The MSEL program helps prepare the future leaders of our community and our workplaces. It brings together interdisciplinary teams of students to complete a project for a not-for-profit community partner, which often requires students to gain knowledge and skills that lie beyond their academic area of study.
One way we support MSEL participants is to give them access to professional mentors who have knowledge, skills and experience in areas aligned with their career path. It is invaluable for students in the long term to be able to draw on the expertise of mentors for career advice, to sound out ideas, and to get feedback. As a mentor, you will have the opportunity to help MSEL students—who are among Murdoch University’s most motivated and innovative—to make real step in their chosen career path.
Your input will provide them with crucial industry perspectives and experiences that will take their understanding beyond what they learn in the classroom and into the real world. Please read on for additional details and information about being an MSEL program mentor.
Professional and Personal Development
Mentoring is valuable both personally and professionally.
- Build your leadership skills – It helps you develop your ability to motivate and encourage others. This can help you become a better manager, employee, and team member.
- Improve your communication skills – Because your mentees may come from a different background or environment, you may not “speak the same language.” This may force you to find a way to communicate more effectively as you navigate your way through the mentoring relationship.
- Learn new perspectives – By working with students who are less experienced and from an academic background, you can gain a fresh perspective on things and learn a new way of thinking – which can help in your work life as well as your personal life.
- Advance your career – Refining your leadership skills can strengthen your on-the-job performance. Showing that you’ve helped others learn and grow is becoming more and more essential to advancement in today’s business world. (See research conducted at Sun Microsystems.)
- Gain personal satisfaction – It can be very personally fulfilling to know that you’ve directly contributed to someone’s growth and development. Seeing your mentees succeed as result of your input is a reward in itself.
Adapted from Mindtools All MSEL mentors receive an invite to the program’s graduation ceremony held in early November of each year. Students present their projects at this event, allowing mentors to see how much of an impact they’ve had on the student’s development.
Requirements, Commitments, and Responsibilities
MSEL mentors should be interested in working with university students to help support and advise them as they navigate their way through their career path. Mentors need to have some free time available to undertake this voluntary activity and they need to have reliable email access for electronic communications (meeting face-to-face with students is required, but because of clashing schedules and mentor preferences this can be challenging). What technical knowledge, skills and expertise we require mentors to have depends on the student’s career orientation. You can find out what expertise we require this year in the “register your interest” e-form below. The list below outlines the skills and personal qualities typically exhibited by good mentors. If you believe you possess some of these personal skills and qualities, please consider putting yourself forward to be an MSEL mentor.
- perceived as a role model
- able to share career advice
- able to encourage and motivate others
- interested in the learning process
- able to maintain confidentially
- good interpersonal skills
- able to listen objectively, and act as a sounding board for the mentees to explore ideas, dreams, plans and problems
- good at asking questions that will encourage the mentee to explore issues from a variety of perspectives. Not prescriptive in advocating one way of thinking.
- able to challenge mentees traditional ways of thinking and acting, influencing them to try strategies that are outside their comfort zone
- interested in providing information, guidance, support, encouragement and constructive feedback
- able to facilitate problem-solving, decision making and strategic planning processes in relation to project matters.
Adapted from Mentoring Guidelines
Eligibility and Time Commitments
The MSEL program runs between February and November each year but the mentoring relationship can continue beyond this time frame. At a minimum, mentors will:
- Conduct the mentoring relationship for 6 months
- Meet with the mentee once per month
Mentors can elect to support the mentee beyond this time frame is they wish but that is to be decided by both parties. Mentors are responsible for supporting mentees to make real progress on their career path. Mentors will be approached by students they have been paired with to offer advice, guidance and review work they have completed in line with their career. Students are given guidelines for engaging with mentors and understand that the mentor is volunteering their time. Students will be flexible and aim work around the mentor’s schedule.
Expression of Interest