Alice is studying a Bachelor of Cybersecurity at La Trobe University. Alice started her degree after a career in a different industry. During her studies, Alice is keen to make strong connections with her new industry and understand the importance of this for her career aspirations and success. Alice joined the Industry Mentoring Program in 2019, and has had the opportunity to connect with a mentor within the cybersecurity industry. Alice has chosen to share some of her experiences and advice with us.
Why did you want to be involved in the Industry Mentoring Program?
The cyber security industry is growing so quickly and while I knew that I would have lots of options once I graduated, I needed a bit more exposure to the industry to learn more about what my real prospects were. I wasn’t sure how to choose or approach someone to be my mentor, so as soon as I heard about the Industry Mentoring program I thought it could be a perfect opportunity to gain some guidance and insight.
How have you and your mentor communicated?
We personally decided against having a set structure – but we tend to have a formal conversation every few weeks, and informal exchanges between these conversations. My mentor understands that uni life isn’t always structured as you try and manage classes, workload, and outside of uni commitments, so he has made himself available to me whenever I have a quick question or want to have a more in-depth conversation. Other students and their mentor may choose to have a more set structure – the program is flexible to negotiate what works best for you.
How relevant is your mentor’s professional experience to your own career aspirations?
My mentor’s personal experience in this industry has been very helpful to provide clarity and guidance as to what my own aspirations might be. He has great knowledge of the industry and career options.
What topics have you discussed and have you worked towards set goals?
My mentor has helped guide me towards a goal of identifying a career that I would like to work towards and from this we are developing a career plan together. From our first conversation he was really clear that goals are important in a mentoring relationship or else I won’t get as much out of it. After each catch up he has given me tasks to do to help accomplish this goal which has really helped drive the momentum of the program.
How do you see the Industry Mentoring Program helping you professionally in the future?
The Industry Mentoring Program has helped me recognise and apply my previous career experience constructively to my potential career options. The program has also helped provide guidance to what my career options are and how to get there, and which grad programs will be best suited for me.
Has the program helped you to expand your professional network?
Even one extra contact is valuable as another person inside your professional network, so the program absolutely has helped me with this. My mentor has also encouraged me to connect with more industry groups and societies which I have, and it has already expanded my industry network further.
How you can be matched with a mentor in the Industry Mentoring Program
Are you looking to map your career, expand your professional network and gain a competitive edge when applying for jobs? The La Trobe Career Ready Industry Mentoring Program is currently inviting motivated students to engage with an industry based mentor for upcoming rounds in 2020.
Open to all current students over the age of 18, and supported by La Trobe University staff, Industry Mentoring is a flexible program over 12 weeks that you and your mentor tailor to your career aspirations and personal development.
What can you gain from the Industry Mentoring Program?
- Career guidance and advice from an industry professional, including La Trobe alumni
- Connect with industry and expand your professional network
- Develop confidence communicating with industry professionals
- Help map career progression
- Take part in professional development opportunities
- Open up further professional opportunities
- Counts towards the Career Ready Advantage Award