I was never one of those people with a five-year plan set out because I am constantly updating my plans. Joining WIESoc's Industry Mentoring Program in 2019 was a great decision to help me think about planning. The program matches UNSW Students, as mentees, to industry mentors and both attend one-to-ones and industry events over a couple of months. The program helped me develop my knowledge of the industry and professional skills.
During the program, I formed a real connection with my mentor Gloria and she quickly became someone that I could go to for advice on anything. We met up every few weeks – at the program checkpoints, for coffee, over lunch and even at the IBM office where she works. We formed a relationship where I could ask her anything and we talked about all topics on my mind, from time management to networking to grad program applications.
As a computer engineering student, I am interested in the wide range of applications that computing can have in the industry. Most businesses these days use computers in some shape or form and people are always looking for better, faster applications and processes. One of my goals going into the program was to gain a better understanding of the opportunities available for me in the industry. I feel that I was able to achieve this having learnt from the experiences Gloria shared from her career and knowledge of industry networks. Another goal I had was to improve my networking skills and we would talk about how to best approach networking situations and to get the most out of them. Since then I’ve been able to attend several networking events and practice these skills.
Being in my penultimate year, I plan to apply for graduate roles next year and having been in a grad program herself, Gloria was able to guide me on how to present myself as a good applicant. She worked through my resume with me and we talked about what information to include, what to highlight and how to format it in a clear and concise way. We also did a mock interview so that I could practice my interview skills and get experience with the types of questions that are usually asked. Having only done one professional interview before, this was invaluable experience for me. The Industry Mentoring Program has been a great experience for me and given me a lot of knowledge that I can apply to my career in the future.
I would recommend students who are thinking about their future careers apply to be a part of the Industry Mentoring Program.