Information for Students
The flagship Career Access Mentoring program focuses on increasing students' career readiness. Mentoring is a "mentee-driven" process, whereby students consider their goals and areas of development, and drive discussion with their mentor to achieve these goals. The mentor's role is to facilitate their professional and personal development, by sharing insights into the real world of work and recommending actions that would assist the student to put themselves forward as highly competitive graduates.
If you are a current student and have completed at least one year of study, you may be eligible to join the program as a mentee.
Click below to attend an information session for the upcoming round of the mentoring program:
- What is career mentoring?
Career mentoring is a learning relationship focusing on your professional development. You will develop a greater understanding of organisations, the job market and how to succeed throughout the course of your career.
What does a mentor do?
Mentors will share their career insights and advice with you. They can act as a coach, adviser, resource, broker or counsellor to guide you on the path to success. As someone who has "been there before", they will be able to help you develop the knowledge and skills needed to transition into industry.
What is a mentee?
Mentees receive guidance from their mentor in a learning relationship. Mentees must take responsibility for their own learning and development, define goals for the relationship and their career and invest time and effort into realising these ambitions.
Note: you will not receive work experience or employment through this program.
- What are the participation requirements?
A minimum engagement requirement exists for this program:
- attend the program information session and induction events,
- prepare for and participate in at least four meetings with your mentor over an approximate 8-week period
- set goals for the program and negotiate activities to attain those goals,
- clearly communicate your expectations and boundaries,
- assist your peer in the mentoring relationship,
- submit a reflection after each meeting,
- provide program feedback and evaluation.
Mentees may also attend optional activities throughout the program, including networking, industry panel sessions and the end of program celebration.
- What are the benefits of mentoring for students?
Mentors can help students navigate their career paths by:
- providing exclusive insight into their chosen industry,
- increasing awareness of organisational values, expectations and business areas,
- identifying the skills and experience desired in specific roles or industries,
- increasing networking and workplace visit opportunities,
- providing perspective on the job market and profession and how to position themselves in it effectively,
- providing tips for making the transition from student to professional, and
- connecting them with opportunities in their future field.
Through these meetings, students can develop their interpersonal skills, professional communication and emotional intelligence - qualities highly sought by employers.
- What are the responsibilities of mentees?
As a mentee-driven program, you need to take charge of your own development and experience. You must set clear goals, clearly communicate your expectations and goals, listen and contribute to the conversation, be open to different points of view, follow up on suggestions and reflect on your learnings.
Mentoring is a professional relationship and students in this program must conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.
- Who am I matched with?
In the Career Access program, you will be matched with a mentor and one other student to conduct meetings as a group. Matches will be made based on shared academic background, career or work experience and objectives for the mentoring relationship.
Mentors are industry professionals who are currently employed and have at least three years’ work experience. Some mentors may be alumni of the University of Adelaide. They may be based in Adelaide, interstate or internationally.
Students may be in a different (but related) program, year level and background. Group mentoring has several advantages, including:
- provides a forum for mentees who might be uncomfortable with the level of intimacy in 1:1 mentoring,
- mentors can use peer-to-peer relationships to empower mentees and influence them positively,
- learn from the experiences of others and benefit from different perspectives,
- mentees can build camaraderie, social skills and practice networking skills and
- mentors develop leadership skills and effective communication, negotiation and people management.
- What is required for meetings?
The structure of the meetings will vary according to the needs and availability of the group. Mentors and mentees will set discussion topics and activities, preparation tasks and challenges to achieve their goals. As a group program, it is important for mentees to prepare together for meetings.
Face-to-face meetings are fundamental to the mentoring relationship. Meetings should take place in a public or professional location such as a local coffee shop, meeting venue or University campus that is mutually convenient or accessible for the mentor. We recommend that one meeting be held in the mentor’s workplace to showcase a professional working environment.
A mentoring relationship is effective when it is dynamic and continually growing. Students should ensure that each meeting builds on the previous ones and take responsibility for their development.
- What support is available to me?
The Careers Service provides advice, resources and support for participants to assist them in making the most of the program. Feedback and enquiries to the Careers Mentoring Officer are welcome at any point. Students can also reach out to their peer networks, qualified career advisers or academic staff at the University.
- Frequently Asked Questions
What skills do I need as a mentee?
The mentoring relationship focuses on the mentee's development. To succeed in this program, you should exhibit the following skills and characteristics:
- a desire to learn,
- willing to invest time and effort into the relationship and their personal development,
- be goal-oriented,
- be open to new ideas,
- be willing to communicate,
- has good time management,
- initiative and
- conducts themselves professionally and respects privacy and confidentiality.
Is there a cost to participate?
There are no fees associated with the mentoring program. Mentors and mentees in this program are volunteers. You may incur incidental costs such as travel to meetings which cannot be reimbursed.
Can I still participate if I live outside of Adelaide?
Yes. If you are based outside of the Adelaide region, you will be matched with others in an e-mentoring relationship using online video technologies such as Skype or Google Chat. This will be assessed on your expression of interest form based on your specified location.
I am away for 1-2 months during the year. Can I still participate?
Possibly. You must make this known in the expression of interest as there are minimum meeting requirements to take into account.
What will I discuss with my mentor?
It is up to the group to negotiate and set topics. The program is intended to increase students' career readiness and transition into the workplace. Mentees will receive a guide with suggested topics and sample meeting plan, to get a better idea of how to structure the program. Some topics that you may discuss with your mentor include:
- finding job opportunities in the industry - for example job hunting strategies, the hidden job market, resume requisites or standing out as a candidate,
- networking and interview skills,
- workplace insights - e.g. culture, professional conduct, how different business areas and roles rely on each other for business success, conflict resolution skills, task motivations and mindset,
- industry trends and issues,
- self-awareness and career values.
Will I get work experience in this program?
No. The mentoring program is intended to assist students with their career development rather than job training. Work experience or employment may result from the mentoring relationship, but this is not a requirement for the program. You should not expect your mentor to provide you with employment.
What happens at the end of the program?
Any relationship requires closure. At your final meeting, you should discuss how and in what capacity your relationship may continue - for example, in a mentoring capacity or as professional contacts.
What does the registration require?
After attending an information session, you will be asked to fill out some personal and education details, as well as some details about your goals and reasons for interest. It is advantageous to provide a thorough, competitive response to this question, similar in approach to a job application. If you are applying for the A Coffee With... program, you must also list the questions that you would ask the mentor. Finally, we recommend that you attend a Careers Service workshop to ensure your resume is of professional standard.