Working in Australia Mentoring Program
The Working in Australia Mentoring Program (WAMP) is an innovative industry-led twelve month program initiated the La Trobe Innovation and Entrepreneurship Foundry (LIEF) at La Trobe University and is funded by Study Melbourne, a Victorian State Government Initiative.
WAMP aims to improve international student well-being by providing them with coaching from industry professionals who are former international students. Through this program, 300 international students will get an exclusive opportunity to enhance their employability in Australia. Mentors will provide advice and support to advance student knowledge of the Australian workforce and improve enterprise skills, which are vital for any career pathway.
Mentors will have the opportunity to share their personal experience to help inspire and shape young professionals.
Matching current international students with mentors, who have experienced the challenges of studying abroad, will make the knowledge transfer process far easier for them because they will be guided by individuals who have experienced similar circumstances.
International students provide a strong financial contribution to the Australian economy and more importantly play a pivotal role in growing the highly skilled talent pool required for economic growth. There are nearly 10,000 international students enrolled at La Trobe University alone, therefore we believe it is important to develop strategies to improve their wellbeing whilst they are in Australia.
Over the years La Trobe University has invested heavily in Career Readiness programs for all students and has put significant resource into the well-being and employability of international students. However, to further enhance the international student experience and address the challenges faced by them in integrating into the Australian community and workforce, we have put together a new initiative to partner with former international students, who are now working professionals.
The extensive work of La Trobe Innovation and Entrepreneurship Foundry in collaboration with the La Trobe careers office, Professionals Australia, Engineers Australia and the IEEE, has shown that international students are significantly less represented in graduate roles 6-12 months upon graduating from their respective studies. International students expend vast amounts of money to get a "high quality" Australian education and subsequently find it extremely difficult to rapidly integrate into the Australian workforce. There is a substantial gap between the international student market and understanding of work and company culture, professionalism, expectations and their ability to provide value to the hiring organisations from day one. International students experience many challenges in adapting to the to the Australian professional workforce market.
It is well known that mentoring can play a crucial role in ensuring students are being prepared for the workplace in parallel to their studies. Our methodology enables mentees to receive advice and support from the industry, enhancing their understanding of the Australian labour market as well giving them insight into the Australian business culture. The primary differential factor is that mentors will be former international students who have successfully made the transition into industry and will be mentoring from experience of overcoming these challenges.
Students will be provided with advice and support in a combination of industry and university locations, towards enhancing their understanding of the Australian work market as well as gaining employability skills directly from potential employers. An added benefit is that Australian employers will gain an insight into the talent of international students including their multilingual ability, diversity, and global outlook. The aim of the project is to assist international students to gain a more holistic understanding of the Australian workforce by people who have “been there before them” and understand first-hand the challenges and opportunities to finding meaningful work experience in Australia. In order to maximise the chance of becoming employable after graduation, we have created this project, which will fill in the gaps of the educational institutions' student services in the employability area.
How to apply
Benefits for students
- Improve chances of finding work in Australia whilst studying and beyond graduation
- Learn about your profession in the Australian workplace culture
- Connect with people who are like minded and have similar professional interests
- Improve confidence and communication skills by expanding your professional network
- Learn about enterprise skills from practitioners
- Opportunity to visit various companies and meet mentor’s colleagues
- Gain insider knowledge on what employers are looking for when recruiting students
- Participate in industry-led workshops and have the chance to ask questions about work in Australia
- Receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the program
- Extra-curricular activity which can be recorded on your resume and your LinkedIn profile
Eligibility and application process for Mentees
- 1st Year International Students (undergraduate or postgraduate)
How to apply: Please follow the instructions in the WAMP for Students form
Benefits for Mentors
- Develop your own leadership and coaching style
- Connect with like-minded professionals from other countries and create opportunities to work on interesting projects globally
- Use your knowledge and experience to inspire and shape young professionals
- Possible recruitment of young talent
- Enhancement of personal and professional development
- Increase personal visibility
- Be recognized as an expert in your field
- Receive a certificate of recognition from La Trobe University and Victoria State Government
- Exclusive invitation to Working in Australia Mentoring Conference, Oct 2019
Eligibility and application process for Mentors
To become a mentor in this program, you must be:
- a former international student who completed undergraduate or postgraduate studies in Australia,
- have at least 2 years professional experience in Australia
- must be currently employed.
To apply email your CV/Resume or your comprehensive LinkedIn profile to Eddie Custovic
For more information: WAMP for Mentors
The Professional Networking hands-on workshops will provide you with tips and tricks on how to impress and connect with people in a business setting. Knowledge and experience from this workshop will help you overcome the fear of making the first step and reaching out to someone in the professional environment.
Getting insider knowledge of what employers want from students and young professionals could be the difference for your employment in the future. We have planned 2 industry talks per semester where you can hear exactly that and more.