USC Mentoring

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USC Mentoring

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Connect. Change Lives.

USC is excited to launch an online mentoring pilot program to run in Semester 2, 2019 connecting our alumni (mentors) with current USC students (mentees).

We are now seeking USC graduates and students who would like to participate in this pilot by registering via the USC Mentoring platform (powered by Firsthand).

The USC Mentoring program provides alumni the opportunity to give back in an impactful way by sharing their skills and experiences to help students along their career path and into their future.

For any questions or to provide general feedback contact Alumni Relations: alumni@usc.edu.au or call +61 7 5459 4564.

USC student using a laptop to connect with a mentor through USC Mentoring

My Mentor was warm, friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable. I found her advice to be useful and encouraging and have already begun acting on some of it, making my first network connection, stepping out of my comfort zone and moving forward with my career plan."
-
Current USC student (mentee)  

How USC Mentoring works

Become an alumni mentor and give USC students advice on topics you know well in just 30 or 60 minutes via video or phone for free. You can choose to accept a consultation request from one or more students and set a monthly limit on the number of consultations you provide.

Once students join the pilot program as mentees from 19 July, they can search for alumni mentors based on common interests and career path. Mentees are then able to reach out to one or multiple mentors through the USC Mentoring online platform (powered by Firsthand).

How to register

Visit the USC Mentoring platform, click on 'Give Advice', then 'Register to be a Mentor' to create your professional bio (or import your LinkedIn profile). Select your availability and the type of advice you would like to offer from a range of options - including career, business, interview technique or postgraduate study experience if applicable. It’s quick and easy! You can sign in at any time to update your profile, availability and types of advice.

How students search for mentors

Once your profile is approved, students can filter mentors by topic, industry, employer, location and more before requesting a consultation. You will be notified by email or text when you get a 30 or 60-minute consultation request from a student outlining what they would like to cover. You can accept, decline or suggest new times via the platform.

Types of consultations

Mentees can select one of three kinds of consultations based on what mentors have chosen to offer:

  • Career conversation – a 30-minute consultation where the mentee can ask general questions or seek advice on specific topics
  • Resume critique – a 60-minute consultation on the mentee’s resume (emailed through prior) which could focus on experience, information gaps, educational opportunities and applying for jobs.
  • Mock interview – a 60-minute consultation including a 30-minute mock interview based on a typical industry interview, followed by feedback on the mentee’s responses and experience.
How the consultation works

Once your consultation is confirmed, you will be sent a conference number for your country to dial in to for free via your phone or VoIP with the option to enable video. You will receive a reminder email or text on the day of the consultation. Provide feedback on your consultation to the mentee once complete. You can message the mentee and share files at any time via the platform.

Privacy

Your email address and phone number are not shared with the mentee as all communication is made through the platform. Phone calls, video chatting, and file-sharing are also handled within the platform.

Tips for good communication

Good communication is essential for an effective mentoring relationship. Be mindful that your interactions may have an influence on a student's career perspective. You are encouraged to engage in positive and impartial communications that may benefit the student's career journey.

As as a mentor, please use this as a guide for your communications with mentees:

  • Respond to Mentees in a timely manner (within two working days)
  • If you need to withdraw from a booked consultation, provide as much notice as possible.
  • When you have a consultation, aim to be professional, well-prepared, respectful and open-minded in your communications.
  • Mentees are responsible for outlining what type of information they are seeking. Feel free to ask them for additional clarification in advance of your consultation via the platform.
Giving feedback

After your consultation you will be asked to provide valuable feedback on the interaction to the mentee and on the mentoring platform.

We encourage you to provide this, as without feedback we may continue to repeat behaviours and actions.

While we need feedback to learn, it should always be provided in a positive and constructive way.

Benefits of being a Mentor

There are many benefits to be gained from being an Alumni Mentor, including career and personal growth.

