I push them to join as many different activities as possible. It’s easier to shorten it down rather having only two and then realizing, ‘oh, I could have done more.’”

In between his studies and mentorship, Viren has also professed a fondness for the natural beauty that surrounds Kingston: “It is pretty beautiful. There’s a lot of scenery like Lemoine Point, Grass Creek Park, Wolfe Island. I explored everything I could in my first summer here! I love it.” No doubt that, through Viren’s perspective and kindness, his mentees will also find beauty here as well.



This article is relevant to the following Strategic Actions as defined in the Strategic Plan:

sa-7-3   sa-8-1   sa-8-3