‘My advice to all students is to take up the opportunities within and outside of University. Connecting with organisations can provide you with a pathway to reach your desired goals. Branch out and be open to different ideas – the world is changing at a rapid speed!’
La Trobe Bachelor of Business student Jesse Felsinger is gearing up for this year’s Incl(us)ion Forum event, commencing online during the week commencing 27 July, 2020.
The Incl(us)ion Forum is a careers showcase designed for students from a diverse background – namely Indigenous students, LGBTIQA+ students, students with disability and students from a refugee/asylum seeker background.
Jesse identifies as Autistic, and will be sharing his insights at the forum on how taking part in mentoring gave him an advantage for his future career.
The PACE Mentoring program, which Jesse signed up for, partners people with disability to mentors from leading Australian businesses. Jesse connected with his mentor Claire, from Insurance Australia Group (IAG), who shared her industry insights with him and provided guidance.
“Claire was a very supportive and informed mentor,” he says. “She helped me gain focus for the future and provided useful advice for post-University life. We engaged in meaningful conversations and created a bit of a road map to help me reach my full potential.”
Jesse also took part in La Trobe’s Industry Mentoring Program, meeting with Sean from Cricket Australia. An added benefit of the program was the opportunity for Jesse to upgrade his social media profiles, particularly LinkedIn, which also helped him to expand his professional network and keep up-to-date with industry news.
La Trobe’s Equity and Diversity team encouraged Jesse to embrace more opportunities while studying. He wanted to branch out and get involved in clubs, societies, volunteering and opportunities that would enhance his employability.
“It helped me to build up my social confidence as well,” he says. “Don’t be afraid to seek help from the University, family and friends in order to thrive.”
Jesse arrived at La Trobe as a 22-year-old, and got involved in MASO, the University’s Mature Age Student Organisation. He’s also taken up offerings from the Commerce Student Association (CSA) and a number of other clubs and societies.
“I took a longer path to Uni compared to my high school class of 2013. I went to the Kangan Institute for four years, where I worked on developing my skills to prepare me for University. Going to La Trobe will open new doors for me in the future and has allowed me to improve on my own personal development. Things I struggled with in high school like writing essays I’m now finally getting right.”
The Equity and Diversity team at La Trobe provided Jesse with a learning access plan. “It fits with my need for flexibility, and I have other supports as well. I’ve used the Peer Learning Adviser service before and I’d encourage other students to use it. My teachers have also been very supportive and I know they want the best for me.”
COVID-19 has changed the way Jesse interacts with clubs, other students and friends. He’s embraced Zoom for social gatherings, as well as classes, though he can’t wait to be back on campus.
“Bundoora Campus has a lovely feel and environment, thanks to the friendly and diverse groups of students,” he says.
As for what’s next after University for Jesse, he hopes to work on projects that’ll benefit communities and society as a whole. He’s interested in sports, politics, technology and finance and hasn’t narrowed down a particular path just yet. But, he encourages other students to get involved – there are lots of ways to take part in opportunities online.
“My advice to all students is to take up the opportunities within and outside of University. Connecting with organisations can provide you with a pathway to reach your desired goals. Branch out and be open to different ideas – the world is changing at rapid speed!”
Catch Jesse at the Incl(us)ion Forum kicking off 27 July, 2020!