#1: You’ll make a difference and give back to the RMIT community
Mentees sign up to RMIT Career Mentoring because they need support to build skills, navigate professional situations and network. You will play a pivotal part in their journey to establish themselves in the workforce as they seek to build on their studies.
Wendy Forster, a Master of Business Administration graduate, said her mentor played an important role in the early stages of her career.
“The program actually exceeded my expectations,” she said.
“My mentor at the time was a councillor of a big Melbourne suburb so he has brought in a lot of experience and perspectives. He’s also a director of a business, so he had so much to offer and share.
“I think being a student for so many years, I was really missing that linkage to industry. How do I make the first step out from the uni? And how do I make myself employable? What are the skills the market needs?"
“I had no idea, whereas all those mentors in my cohort brought really good experience across industry. Some are in the public sector, some in private companies, very senior positions. It’s really beneficial.”
The conversations you will have with your mentee may only last for a matter of minutes, but the wisdom you impart has the potential to be life changing.
#2: You’ll utilise your experience in a new and convenient way
RMIT Career Mentoring is designed to fit around the busy schedule of a mentor. Mentors can set their availability and control their level of participation, from long-term partnerships that last up to three months, to one-off coffees or video calls with students.
No matter how you decide to share your experience, being an RMIT Career Mentor is an opportunity to let your expertise shine.
Everything that has led you to your current position – the years of study, your job seeking experience, career learnings – has put you in a position of knowledge.
You’ll be the person who can help students and graduates, answer their burning questions and provide guidance on those tricky career dilemmas – a person they can look up to as they navigate their way out of academia and into the working world.
"Mentoring was an amazing experience,” said Louis Salguero, RMIT mentor.
“I truly feel I have made a positive difference in my mentee’s career and by default, her life.”
#3: You’ll build a mutually beneficial relationship
An effective mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street that allows both parties to feel they are benefiting.
A mentee, for example, could learn about the best way to advance their careers after university, and access networking opportunities shared to them by their mentors.
On the flip side, a mentor could be enlightened with new perspectives from fresh eyes. They may gain insight into the most sought-after graduate positions, emerging trends within the industry, or ask questions that encourage mentors to explore new ideas. Through the relationship, mentors can also access graduate talent for recruitment purposes.
#4: You’ll build upon your leadership skills
Mentees come across all kinds of challenges at the start of their career, from understanding how to identify their career goals to learning how to stand out in their organisation. When they come to you for advice, you’ll have an opportunity to refine and share the skills that are highly sought after for many leaders.
This includes skills in creativity, emotional intelligence, relationship building, problem solving and coaching.
Through RMIT Career Mentoring, your mentee may also come from a different field to you, encouraging you to build on your communication skills. This could open your eyes to unique points of view that help you solve problems in your career as a leader.
#5: You’ll enhance your professional network
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or someone who works at a large firm, becoming a mentor is a great way to expand your exposure to an emerging talent pool and your professional network.
RMIT’s Manager of Industry Experiences, Nigel Atkinson, said it’s not uncommon for mentors to refer their mentees to other people in their network,
“Mentoring is a great way to get to know someone’s strengths, their goals and ambitions and their potential to fit into organisational culture and while it’s not always possible to directly hire them, we often see mentees being referred to other contacts in the mentor’s professional orbit and that’s a win for all”.
Who you mentor today could prove to be a leader in the field tomorrow – or perhaps they may introduce you to other students and graduates who have specialist skills that your company needs.