Bond University students past and present are teaming up under an Alumni Mentor Program that is delivering real benefits to all involved.
Known for its tight-knit community, Bond University on the Gold Coast is a private, not-for-profit University of around 4,500 students.
In August this year, the Alumni Relations Office launched a re-vamped Alumni Mentor Program with an eye to formalising relationships between students and Alumni in a mentee/mentor capacity, matching students with a suitable Alumnus to create professional and personal opportunities for both parties.
Bond University Alumni Relations Manager Jason Gotto said the program has generated overwhelmingly positive results, with more than 120 students and 100 Alumni signing up to take part in the program in its first semester.
“This is a fantastic result that shows the genuine level of interest Alumni have in giving back to their University, as well as Bond’s commitment to preparing students as best we can for entering the workforce,” said Mr Gotto.
“A number of mentors have already registered their interest in being a mentor once again for next semester's program, which is a testament to the success of the program and the real benefits it offers,” he said.
The program, which requires mentees to meet with their mentors for at least one hour a week, is designed to provide students with guidance around future career opportunities, planning the transition from study to employment, resume and interview preparation, personal development growth, improving industry and business knowledge, building professional networks and controlling work-life balance.
For Bond Law student Tim McHutchison, the decision to sign up to the program was driven by his desire to determine what was expected of him within the legal industry after graduation.
Matched with mentor and Bond Alumnus Christopher Hughes – a Partner at prominent law firm Baker & McKenzie – Tim has recently returned from a trip to Sydney where he met with Christopher, who had also arranged for him to speak with the firm’s graduate recruitment team.
“This was an invaluable experience that would not have been available to me had it not been for the mentoring program,” said Tim.
“Not only has the program been helpful during the semester with feedback and advice on my upcoming assessments, it has also provided me with tools for the future – helping me understand the legal field beyond a university setting and giving me an edge when it comes to seeking future employment.”
Mentor Christopher Hughes said he was impressed by Tim's enthusiasm.
“He brought a mature approach to the relationship, which highlighted the type of job-ready graduates that Bond seeks to produce,” he said.
Distance has not been an issue for the busy pair, who arranged weekly telephone calls or emails to keep in touch. In fact mentors and mentees needn’t even live in the same country to have a successful experience. One student, whose dream is to one day work for the United Nations, was paired with a mentor who works for the organisation in Copenhagen.
Bond University will run its Alumni Mentor Program again in Semesters 1 and 3, 2012.