The School of Agriculture and Food Graduate Mentoring Program aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the Australian agriculture sector and food industry through connecting with industry experts.

About the program

The program focuses on Masters students, their engagement with alumni and industry, mentoring related to their career goals and development, as well as laying a foundation for a lifelong appreciation for the value of mentoring.

Eligible students include domestic and international students studying agricultural sciences, food science or food packaging and innovation.

Why mentor?

Mentoring is often a rewarding experience and a chance to reflect on your own journey, skills and knowledge. Those involved in the program have said that the relationship with their mentee helped them to remember what it was like to be a student, reflect on the value of diversity in the workplace and reconnect with their own professional networks.

Some of the benefits of mentoring are:

  • Enhance your coaching and leadership skills
  • Extend your professional network
  • Help to shape the future of your profession and community
  • Connect with the next generation of graduates
  • Support your mentee to identify and achieve their career goals and develop confidence
  • Reconnect or develop closer links with the University of Melbourne.

Matching process

When applying to the program, both students and mentors submit mentoring preferences that are taken into consideration when matching participants.

Program structure

  • The program runs from June to October
  • The frequency of meetings is negotiated between the mentor and mentee in the initial meeting
  • Participants meet at least three times over the course of the program
  • Students are responsible for the relationship and will initiate contact
  • Meetings can take place where and when it is convenient for you (online or in person)
  • Option to extend the relationship beyond the official end of the program.

What should I expect from my mentee?

We require mentees to demonstrate their commitment and interest in the program prior to matching them with a mentor. Students must participate in a preparation workshop where they discuss their career goals and are asked to consider topics to discuss with their mentor.

Mentees:

  • Take responsibility for identifying and achieving their own development goals
  • Listen, clarify and reflect back
  • Commit to the mentoring process, including agreed meetings and time commitments
  • Initiate meetings with the mentor, manage meeting dates and times and set the agenda for the partnership
  • Be open to and appreciate different perspectives
  • Learn how to find their own solutions
  • Be prepared to be challenged and take opportunities presented by their mentor
  • Respect confidences

The mentor’s role

Mentors empower students to make positive changes in their lives. The role of the mentor is to work with the mentee to identify where they need greater insight and understanding. Mentors need to be open to sharing their personal experiences and knowledge

Mentors:

  • Support mentees in discovering and defining their own development needs
  • Share expertise and experience to help mentees develop their talents
  • Provide a safe space for mentees to raise and talk about their issues
  • Help mentees reflect on their beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • Open doors to new opportunities and relationships, providing exposure and visibility.

Key dates:

  • Mentee applications open on 20 April 2022
  • Mentor applications will open on 12 May 2022.
  • All participants will be notified of the outcome of their application in late June 2022.

Contact:

FVAS Enrichment Team