Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Mashaal Mahmood

We spoke with Mashaal Mahmood (LinkedIn), a mentee from Cycle 2 2020 Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country

I am originally from the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad. It is one of the most modern cities in the country and definitely the safest.

2. Tell us a little about your own employment/professional history?

My background is in Journalism. I worked as an intern in one of the major commercial news channels in Pakistan, before moving to Australia in 2011, and on and off after that while completing my Bachelor in Perth from The University of Western Australia in Communications and Media. Most of my experience in Journalism in Pakistan was in the area of Politics and Human Rights, which of course is rather understandable considering the human rights violations in the country on a daily basis and political unrest. I used to interview people directly affected by the situations and present their stories in my first language, Urdu.

3. What challenges have you faced in your job search journey in WA?

I have a rather long list for that! Starting with the fact that I had to give up my career in Journalism in Australia due to multiple barriers. Even though I did have quite a distinguished overseas background in Journalism, along with a qualification in that area from a prestigious university from Western Australia, it was almost impossible to work as a journalist in the country. It was mainly due to lack of ‘Australian experience’ in the work field and the lack of understanding of how the job market works here. I kept on applying for jobs online to no benefit. Most of the time, it felt like no one was even looking at my application. My ultimate frustration caused me to give up on my dream of being a journalist and I requalified as a Media teacher, and started teaching in Australian high schools.

4.  What skills did you gain from participating in the program and how did this help you in your job search?

For me personally, Kaleidoscope’s online workshops act like a bridge between getting the qualification and finally joining the workforce. I wish I had this ‘bridge’ when I graduated as a Journalist, as I wouldn’t have struggled during my job-hunt process and ultimately changed careers due to lack of positive outcome. The online workshops specifically gave me an in-depth knowledge about the job-search process in Australia. Even after being in the country for almost ten years, I was lacking this vital information. I learnt some really basic things like making my job search efficient by learning how to use online professional mediums like LinkedIn and what words to use in my resume to make it stand out more in front of the recruiters who have uncountable resumes to look at. These strategies might sound basic and simple but play a vital role in making one stand out in the crowd of job applicants. In fact, I think the workshops should be a mandatory process for anyone who has finished their qualification and is looking to find employment in the area of their expertise or for those who have just arrived in the country and want to start their professional journey in Australia. Most of the time, people aren’t struggling to find a job because of lack of qualifications or experience, but due to lack understanding of the path that leads to one’s dream job!

5.  What are the three key benefits you gained by joining the program?

1. Cultural understanding of people from different backgrounds

2. Confidence of taking risks

3. Sense of belonging

6. What was the best part of being a mentee?

I was matched up with Sue Myc, the chairperson and radio announcer at 89.7FM Radio. This match turned into one of the finest things that happened in my life since moving to Australia in 2011. I moved here to become a journalist but was forced to give up that dream due to lack of ‘Australian experience’ in that area. My mentor, Sue allowed me to run a 15 minute segment of her morning show once a week, where I would share information regarding a topic of my choice. This didn’t only allow me to learn how to conduct my communication on live radio, but also helped me polish my research skills; a very vital skill for any journalist, as I had to ensure that my information was correct and was presented without any bias. I also learnt how to use the radio equipment, which was definitely the hardest part but definitely the most useful one.

7.  In your opinion, did your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes improve through participation in the program?

Some of the workshops were specifically dedicated to the Australian workplace culture and job application processes. A lot of unspoken facts were explained in these ones, such as not calling ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ to people at work and using their first names. I am sure that it is something that requires a lot of getting used to for people from many countries. In terms of job application process, we even did practise interview questions, and got little tips on how to conduct ourselves around our employers. As I said, a lot of unspoken rules that exist but a lot of migrants are unaware of.

