A new mentoring program is connecting RMIT alumni with undergraduate students to support their transition from university to the workplace.
The pilot program was recently launched by Acting Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Gill Palmer, at an event featuring a leadership panel of inspiring and successful RMIT alumni.
Professor Palmer said the initiative was part of the University's overarching vision to support highly skilled, globally connected and work-ready graduates.
"RMIT has always had a commitment to students and the transformative power of education," she said.
"As well as supporting students to access education, RMIT maintains a passion for helping support students' transition to employment and to be work ready.
"More than 100 alumni have already signed up as mentors for the new Alumni Mentoring Program - and with more than 300,000 alumni around the world, the potential for this program to support students is immense."
The Alumni Leadership Panel: Kate Torney, Director of News, ABC; John Wright-Smith, Australian and New Zealand Manager, AMSC; Georgia Beattie, CEO, Beattie Wines; Angela Scaffidi, Partner, SenateSHJ.
The new initiative builds on a range of established RMIT mentoring programs including the specialist Women in Engineering and Technology, Global and Pride programs.
The launch event heard from high-achieving alumni in different industry sectors, who discussed their experiences of being mentored and mentoring others, shared career advice and offered insights into their career journeys since leaving RMIT.
John Wright-Smith, Australian and New Zealand Manager, AMSC, said he was lucky to be invited to be mentored by his CEO on his very first day in his first job after graduating.
"The networks that I made then I continue to use every day," he said.
"Even now, I dedicate about as much time to my network as I do to my role."
"I've done a lot of mentoring, and it's really rewarding. Sometimes your mentees don't know what they don't know and they need help to find a job - from writing their resume, to how to dress for an interview to putting up a LinkedIn profile."
Director of News at the ABC, Kate Torney, has had a range of mentors over her career, from colleagues within her team to Barrie Cassidy, currently on long-service leave from his role as presenter of Insiders.
The program was launched at a special event in RMIT's Storey Hall.
"The best advice I've received from a mentor is to be humble and to be generous," she said.
"A mentor can be someone at any age or stage in their career and it's important to pass on your advice and experience to other people."
Georgia Beattie, CEO, Beattie Wines, described mentoring as a two-way street, which gave both parties opportunities to learn and grow.
"I think everyone should have at least five mentors, that way you can take a little bit from each of them," she said.
"If you're looking for a mentor, find someone who you respect and ask them. The worst thing they can do is say no."
"If they're time poor, offer to drive them to the airport. Then at least you have an opening that you can build on."
Melissa Smith, Director, Advancement, said RMIT's alumni network was a powerful source of knowledge and experience.
"There are more than 300,000 people around the world in 130 countries, in all facets of business, government, community and the arts who have the shared experience of attending RMIT," she said.
"Alumni often underestimate the true value they can bring to the university, current RMIT students and to each other.
"The wealth of experience and knowledge amongst our alumni community is something that can't be gained in a classroom."
Dean of Students, Professor Owen Hughes, said having access to an alumni industry mentor added tremendous value to the student experience.
"Mentors can guide our students in getting work ready and support them in creating their future career," he said.
Are you an RMIT alumnus? Find out more and register to be a mentor.
Are you an undergraduate student in the final stages of your degree? Register to be mentored through the program.
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