Celebrating the value of mentoring

By Hayley Wolfert and Alice Grainger

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell

Professionals in today’s dynamic workforce widely attest to the importance of having at least one mentor in their lives to offer advice, guidance and support when making career or life decisions.

Mentoring is more than expanding networks and navigating career choices. Participants build confidence in professional environments and learn such valuable life skills as problem solving and brainstorming and growing from exposure to alternative perspectives. The best mentoring relationships are a two-way street in which both parties challenge and learn from each other.

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One of the most tangible measures of success of the Faculty of Business and Economics Career Mentoring Program is the growth and development of our students. The program, which has over 500 participants this year, offers more than enabling a great mentoring relationship. It boasts a community of individuals keen to share knowledge and advice with everyone in the program, mentor to mentee, mentor to mentor, mentee to mentee. It is a shared vision designed to bring out the best in one another. This was particularly evident at our recent Career Mentoring Program Mid-Year Networking Function in which current participants came together over speed networking activities to connect, share and celebrate achievements over a flurry of business cards and handshakes.

There are few things more fulfilling than witnessing a student, who arrives at one of our networking functions, visibly nervous and uncomfortable in their new business suit, start to relax, smile and open up, drawn out of their shell by our supportive mentors. Seeing our students grow in confidence, ready to start their career journey, we see the next generation of professionals equipped with crucial interpersonal skills and industry insights, attributes highly sought after by employers.

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The popularity of our Career Mentoring Program highlights the willingness of our bright and enthusiastic student cohort to take initiative and responsibility for their careers and to recognise the value of being connected to industry professionals.

The Career Mentoring Program is just one of the many ways our students are embracing opportunities to transform themselves into the next generation of fearless business leaders. They also do this by participating in student club events, leadership opportunities and professional development workshops, and by undertaking work-integrated learning subjects, all of which rely on our supportive and generous community of industry professionals.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved in mentoring our students, be a guest speaker at student events, host a student consulting team or other opportunities to connect with our students, we would love to hear from you.

fbe.unimelb.edu.au/engage/students