8. Did participating in the program expand your professional community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

Working at 89.7FM Radio, as a part of the Kaleidoscope programme, was to help me get into the field of Journalism, but I have got so much more than that since I have been a part of it. Firstly, the opportunity to make friendly connections with people who had spent the majority of their lives here in Australia allowed me to understand the core of Australian culture. One of tendencies amongst migrants is to only mingle with people from their own backgrounds; regardless of how long they have been in their adopted home, mainly because it is their comfort zone. However, this pattern restricts them from sometimes assimilating in the new country. For me, 89.7FM Radio turned out to be a platform where I made deep connections with people who truly understood Australia and Australian values, and to my amusement, for the first time in a decade since I left my home country, I feel like having a sense of belonging, through the people who come from completely different background from my own.

9. Have you gained employment in your field? Can you tell us a little bit about your new role/job?

All thanks to the Kaleidoscope Program, I have my own radio show now on 89.7FM Radio. It is called The Brown Culture, and aims to share the culture/values/history of the Indian subcontinent or South Asia or countries like (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) with people from different backgrounds in Australia, along with playing Bollywood and Lollywood music. Those of you who don’t know, Bollywood is India’s film and music industry while Lollywood is Pakistan’s film and music industry. The staff at 89.7FM radio was very generous to let me create something that I am truly passionate about. People from the Indian subcontinent represent a high number of Australian population, but not a lot of people truly understand their culture. The whole point of the show is to educate people about South Asian/Brown culture. Being a migrant, I understand that when people truly understand a culture on a human level is when the barrier between ‘them’ and ‘us’ is diminished. I aim to let people feel that we are all one, regardless of our race, religion, ethnicity , and no one really is ‘others’.

10. What advice would you give to a new mentee starting the mentoring program?

Show up for your online classes prepared and make the most of every single opportunity of learning something new. Being a part of this programme is a privilege. Had I received it 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be just starting to practise journalism in Australia.

11.  What would you rate the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program out of 5 (5 being the highest)?

5 stars!

Interested in joining the next cycle as a mentee?

Applications for KMP 2021 Cycle 2 will open on 1 May 2021. To register your interest in becoming a mentee in our next cycle please complete an expression of interest form via the link below.

EOI for KMP Mentee

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Siddier Chambers

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Siddier Chambers

We spoke with Siddier Chambers (LinkedIn), a current mentee of the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country.

I’m from the beautiful island of Jamaica, where we produce the best music (reggae), the fastest man in the world (Usain Bolt) and where it’s always summer!

2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.

Back home I worked with the Government of Jamaica in several senior management and policy roles for 12 years.

3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?

I did my PhD in Public Policy at Curtin University between 2013-2017; went back home and returned to Australia in November 2019, over 10 months ago.

4. Can you tell us about the challenges you have faced in your job search journey in WA?

Responding to the selection criteria was the greatest difficulty I encountered in my job search.

5. What skills did you gain from participating in the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program and how did this help you in your job search?

My ability to respond to the selection criteria and how to strengthen my resume were some of the skills that were beneficial from the KMP.

6. What are three key benefits (e.g. confidence) you gained by joining the program?

Being more confident, having enhanced knowledge of the work culture and a supportive network are some of the benefits I’m enjoying as a KMP mentee.

7. What was the best part of being a mentee? 

Meeting like-minded professionals and having a mentor were the best part of the KMP for me.

8. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program?

Learning about the Application Tracking System was an eye-opening experience for me. I believe being exposed to the top employability skills was a real bonus that I will keep and hone throughout my career.

9. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

I now have connections with a large group of international professionals, which has significantly expanded my professional network here in Australia.

10. What advice would you share with a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?

Enrol early, make the most of every opportunity and you’ll have a rewarding experience as a KMP mentee!

Last chance to apply!

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications close soon for particular occupations. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Apply as a mentee

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Apply as a mentor

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Sadia Affrin

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Sadia Affrin

We spoke with Sadia Affrin  (LinkedIn), a current mentee Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country.
I am an Asian Muslim. I come from Bangladesh, a small developing country in South Asia. It is a country of natural beauty and great culture. I was born in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.
I have 3.5 years of experience as Design Engineer at engineering company in my country. I worked in different commercial, pharmaceuticals and laboratory construction projects mostly in the HVAC sector. Engineering design was my strong point and I surely want to build my career in this field. After I moved to Perth, I upgraded my design skills. I worked as FTTx Designer in Perth for 9 months.

