Connect with Bachelor of Agriculture students through the Dookie mentoring program
About the program
The School of Agriculture and Food coordinates an industry mentoring program for our Dookie-based students. We want students to connect with industry professionals in the Greater Shepparton, Benalla and Wangaratta regions to learn about the local industry and the opportunities available to young people studying agriculture.
Students participating in this program are in the second year of their Bachelor of Agriculture degree, majoring in either Agricultural Economics, Production Animal Science, or Plant and Soil Science. Students come from both city and rural backgrounds in Australia and overseas, and have been exposed to a broad range agricultural experiences in Australia.
The role of the mentor
The role of the mentor is to share their knowledge of the industry and insights in relation to career development. Generally they will act as a role model for their mentee in helping them achieve their goals. They will provide wisdom and insight as well as constructive criticism and suggestions for action.
Although each mentor will bring their own personality and expertise to the mentoring relationship, mentors can help build a positive mentoring relationship by:
- Being a good listener and sounding board supporting mentees in discovering and defining their own development needs
- Sharing lessons, mistakes, anecdotes
- Introducing the mentee to new networks and contacts
- Enable mentees to gain confidence in analysing and solving problems and become effective decision-makers
- Challenging their mentee and help them to view issues from a variety of perspectives
- Being non-judgemental, and accepting of the differences in people and their style of working
- Maintaining confidentiality and respect
It is important to note that a mentor is not someone who could – or should – resolve issues for their mentee. Mentors can be a sounding board, provide advice and access to networks as appropriate, but it is not their role to resolve issues or problems on behalf of their mentee.
A benefit that has been identified by mentors is the rewards gained from sharing their knowledge and experience as well as the opportunity to see things through their mentee’s eyes. It is also an opportunity to gain an insight your own operating style. Other more specific benefits include:
- Developing skills in listening and coaching
- Enhanced self-esteem and confidence
- Developing leadership and interpersonal skills
- Gaining new perspectives on the agriculture industry through interaction with current students
- A chance to actively assist the professional development of future contributors to the industry.
The program is open to Bachelor of Agriculture students who are in the second year of their studies and residing at Dookie.
- The program runs from late July to the end of October
- Students are placed in groups of 2-3 and will be connected with one mentor
- Students will initiate meetings with the mentor, manage meeting dates and times and set the agenda for the partnership
- Students will visit you at your property or place of work
Mentors must be able to commit to at least two meetings during this time period, but may arrange more contact with students if they wish. Mentors will be invited to attend an end of semester dinner at Dookie with the students, the date will be confirmed at the start of August.