When Architecture alumna Annie Tennant reflects on her mentoring relationship with Annalise Ifield she says she was just hoping for a positive relationship where they could communicate openly with each other, and that she could provide Annalise with the support she needed.

Annie Tennant, General Manager, Sustainability and Culture, Barangaroo South at Lendlease, is mentoring Master of City Planning student Annalise Ifield.

We sat down with Annie and Annalise to discuss how their mentoring relationship developed over the Career Ready Mentoring Program

Can you describe your relationship?

AT: Annalise was great in taking things on board and, in turn, she taught me how to create space and ask the right questions that allow someone else to navigate their career journey.

She became more comfortable with coming up with her own answers – I wasn’t there to tell her what to do, but to frame different ways of approaching an issue so she could work out what would work for her.

I hope the program helped Annalise have more confidence in herself and her abilities to make decisions and progress on projects.

AI: Annie was a great motivator! She guided me gently and gave me more confidence to apply for jobs and be myself in the workplace.

I was a bit intimidated at first and worried I was wasting her valuable time, but Annie was very welcoming, and I felt more comfortable after each visit.

Having made a connection with someone who is senior and experienced in the industry has made me look forward to joining the workforce and connecting with more diverse people.

Annalise, what important tools, skills or advice have you received from Annie?

AI:  A practical piece of advice Annie gave me that stuck was, when applying for jobs, only ring once and leave a voice message. I was very naïve and thought I’d keep trying to catch them at the right time when, in reality, they are very busy and probably screening calls.

Shortly after the mentorship program, I landed a planning role, which was perfect timing!

What inspired you to participate in the Career Ready Mentoring Program?

AT: I have always enjoyed mentoring, and I believe in giving back to my alma mater. Supporting other women in the industry is one of my passions, as we can only achieve equitable, enriched cities if we have a range of diverse minds participating in how they are created.

AI: The Master of City Planning pairs well with my previous studies in Environmental Science, providing more career opportunities in addition to being part of a sustainable future. Having studied and worked in a different field, I wanted to get more familiar with and understand the planning world.

Given your experience, would you recommend the Career Ready Mentoring Program?

AT: Definitely.

AI: Yes, I already have!

The Career Ready Mentoring Program connects students in their final year of study with established alumni and industry professionals, providing students with practical support, and a significant opportunity to focus on career development during the transition from study to work.

UNSW is committed to connecting alumni. The program this year can be delivered 100% online.