Now, I have a job in the engineering design sector. I will be working as Mechanical Modeller in a company that offers extensive selection of equipment solution in the mining sector.

3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?
I came to Perth in 2017. It’s been three and a half years.

4. Can you tell us what challenges have you faced in your job search journey in WA?
Being an migrant, the most challenging part was to present myself in the right place, in the right way. I got generalised advice from my close circle like applying through Seek and writing cover letters. It took me long time to understand the culture and appropriate way to approach to employer. Another challenge was professional networking. As a newcomer, my inner circle was not big enough for professional networking. Also, I had to overcome my language barrier to increase my networking.

5. Can you tell us a little about your new job? 

Now, I have a job in the engineering design sector. I am working as Mechanical Modeller in a company which offers extensive selection of equipment solutions in the mining sector.

6. What skills did you gain from participating in the Mentoring Program and how did this help you in your job search?
Participating in the mentoring program helped me to become confident enough to present myself and my skills in the appropriate way. Hunting for jobs for 3 years and only managing to obtain 9 months of local employment in my field made me believe that I was lacking in some way or I am not doing something right. I still remember meeting Ashleigh at the Kaleidoscope office for the first time and how she assured me I am doing the right things. All the things I have been doing like applying for jobs, connecting through LinkedIn are right. Then she talked about what they can offer for us. She gave some contacts from Mercycare and asked me to register myself into the mentoring program. I registered for Job Readiness sessions and I found those very informative and encouraging. I learnt the value of networking and right ways to do it.

7. What are three key benefits (e.g. confidence) you gained by joining the program?
By joining the program:

8. What was the best part of being a mentee?
As a mentee, I have learnt a lot. During my job search journey, many questions came into my mind which can be answered by a professional who is working in the same field. My mentor is a skilled engineering professional who is working in the industry for long time and has huge network inside the industry. He gave me insights of the engineering field and helped to identify potential employers. Being a mentee, I got chance to ask anything and everything about my field and job search. My mentor helped me to prepare my job application and also gave me advice on how to prepare for an interview. Mostly, he told me what I should do after interview which helped me get the job.

9. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program? 
I did my cover letter and selection criteria session with Sonja. She told us to do a little research on the company before applying. She told me to find the person responsible for the job and address the cover letter by his/her name. I found this information very helpful. After that session, I always looked up the company’s website and LinkedIn page and found out the right person to address the cover letter. Also, she told me to add my achievements in my cover letter, which I think worked for me.

10. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?
Through this program, I really got an understanding of different cultures and got a chance to meet people from different backgrounds. I understand that I should not have any unnecessary biased thoughts before applying a job. To work with multicultural environment, I need to be open minded and respect others.

11. What advice would you share with a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?

I would like encourage new immigrants to join the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program. To get maximum benefits from the program, one should believe in themselves as well as your mentoring coach. This program is organised by a professional group of people who are working in this sector for long time. One should work on advice, s/he gets from the program and please keep applying.

Applications are now open

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications are open now. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Click here to apply as a mentee

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Click here to apply as a mentor

Want to know more about KMP?

Register for an upcoming online information session and find out everything you need to know about joining KMP cycle 1 2021.

The next mentoring cycle is running from January to May 2021. Applications are open between 1 October to 1 November 2020.

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Narmada Sreelatha

We spoke with Narmada Sreelatha (LinkedIn), a current mentee Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country.
I was born in a culturally diverse and beautiful southwestern coastal state of Kerala in India.

2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.
I have a postgraduate in Marine Structural Engineering with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. My professional experience in India is in a few different roles such as Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Estimator and Coastal Researcher. Like everyone else, I moved to Australia with a million dreams about life and career.

