Career and Work

Why you should be involved with mentoring

Larissa and Catherine at the 20th Anniversary event for the Griffith University Industry Mentoring Program

I first heard of the Griffith Industry Mentoring Program last year but had no idea what it was for. I believed it was for business students and similar degrees and didn’t realise that nursing students could be involved too. So I left it for a year. The next year, looking at the Careers and Employment website  via an advert from CareerBoard, I realised that the program did feature nursing (as well as heaps of other disciplines) and became intrigued. Not knowing anything about the program, I decided to apply and was so happy when I got accepted.

The program matches you with a mentor similar to the field you’re interested in. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to specialise in just yet, so I applied for a mentor whose biography made me curious.

All the students were matched with their mentors and we attended an information session, receiving our mentors contact details and being briefed on what the program was about and what was expected of both mentees and mentors. I came home that day and immediately sent an email to my mentor, Catherine Love (who has been doing mentoring for nearly fifteen years!), introducing myself. We decided to make a coffee appointment before the official launch of the program that was to be held at South Bank.

It was great. My mentor came in with a big smile and friendly hug. She was approachable and her demeanour was so lovely and friendly. She was down to earth and I found out I was her 13th mentee. Lucky 13! I joked.

We discussed what the program meant to us and began to plan some goals. I left that day feeling blessed to be a part of this program.

Over the course of 2-3 months, we both attended approximately 6-8 sessions where we talked about our experiences, and she helped me to develop more goals in what I wanted and was looking for in nursing, and I began to have an insight into her career. I appreciated the time very much, which went all too quickly, spending it with such a lovely lady whilst she had coffee and I had been able to taste the different drink menu Gloria Jeans had to offer over the course of our meetings.

Soon, the program was drawing to a close and I had realised it was all to quick! On our very last official meeting we took a few photo mementos, two of which I’ve included at the end of the post.

We kept in contact whilst I was at uni doing assignments and on placement and soon we were to meet again at the Industry Mentoring Closing Ceremony held at Stamford Plaza. This was the twentieth year of the program, launching in 1994 (the year I was born)! It was a great night. We finished knowing that we had been part of a wonderful program, something for which I am ever grateful, and knowing I had met a lovely woman whom I will be sure to keep in contact with

So here’s why you should get involved with mentoring programs at uni:

  • You get to meet new people and broaden your social and professional network within your relevant industry
  • You get access to information regarding your industry whilst being mentored by someone who has first-hand experience
  • You get to develop professional relationships with people who are here to help and who you can trust
  • You learn management and negotiation skills, which for me included undertaking full time study, assignments, and clinical placements
  • You get to learn facilitating skills and it improves your confidence (both personally and career-wise)
  • You get to develop goals that will enable you to become a successful graduate
  • You get to learn about your mentor and what they do
  • You get to be involved in a once-in-a-lifetime program, something that you will never forget and will be glad that you were a part of

In addition, I have also written to let you know that applications for next year’s program are already open and I strongly recommend it to all students! And especially to nursing students because I know that undertaking full time study alongside other things, you often have little time left to find out what amazing programs that the university has to offer, considering we are not on campus half the time!

P.S: Don’t forget to check out more photos from the closing ceremony on the Griffith University Facebook Page. Make sure you also follow the Careers and Employment Service on Facebook and Twitter to be kept up to date with more awesome opportunities.

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