Having a mentor is a great way to grow both professionally and personally, but finding the perfect match can be tricky.
The Australian Water Association’s Queensland Young Water Professionals have run a mentoring program for several years now, with the team matching mentees and mentors based on questionnaires they filled in.
This worked well and has resulted in many successful matches, including Richard Savage and Alana Scott, who discovered that mentoring can be a powerful two-way exchange.
So when planning the 2019 program, the mentoring program team had to ask themselves: “How do we improve on something that’s already working so well?”
They realised one of the challenges in past years was the personal touch. While they knew what each of the mentees and mentors were looking for based on their questionnaires, unless the team knew everyone personally, they couldn’t predict how well the pair would connect on a personal level.
And if they couldn’t know that, then they couldn’t be confident that the match would be successful.
This year, the team decided to add that personal touch and give the mentees more control over who their mentor would be. This was done through ‘speed networking’ sessions at the mentoring program launch event held at SMEC.
At the launch event, attendees heard from previous mentors and mentees, who discussed their experience in mentoring relationships. A key theme that came up was the value of diversity and how differences between the mentor and mentor could bring new perspectives and open up opportunities that weren’t previously clear.
The mentees reviewed the CVs of the participating mentors before meeting them at the launch event. There wasn’t enough time for everyone to talk one-on-one, so the participants were pre-grouped by the mentoring program team based on their interests. Finally, the mentees submitted a list of their preferred mentors and the team matched them.
This years’ program has created 33 different mentoring relationships.
The mentoring team looks forward to seeing these relationships grow over the course of the year and celebrating the conclusion of the program at the mentoring close event to be held at GHD in early November.