3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?
I have been living in Australia for four years now. I migrated to regional WA in 2016 with my husband.

4. Can you tell me what challenges have you faced in your job search journey in WA?
The biggest challenge I faced to get into my career field was the lack of local experience in Australia. It was also quite difficult to get a job with overseas qualification and without actually knowing anybody working in the field.

5. What skills did you gain from participating in the Mentoring Program and how did this help you in your job search?
Joining Kaleidoscope’s mentoring program and attending their workshops were the best steps I took towards my career start. Each of these workshops were tailored for a migrant to get familiar with the Australian workplace and the culture. Knowing and practising these would definitely have a big impact on one’s career success in Australia.

6. What are three key benefits (e.g. confidence) you gained by joining the program?
The first and the best thing is that I got connected with a mentor, who has extensive experience in the industry. It also helped me to get familiarised with Australian workplace culture, which is different from my country and what I am used to. Other skills I developed by joining the program are the knowledge of writing resume and cover letters matching an advertised job, networking skills, interview skills, effective communication skills and the list doesn’t end here.

7. What was the best part of being a mentee? 
Being a mentee was a big confidence boost for me. My mentor Mr Manuel Grosshans has taken every effort to help me gain that confidence. He guided me in all the possible ways, and this is the reason I obtained the job I have now. I am sure all the mentors in this program are doing their best and, as a mentee, I am grateful to each and every one for their kind gesture to help migrants to follow their dreams. There is also a friendly network among the mentees, who help and care each other. One of them, Ms Thuy Le, is the reason for me to land my first job in my field.

8. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program? 
Definitely. My approach to the job application process has changed a lot after attending the program. The success after four years of unsuccessful job applications is a feeling beyond words can express. I honestly believe it is the professional network and the skills from the program that brought me to the doorstep.

9. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?
It was extremely helpful to keep up-to-date with the current scenario and job market with a great social media network such as a LinkedIn group of all the mentees, mentors, and mentoring coach.

10. What advice would you share with a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?
To have regular meetings and contact with the mentor. Find out the areas you need improve and discuss it with your mentor at each meeting. You are right up there, and it is a bit of confidence you need to chase your dream.

11. Can you tell us a little about your new job?

I am currently working as an Estimator with a plumbing contract company. My duties involve preparation of accurate cost estimates, preparation and submission of tender documents for hydraulic services for construction projects.

Applications are now open

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications are open now. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Click here to apply for the mentee program

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Click here to apply for the mentor program

Want to know more about KMP?

Register for an upcoming online information session and find out everything you need to know about joining KMP cycle 1 2021.

The next mentoring cycle is running from January to May 2021. Applications are open between 1 October to 1 November 2020.

The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Cida Trevisan

We spoke with Cida Trevisan  (LinkedIn), a current mentee Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.
1. Tell us a little about your home/country.

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, just little bit ahead of Australia, but with population roughly 10 times bigger. The country has a wide range of tropical and subtropical landscapes, beautiful beaches and mountains. It contains most of the Amazon River basin, which has the world’s largest river system and the world’s most-extensive virgin rainforest.

Brazil is one of the world giants of mining, manufacturing, and agriculture. It is also the world’s leader in producer of coffee, leader grower of beans, corn, cacao, bananas, rice, and oranges. About one-third of the world’s oranges are grown in Brazil.

The Brazilian population is very warm, friendly and loves soccer that we call Football!

2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.

In Brazil, I worked was an Office Administrator for ten years, for a government IT agency. After that, I worked for four years at an Information and Technology Distributor company as Administrator/Accounts Officer, providing administrative support and assisting the Accounts Department with accounts payable/receivable, payroll and end of month reports. Then, I moved to Australia with my husband and two daughters.

3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?

5 years.

4. Can you tell me what challenges have you faced in your job search journey in WA?

Language barrier – this was the major problem for me. English is not my first language and my written and oral communication were limited, especially the speaking English, and some people could not understand my accent.

