University of New England’s 2011 Lucy Mentoring Program concluded on October 17, 2011 with a celebratory event in the Chancellery at Booloominbah. This ceremony for the Lucy ‘class of 2011’ highlighted a diverse range of opportunities presented by this year’s mentors.
The Lucy Mentoring Program links female business and law students with a mentor in their field of study. The mentors are drawn from a range of local Armidale businesses. The purpose of the program is to expose students to the realities of a workplace and enables them to apply the knowledge they obtain in the classroom to a real business context. The program is particularly beneficial in providing career development support by helping students better understand the career paths open to them. The UNE Career Development team assisted the Lucy participants in the program and provided support during the period.
While some mentors took a personal approach, others opened the doors to their workplace allowing their mentee access to a whole group of professionals all willing to contribute to the mentoring role.
Each of the Lucy graduates gave a brief presentation reflecting on their mentoring experiences as part of the Graduation proceedings. The speeches were both entertaining and moving and demonstrated the valuable learning opportunities experienced by the Lucy students.
“The program has inspired me to take a different career path than I had originally planned and opened my eyes to many new and exciting possibilities,” said one of the mentee’s Natasha Schumacher.
No matter the style of mentoring adopted through the Lucy program, whether a weekly coffee meeting or daily participation in the workplace, each participant found the experience rewarding, inspirational and certainly worthwhile.
Professor Alison Sheridan, head of the School of Business, Economics & Public Policy, acknowledged the generosity of the mentors, businesses and departments which made the experience such a fruitful one for the participating students.
The guest speaker for this year was Ms Angela Green, the Executive Director of UNE’s Policy, Planning & External Relations Unit. Angela enthralled the audience with her amazing career journey, including a high flying corporate career at National Australia Bank, before deciding for a tree change to Armidale. Angela encouraged the Lucy students to keep their mind open to any possibility and not to be limited by traditional career paths.