La Trobe University alumnus Regan Carr knows the positive impact a mentor can make. The business leader says he has had many mentors in his career, beginning with his lecturers at La Trobe University while he was studying Business Administration.
When he found out La Trobe was looking for alumni to mentor current students, Regan was keen to provide the same opportunities he had received.
“We all have people who have had a great impact on us, and it’s often not until years later that we realise just how important they were,” Regan said.
“I had a marketing lecturer at La Trobe who was wise beyond his years – and I think it’s so important to have mentors like this in your life. Now I feel like I have knowledge as a businessperson that I can impart to others,” he said.
La Trobe’s mentoring program connects students and professionals through a one-on-one partnership, facilitated by University staff. Mentors help to provide insight, leadership and career guidance to students, with meetings taking place where and when convenient.
Regan, who is Managing Director of product supplier Warequip, was matched with final-year Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Finance student Heath Mitchell.
Regan said he has found the program to be mutually beneficial.
“I was able to share my personal experiences with Heath, and we spoke about a range of things from politics, legal frameworks and doing business internationally since that is something I have experience in,” he said.
“And as mentors we have so much to learn from the students as well. I’ve been communicating with two students now and they offer a new perspective. It’s also nice to see that there’s so many young people who are highly intelligent and very motivated – it’s great that they’re coming out of La Trobe.”
Regan’s mentee, Heath, says he had benefited from having a professional mentor so early on in his career.
“I think it’s so important to have someone like Regan when I’m just beginning, because you don’t know the workforce and your network is limited. Having a mentor means there’s someone in your corner,” he said.
Heath is currently searching for graduate positions, and said it was helpful to have a mentor to help plan his future.
“It’s good to have someone interested in your development who’s been very successful in their field – it gives you confidence," he said.