Here are some benefits you may experience from taking part in the USC Mentoring pilot program, but there may be many more…

As an Alumni Mentor, you have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your coaching and mentoring skills
  • Demonstrate your management skills and enhance your leadership skills
  • Reflect on your own goals and practices
  • Identify potential employees or interns
  • Expand professional networks
  • Gain a sense of fulfillment by supporting students to be their best
Foundations of a Mentor–Mentee relationship

As a mentor, building a successful relationship with mentees relies on a key foundation of:

  • Respect
  • Confidentiality
  • Professionalism
  • Understanding and acceptance of diversity

As a mentor, you will be be a trusted advisor who will invest time, energy and personal know-how to assist a mentee in fundamental growth and ability. It is important to create an informal, encouraging environment in which a mentee can discuss their needs and circumstances openly and in confidence.

Expectations and responsibilities

USC Alumni Mentor responsibilities include:

  • To support mentees in managing their own learning
  • To encourage self-directed reflection, analysis and problem solving
  • To promote effective, high-quality decision making
  • To be a sounding board – to challenge assumptions, ideas and behaviours
  • To inspire!

USC Alumni mentors are expected to:

  • To provide a safe, objective, non-judgemental, and confidential space for the mentee
  • To provide guidance and advice
  • To be a credible role model
  • Respond to online messages within two business days
Mentoring relationship boundaries

As a mentor you are not expected to answer questions that fall outside of your expertise and we do not expect you to have to try and solve problems for students.

If you have any concerns, questions or situations that arise in a mentoring situation that fall outside the boundaries of a mentoring relationship, please refer the student to Student Central, email studentcentral@usc.edu.au or telephone 07 5430 2890.  

If you have concerns for the safety of a student, please contact SafeUSC.

Topics that fall outside the scope of a mentoring relationship can include, but are not limited, to:

  • Study, program and progression advice
  • Student wellbeing or personal issues
  • Students feeling ‘stuck’ in career decision making
  • Problems at university
Frequently asked questions

What is USC Mentoring?

USC Mentoring is a free online mentoring pilot program for Semester 2, 2019 that connects students with alumni who are willing to offer career insights and advice.

What should I do if I can no longer take part in my scheduled consultation?

Please give your mentee a minimum of 24-hours’ notice if you must cancel your consultation meeting.

We expect that you will make all reasonable attempts to reschedule the session.

How can I limit the number of requests for consultations?

You can limit the number of consultation requests that you receive per month via your USC Mentoring account. Once you hit your monthly limit, your profile won't show up in search results or be available for requests until you enter a new 30-day period. You can set up this limit when you register or any time you log in to your account to update your profile. You are also able to decline any specific requests for consultations that you receive.

What if I wish to withdraw from the USC Mentoring program?

To hide your profile, you can set your profile to ‘Out of Office’ (for a specific time) in your settings when you’ve logged in to your account. If you want to have your profile deleted, please email or phone USC Alumni Relations.

What is mentoring?

The relationship between mentor and mentee is one of support and encouragement to assist self-development and learning. It aims to improve professional performance and develop potential.

A successful mentoring relationship will help both the mentor and mentee, through reciprocal, respectful and mutually beneficial learning from each other.

Who can be a mentee?

Current USC students who would like the benefits of having an Alumni mentor are eligible to register with USC Mentoring and take part in the 2019 pilot of the program. Current students who are also alumni from previous degrees are also eligible.

How USC Mentoring works

USC Mentoring gives you the opportunity to connect with one or more USC graduates (alumni) for a 30 or 60-minute career conversation in your areas of interest via video or phone for free using the USC Mentoring online platform (powered by Firsthand).

How to register

Visit the USC Mentoring platform, click on 'Get Advice', then 'Register now' to create your profile, including your career goals, roles, industries, and locations you're interested in working in. It's quick and easy!

How to find a mentor and book a consultation

Once you have registered, browse alumni profiles to find someone you're interested in talking to. You can filter mentors by advice topic and using 'keyword search' for field of study, industry, employer and more.

To connect with a mentor, click on their profile to request a consultation on a topic they offer.

Suggest three times based on their availability and include a message outlining what you'd like to get out of the consultation. Submit your request and wait for the mentor to accept, decline or or suggest new times.

