Career Access Mentoring for Students
Be mentored by an industry leader.
We run a flagship Career Access Mentoring program which focuses on increasing your career readiness. Mentoring is a “mentee-driven” process, where you’ll be asked to drive discussion on the road to achieving your goals.
The mentor’s role is to facilitate your professional and personal development, sharing insights into the real world of work and recommending actions that would help you put yourself forward as a highly competitive graduate.
Interested in some past participants’ perspectives? Find out what previous participants had to say about the program.
If you are a current student with at least one year of study completed, you are already eligible to join the program.
What is career access mentoring?
Career Access Mentoring is the University of Adelaide Career Services' mentoring program that is focused on your professional development. It is a learning relationship that aims to develop your understanding of organisations, the job market and how to succeed throughout the course of your career.
What is a mentor?
Mentors can be thought of as coaches, advisers or counsellors; they can share advice and career insights to help guide you on the path to success. As someone who has “been there before”, they will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to get you there too. Mentors should not be thought of as job opportunities.
What is a mentee?
A mentee is a proactive, committed and goal-oriented student that is willing to ask questions and allow their mentor to support them. Mentees must take responsibility for their own learning and development, define goals for their career and invest time and effort into realising these ambitions.
What are the participation requirements for career access mentoring?
Eligibility requirements exist for this program:
- Must be current student (or within one year of graduation)
- Must have completed at least one year of study
- Must be available for duration of program
A minimum engagement requirement also exists for this program:
- Attend the program information session
- Attend an induction session
- 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 event.
What are the benefits of mentoring for students?
Mentors can help you navigate your career path by:
- Providing exclusive insight into your 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 yourself in it effectively
- Providing tips for making the transition from student to professional
- Connecting you with opportunities in your future field
Throughout these meetings, you can develop your interpersonal skills, professional communication and emotional intelligence – qualities highly sought after by employers.
What are the responsibilities of mentees?
As a mentee, you need to take charge of your own development and experience. You must set clear goals, clearly communicate your expectations, listen and contribute to the conversation, be open to different points of view, follow up on suggestions and reflect your learnings.
Mentoring is a professional relationship and, as such, in these programs you must conduct yourself in an ethical and professional manner.
Who will I be matched with?
In Career Access Mentoring, you will be matched with a mentor and one other student to conduct meetings as a group. Matches will be based on shared academic background, career or work experience and program objectives.
Your mentor matches are industry professionals, some of which are alumni of the University of Adelaide. Mentors may be based in Adelaide, interstate or overseas.
While it’s important to note that your peer match may be in a different (but related) study program, year level or background, the benefits of group mentoring are clear:
- Provides a forum for students who might be uncomfortable with the level of intimacy in 1-on-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
- Students can build camaraderie, social skills and practice networking skills
- Mentors develop leadership skills and effective communication, negotiation and people management
What is required for meetings?
In Career Access Mentoring, the structure of mentoring meetings will vary according to the goals and availability of everyone involved. You will collaborate and prepare appropriately for each meeting, setting discussion topics and goal-development exercises. Mentors will guide and facilitate these activities.
Face-to-face meetings are fundamental to the mentoring relationship. Meetings should take place in a public or professional location, such as the mentor’s workplace, a local café or University campus, that is quiet and accessible to both the student and the mentor.
A mentoring relationship is most effective when it is dynamic and continuously growing. Students should ensure that each meeting builds on the previous one and take responsibility for their development.
What support is available to me?
- Careers Service provides advice, resources and support for participants to assist them in making the most of the program.
- Feedback and enquiries to the Mentoring Program Coordinator are welcome at any point.
- You can also reach out to peer networks, qualified career advisers or academic staff at the University.
What does program registration require?
Attendance at an information session is a pre-requisite for eligibility in our mentoring programs. Following your attendance, you’ll receive an invitation to register, in which you will be asked to fill out some personal and educational details, as well as answer some questions about your goals and reasons for interest. It’s worth treating this registration as you would a job application, and provide detailed and thorough responses; the better your answers, the easier it is to provide you with a match in our programs.
It’s also recommended that you attend a Careers Service workshop, to brush up on your career readiness skills ahead of actual participation in mentoring programs.
What skills do I need as a student?
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 your personal development
- Be goal-oriented
- Be open to new ideas
- Be willing to communicate
- Have good time management skills
- Willing to take initiative
- Conduct yourself professionally and respect privacy and confidentiality
Is there a cost to participate?
There are no fees associated with our mentoring programs. 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 metropolitan region, this should be indicated in your expression of interest. Your match(es) will expect you to use online video chat technologies, like Skype or Google Hangouts, to achieve face-to-face meetings.
I am away for 1-2 months during the year. Can I still participate in Career Access Mentoring?
Possibly. You must make this known in the expression of interest, as there are minimum meeting requirements to be met for successful completion of the program.
What will I discuss with my mentor?
As a student in a mentee-driven program, it is up to you and your peer (if applicable) to negotiate and set topics. Use this as an opportunity to tailor meetings toward your current career goals or questions. All participants will receive a program handbook, containing suggested topics, sample meeting plans and supplementary mentoring information, should you find it useful for your meetings. Some topics that you may wish to discuss with your mentor include:
- Finding job opportunities in the industry – e.g. 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, motivation and mind-set
- Industry trends and issues
- Self-awareness and career values
Will I get work experience in these programs?
No. Our mentoring programs are intended to assist you with your career development, rather than job training. Whilst work experience or employment may be a future outcome of your mentoring relationship, this is not a requirement or expectation for our programs. You should not expect your mentor to provide you with employment, work experience, volunteering, internships or placement opportunities.
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 – e.g. only in a mentoring capacity or as professional contacts.