A mentor at uni, do you really need one?

So, do you need a mentor?

Two years ago I was asking myself this question as I was not familiar with this concept. After two mentors, two amazing years of various experiences and one full-time job at the end of my degree, I would like to pass on my experience to you.

Ana with her mentors

I consider myself very lucky to have met these incredible people!

Yes, you do need a mentor! I mean, why not?! QUT provides the opportunity for each student to apply for a mentorship program, where they will be matched with someone from an industry of their interest.

Here are five things to do when you have a mentor:

  1. Research their company, their LinkedIn profile and their projects – find where you could possibly be involved.
  2. Ask questions, I mean as many as you can come up with. Your mentor will have plenty of work experience to answer your questions.
  3. Learn from your mentor. Use this opportunity for your personal development.
  4. Reach out to your mentor. You should understand that mentors’ time costs money and you need to at least show your eagerness to connect and learn.
  5. Your mentor is a strong point of contact – use this to expand your network.
  6. Stay in touch even if the actual period of the program has finished! I was lucky enough to stay in touch with both of my mentors and now I will be working with one of them full-time!

If you are a QUT student, you can find a mentor by yourself or with the help of the QUT Career Mentor Scheme.

Good luck!

2 responses

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  1. Avatar

    Hi Ana,
    Thank you for sharing your experience with the QUT Career Mentor Scheme.
    My position at QUT is in part to coordinate this valuable student Scheme. I am very thankful for my role because I see first-hand the development and progression of our students who engage fully in the process. It can be life-changing – in a good way!
    Registrations are now open for 2018. Our web address has recently changed, so you can now find us at – https://www.student.qut.edu.au/jobs-and-careers/grow-your-network/career-mentoring

  2. Avatar
    Bernie Althofer

    Ana, You have made some excellent points there. I have been with the QUT Mentor Scheme since 2001 and have been matched with excellent mentees. As a mentor, I have found that by establishing a professional relationship, benefits acrue to both parties. Mentees who are seeking advice from the real world may find that the practical experience of a mentee can open up discussion about potential careers that may differ from what a mentee has considered. In addition, a mentor can help a mentee think about their academic studies in terms that relate to the business world. Individuals who have a wealth of knowledge and practical experience should consider involvement in the Mentor Scheme as it helps both parties and society grow.

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