Types of consultations

Mentees can select one of three kinds of consultations based on what mentors have chosen to offer:

  • Career conversation – a 30-minute consultation where the mentee can ask general questions or seek advice on specific topics
  • Resume critique – a 60-minute consultation on the mentee’s resume (emailed through prior) which could focus on experience, information gaps, educational opportunities and applying for jobs.
  • Mock interview – a 60-minute consultation including a 30-minute mock interview based on a typical industry interview, followed by feedback on the mentee’s responses and experience.
How the consultation works

Once your consultation is confirmed, you will be sent a conference number for your country to dial in to for free via your phone or VoIP with the option to enable video. You will receive a reminder email or text on the day of the consultation. Provide feedback on your consultation once complete. You can message the mentor and share files at any time via the platform.

Privacy 
Your email address and phone number are not shared with the mentor as all communication is made through the platform. Phone calls, video chatting, and file-sharing are also handled within the platform.

How to make the most of having a mentor  

  1. Have clear goals – identify what you want to get out of the program and seek out mentors with experience in your chosen field.
  2. Be curious and open minded - ask questions and be responsive and open to feedback.
  3. Act professionally – keep a professional attitude and be prepared for the consultations with your mentor.
  4. Show respect – be considerate of your mentor’s time. Be clear, but succinct in any discussions and comments.
  5. Be flexible – understand that you and your mentor are busy and have competing demands. Consider booking another consultation if you look like going over the allotted time.
  6. Learn and act – your Mentor can offer feedback and insights which can to enable you to develop and improve. Listening and acting on this feedback may help your professional development and contribute to your career success.
  7. Be responsible – it is your choice to make any changes to your life. A mentor can communicate useful information and advice but you need to consider if it is appropriate for you and your situation.
  8. Show appreciation – express your thanks for any assistance you receive.
Benefits of having a mentor

Being a part of the USC Mentoring program has benefits, both personal and professional. These include:

  • Opportunity for your professional development and networking
  • Receiving guidance on your career path and exploring career opportunities
  • Developing self-awareness and a greater understanding of your abilities
  • Developing new skills and improving your industry knowledge
  • Exploring new ideas and your areas of interest
  • Receiving guidance on your professional development
  • Assisting with your transition from university to the workforce
  • Receiving job search advice and tips
  • Improving your understanding of the relevance your study to the workplace
Earn USC Student Leadership Award points

Being a part of the USC Mentoring program also provides the opportunity for professional development and so is included in the USC Student Leadership Award program.

To earn points towards this Award, simply register as a Mentee in USC Mentoring.

Each time you complete a consultation via phone/video, you can earn 10 Leadership points under the 'Leadership Enrichment' category.

Any further questions on the USC Student Leadership Award, email studentsaspartners@usc.edu.au.

Foundations of a Mentor–Mentee relationship

As a mentee, building a successful relationship with a mentor relies on a key foundation of:

  • Respect
  • Confidentiality
  • Professionalism
  • Understanding and acceptance of diversity

Your mentor is a trusted advisor who will invest time, energy and personal know-how to assist your growth and ability. It is important to respect their time and commitment in assisting you on your professional career path.

Frequently asked questions

What is USC Mentoring?

USC Mentoring is a free online mentoring pilot program for Semester 2, 2019 that connects students with alumni who are willing to offer career insights and advice.

What should I do if I can no longer take part in my scheduled consultation?

Please give your mentor a minimum of 24-hours’ notice if you must cancel your consultation meeting. You are able to reschedule the session by requesting a new consultation time with your Mentor.

What if I wish to withdraw from the USC Mentoring program?

If you would no longer like to have access to the USC Mentoring pilot program, please send your request to USC Alumni Relations.

Please note that USC has no control over the Evisors, Inc trading as Firsthand (Firsthand) Mentoring Platform (the Platform). By accessing the Platform, you agree to any terms of access or use imposed by Firsthand. USC does not provide any warranty, or assume any responsibility (to the extent permitted by law) regarding the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information through the Platform or the quality, accuracy, source, merchant-ability, fitness for purpose or any other aspect of the material on the Platform, nor does USC warrant that material on the Platform does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other person.

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