A University Career Mentoring Scheme: Student Profile | Top Universities

A University Career Mentoring Scheme: Student Profile

By Staff Writer

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

If your university offers a career mentoring scheme, you could have the opportunity to start making professional contacts in your target sector, long before you graduate.

When Australian undergraduate student Rachel Lee began her law degree at the University of Western Australia, she was eager to find out more about the legal profession and start preparing for her future career as soon as possible.

“I didn’t really know any lawyers through friends and family when I started university,” she says. “I was keen to meet people practising law, and get a feel for different options for a career path – different practice areas within the legal profession and also ‘alternative’ ways to use my law degree such as opportunities within government.”

Rachel was delighted to discover the university’s Career Mentor Link initiative – particularly as it meant she could get involved right away, rather than waiting until the end of her six-year degree course to receive any career-focused support.

Undergraduate career mentoring

The program matches up students with professionals working in their sector of interest, who have volunteered to be mentors for a year. Each mentoring experience is likely to be different, but the aim is to give students insights into the industry, and useful advice and guidance about their future career goals.

Rachel has so far had two “fantastic” year-long mentorships. During this time she’s visited her mentors’ workplaces, gained advice about job applications and tips on keeping up-to-date on current legal issues, and had the opportunity to meet a range of people in the sector – from human resources coordinators to barristers.

All of this, Rachel says, has played a part in helping her access internships and work placements, and also made her more confident at industry networking events. “This shows how Career Mentor Link is a program that opens doors for students in terms of the opportunities we can create for ourselves once we are given the skills and confidence.”

The program has certainly left her feeling more excited than ever about her future legal career, and more focused on what she wants to achieve. “I hope to combine my passion for the law with a desire to help the community,” she says. “I am very passionate about the role lawyers have in promoting corporate social responsibility.”

Finally, she adds that the scheme has also left her with two friends – who come with benefits!

As she puts it, “How would a student otherwise have a stranger, working in an area they love, invest the time to catch up with them each few weeks, to discuss how they can plan and achieve career goals and understand how to face different challenges in the workplace?”

This article was originally published in October 2012 . It was last updated in March 2016

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