4 key takeaways from having a BEL Career Mentor

Business Management student, Jessika Hannan, shares how having a mentor helped her prepare for life after graduation.

Knowledge and networks have never been more important in this volatile job market. As we adapt to deal with the effects of the pandemic, we are witnessing the changing nature of the world of work. Getting your head around how “the industry” works and functions, and how you can find the right job for you, can seem impossible. How can we gain insights into what life as a graduate might be like? How can we stand out in the job market to achieve our career goals?

Well, I may have one answer to these questions. Find a mentor! A career mentor can help guide and support you as you navigate your early career journey. So, how can you find a mentor that’s right for you?

Student sitting with their career mentor
Having a mentor will help you navigate your own career path in your chosen industry.

The BEL Career Mentoring Program connects students with established industry professionals, and as a mentee, the program allows you to reach out and request a mentor who you can be matched with. Through the program, I met my mentor, Liz Heathwood. Liz is an expert in talent strategy, an 'out of the box' design strategist, and currently the Global People Strategy Lead at Ernst & Young. From our mentoring relationship, I gained valuable insights into the HR industry, while being supported to explore career pathways and develop my employability skills. Having Liz as a mentor has helped me approach my career and life after graduation with confidence.

If you need more reasons why you should sign up to find your career mentor, here are my top four takeaways from having a mentor:

1. Mentors have a lot of industry knowledge

This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions in a judgement-free environment. For those of us who are just starting out on our career journey, a mentor can provide us with valuable insights into the world of work. They can reveal how the industry is evolving, and how this may impact your career. Liz shared her insights into the HR industry and how the sector has been impacted by the pandemic. I was also able to learn how to develop some of the key skills which employers look for in graduates.

2. Your mentor is there to uplift and guide you

Throughout my final semester of uni, I have been navigating the hectic process of job applications. I felt supported and guided with Liz by my side, as we were able to discuss my options. I have now secured a graduate HR role that suits my skills, experience, and early-career ambitions. Working with Liz, I built my confidence in my professional identity, and gained a greater understanding of the pathways I can take to achieve my career goals.

Liz Heathwood and Jessika Hannan on a zoom call
Career mentors will provide you with valuable advice and insights into their own personal journey in the field that you have chosen.

3. Mentors help you connect with key employers and networks in your industry

Liz introduced me to some of her industry contacts, helping me build my own professional network. Liz also shared my posts to her LinkedIn page, exposing me to her broad network. This allowed me to reach out and form new connections with potential employers.

4. You get to choose what you want to get out of the experience with your mentor

I wanted to improve my resume and interviewing skills, so during our fortnightly meetings, Liz and I conduct a mock interview, held a self-branding session, and worked on my resume. Having Liz’s guidance, who is a leader in her field, was a fantastic resource.

Thanks to this program, finding your mentor and taking that first step to building your professional network and support system is only a few clicks away. I hope you will be just as lucky as I was to find a supportive mentor to help guide you during your early career.  

I really valued this program and my connection with my mentor, as I have not only found a great professional mentor, but a cherished friend. Though it might seem daunting at first to approach an established professional, the BEL Career Mentoring Program sets you up for an easy introduction.

Tap into UQ’s networks and get career-ready with the BEL Career Mentoring Program. Sign up for Semester 1, 2022.

About the Author:

profile photo of Jessika HannanJessika is in her final semester of completing a Bachelor of Business Management, majoring in Marketing and Human Resources. Through the BEL Career Mentoring Program, she met her mentor Liz Heathwood, Global People Strategy Lead at Ernst & Young. Jessika has recently secured a Graduate HR position with BMD Group. Jessika strongly believes that the BEL Career Mentoring Program significantly helped her to develop her skills and confidence, helping her land this role. Check out Jessika’s blog ‘HRwithJess’ on LinkedIn, where she writes fortnightly articles for other university students.



Last updated:
24 November 2021