The Advance Mentoring Program: Insights from previous Mentees.

There is one overarching reason why students in their final year of undergrad or post graduate courses decide to apply for the mentorship program - it’s about bouncing ideas off of the industry experts and being able to gain the courage to translate ideas into action. 
It’s a great opportunity to gain exposure and insight from such accomplished and successful Australians in a specific industry; the mentors provide expert advice during the transition from uni to career.

Below are insights from previous mentees about the benefits of the program, why you should apply, and the lessons learned.  

WHY APPLY?
“Having someone to take an invested interest in your progress, offer great solutions to balancing your life and career and giving advice on what to do next sounded perfect for where I was at in my career life.” Briege Whitehead

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
“I also am really appreciative to be part of the broader Advance community. I’ve been able to meet several other role models through introductions from Advance.” Victor Brooker

ADVICE TO APPLICANTS: 
1) Express your passion for a specific topic and your career- the other award winners are pretty much ordinary people but were passionate about their chosen field and willing to let that passion take them on a journey;

2) Highlight experiences that showcase why you are passionate about a topic;

3) Be honest about your interests, strengths and weaknesses, but don’t forget to sell your personal brand;

4) Let your enthusiasm and energy show in your application to let the selection panel connect with you;

5) Show initiative and put structures in place early. Hold each other to account for making it happen;

6) Be really specific about what's important to you;

7) Define what goals you really want to achieve this year and how a mentor can help you reach them;

8) Go further than what you think is just achievable - your mentor is there to help you reach beyond;

9) Have a definite goal in mind so that your mentoring sessions can be really structured to give you the maximum impact over the year.
 

GLOBAL EXPERIENCE
One of the key benefits of the Advance Mentorship Program is that the mentors all have global experience, which is essential to understand the global expertise and awareness of in your industry.

“Being able to bring business back to our own country, Australia, to develop and contribute to it further is a shared goal and one that requires people like my mentor, and hopefully me soon too, to do it.  It’s been great hearing about how my mentor is able to stay connected back home.” Briege Whitehead

“My mentor encouraged me to think globally and ambitiously right from the beginning.” Marita Cheng

LESSONS LEARNED
“If you want to be a pioneer in your field and work on solving some of the most amazing problems on the planet then you have to take a longer term view and stay true to your convictions and passions.”  Paul Newbury

“Do what really satisfies you and not what others would coin as "success".” Caitlin Farley

“Have big goals but don’t get attached to one particular way of achieving it. There’s much more value in learning something doesn’t work and moving on than getting hung up on the failure” Victor Brooker

 “Don’t waste time! Don’t believe that just because you’re young or inexperienced or studying full-time means that you can’t start pursuing your dreams today.” Robert Guzowski

WHAT ARE THEY UP TO NOW? 
Most of the mentees stated that their mentors gave them the courage and confidence to purse the career path they are on today.

Paul Newbury has been invited to visit with them for an extended period of 4 to 8 weeks in 2015 "so that I can gain a better understand the work and programs they are undertaking in conjunction with the United Nations under the banner of the ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative."

Victor Brooker’s startup will be launching some really incredible education software in Melbourne soon. "If we can pull it off it’s going to drastically increase productivity across universities."

Briege Whitehead, a recent masters graduate, has just received a paid Directors job for a new interactive Drama.

Marita Cheung is the founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics. "We make robots to improve people's lives.  My mentor helped me avoid losing a lot of my money along the way, so that I am still able to research and design robots to manufacture every day."

Many thanks to the contributing mentees:

Victor Brooker, 2014/15 mentee
Mentored by Vikram Mehta (CEO of Kaazing) 2014 Technology Innovation Award Winner

Marita Cheng, 2013/14 mentee
Mentored by Peter Le Lievre (Co-Founder and CEO of Chromasun), 2013 Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner

Caitlin Farley 2013/14 mentee
Mentored by Tan Le (Co-Founder and President of Emotiv) 2012 Technology Innovation Award Winner

Robert Guzowski 2012/13 mentee
Mentored by Christian Behrenbruch (Co Founder/CEO of ImaginAB) 2012 Life Sciences Award Winner

Paul Newbury 2014/15 mentee
Mentored by Andrew Tanner (VP of Geli) 2014 Clean Technology Award Winner

Briege Whitehead 2014/15 mentee
Mentored by Christopher Boshuizen (Co Founder and CTO of Planet Labs Inc) 2014 Advanced Manufacturing and Overall Advance Australian of the Year Winner