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The ‘m’ word

May 12, 2020 by Susan Surgener

The ‘m’ word

Mentoring – you’ve heard the word, you have a rough idea, but not really, what it’s all about.

If you attended last week’s Cube Q&A session, or even an FBL Lunch & Learn webinar, while we’ve all been in isolation, you might have picked up on the ‘mentoring’ word. A few employers have discussed it in passing. So what’s the big deal with having a mentor? And how do I find one? Or do I need more than one? And what’s my role?

There can come a point at any stage of your studies or career when you want to connect with someone more experienced in your field. As a student, you probably have questions you want to ask about specific roles, getting started or advancing in your field, industry trends and developments, technology and skills, hiring practices, and more.

Seeking out a mentor and establishing a mentoring partnership is not just a good idea – it’s a great one! There’s reasons mentoring has been around since forever. Why? Because you can:

  1. Connect with a professional in your field with oodles of experience
  2. Build awareness of your industry and your current skill level
  3. Develop your industry networks
  4. Have access to industry specific info
  5. Strengthen your job application docs and interpersonal skills
  6. Gain an understanding of industry language and terminology, and get a taste for your field

Mentors provide guidance. A mentoring partnership can be informal – your mentor may be a family member, a boss, or a tutor or coach. Or, it can be more formal – with a structured approach and set guidelines.

When you start in a graduate program or graduate position, you can often be partnered with a mentor to help you navigate the workplace and get more connected to your role and to future possibilities within the organisation. Professional associations and universities can also offer formal mentoring programs.

Your commitment
If you sign up to a mentoring program, there will be guidelines. The employers on recent industry panels have mentioned that students don’t always honour their commitments. In other words, they make the initial contact but then drop off.

If you’re going to join a mentoring program, the industry insight is, find a good match – the right person to guide you – and stick with it.You can only get out of a relationship what you put in.

Our Curtin CareerPLUS program includes the opportunity to take part in a mentoring partnership. You can sign up, providing details about yourself, so that the system can provide a match, or you can browse our mentor profiles and make contact yourself.

Happy Mentoring Partnership!

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