Make the most of mentoring
2020 was the gift that kept on giving – bushfires, Covid, lock downs, job market collapse, more lock downs and more recently flooding.
After digging myself out from under the rubble of 2020’s trauma and devastation (high fives to any fellow parents out there), I felt a strong desire to reconnect with community and check-in. During a catch-up with one of my connections, my contact mentioned how much she appreciated my support and encouragement as her mentor.
This revelation took me quite by surprise, firstly because hadn’t realised that she considered me as her mentor (although I was secretly chuffed) and secondly because that’s just what I do for people that are in my immediate community: the giving back, the encouragement, providing support and guidance is just who I am.
But it got me thinking, what opportunities were there to give back more formally?
After doing some general research, I discovered a whole mentoring world that I had never considered previously. A whole community that was already doing that: giving back and paying forward their own learnings.
Aaron Ngan is the perfect example. He selflessly donated his time to provide free resume reviews last year, and then when the take-up was so high, he implemented a train-the-trainer model teaching others how to do the same.
I identified a consistent theme – resilience and a desire to give back. Despite their own situations, this community was wanting to support each other and bring a bit of hope and encouragement. But why?
Well, science tells us that in the face of struggle, we search for meaning and purpose in our lives. Meaning and purpose gives us career direction and helps us to feel fulfilled.
More specifically, when looking at UTS options, I discovered that mentoring is in the very fabric of the university. There are several specific programs. To name just a few:
- Lucy mentoring program
- Economics Honours mentoring program
- Humanitarian mentoring program
- Law first year peer mentoring program
But where could I be of most assistance?
My colleagues reminded me of the UTS Professional Mentoring Platform, a place where all students, alumni, staff and industry can connect and offer support and guidance. So, I signed up and discovered that I could engage with a variety of students and industry from various backgrounds. Users can ask questions and take advantage of the experienced and skilled brains trust and know that they are being helped by someone that has been there before them.
So, what are you waiting for?
Whether you are a student wanting to explore a new industry or you are industry wanting to give back to the community, the UTS Professional Mentoring Platform allows everyone to give back and participate in a mentorship community.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Helena Asher-Chiang is an experienced Careers Consultant with over 15 years experience working in Careers Education, Human Resources, and Recruitment. Working with UTS Careers since 2012, Helena has won Teaching & Learning Awards for Team Teaching and Academic Support and delights in assisting students to design their own career and life journeys