Lack of work experience in Australia – Although I had more than five years’ experience working as Administrator and experience working in Accounting, I could not find a job in my area because I did not have local experience and some job advertisements specifically asked for experience in Australia. This was a huge disadvantage for me.

No networking – when I arrived here I did not have any networks. My contacts were mostly migrants, like me, and some of them were struggling to get a job as well. In addition, at that time, my kids were younger and I had no support/help to look after them after school and during school holidays.

5. What skills did you gain from participating in the Mentoring Program and how did this help you in your job search?

Participating in the Mentoring Program was one of my best decisions. In the workshops, I learned about:

6. What are three key benefits (e.g. confidence) you gained by joining the program?

Joining the program helped me in so many aspects of my professional and personal life. During the workshops and working with my mentor, I have improved my:

  1. Communication skills – The participation on the workshops, the meetings with my mentor, and doing my homework enabled me to improve my spoken and written communication skills
  2. Self-knowledge. This process forced me to stop and look at my strengths and weaknesses, not only professionally but personally as well, and
  3. Confidence. After working with my mentor only for two months I got my confidence back.

Every time I was practising for an interview (mock interviews with my mentor and the real ones), I’ve learned something new about myself, my personality, my strengths, my weaknesses and the most amazing thing is that even though I was becoming aware of my weaknesses, I could ways that I could improve it.

7. What was the best part of being a mentee? 

The best part to be a mentee is to a have a mentor to guide me on this job hunting process, advising me which areas I needed to improve and how I can do it, which tools and strategies I can use to get better.

Working with my mentor helped me to understand what skills and knowledge the employer was looking for in a candidate. With that information, I could choose the job advertisement that matched with my skills and knowledge, enhancing my chances of getting an interview.

Before joining the program, I was very frustrated applying for jobs on a daily basis and getting no reply. I was not even called for an interview. There was no feedback, so I could not even improve my resume because I did not know what went wrong. It was an exhausting process that shook my confidence affecting my professional and personal life.

Being a part of this program was amazing. It changed me in so many ways. I joined the program to find a job, but I was so happy with the benefits that getting a job – in my opinion – would be a consequence of the changing of my mind setting.

8. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program?

When I look at Australian culture now, I see other aspects that I was not seeing before. For example, today when someone asks me what I am going to do on the weekend or what I did on my weekend, I know that they want to make a conversation, so I engage in that conversation with them. Australia people are very friendly and enjoy chatting.

Recently, due my participating in the mentee program, I changed my resume, using a different format that allowed me to enhance my skills and knowledge, instead of my overseas work experience. In doing that, I was called for interview, phone interview and in less than a month in doing so, I got a job offer.

9. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

Working with Kaleidoscope increased my networking in Australia. I joined LinkedIn and my networks are growing. My mentor also introduced me to her co-workers and some of her contacts that referred me to a work experience in my area, which helped me to get the job I have today,

10. What advice would you share with a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?

Do not be afraid to ask questions for your mentor. He/she is there to help and support you. Do not be afraid to ask her/his help. In my case, for example, I told my mentor that I sucked in interviews, I told her that I usually get so nervous that I forget the words and sometimes even stammer. So, she did some mock interviews with me, providing me with feedback later. When I was feeling more comfortable with her interviewing me, she arranged a mock interview with one of her colleagues for me and this was so important to prepare me for a real interview.

Prepare beforehand for your session with him/her. Make your research regarding the topic/agenda you will discuss with him her, so you can make the best of your meetings.

Listen to what he/she says without judgement, because he/she has the best interest for you. You are on a different country, with different culture, and costumes so listen to what he/she have to say and think about it with an open heart and mind.

In my case, in two situations I resorted to my mentor guidance. I went for work experience, but I was not sure if that experience would lead me towards my goal, so I talked to my mentor and she explained to me that the job I would do there is a small but extremely important part of my job. I was not seeing that as an opportunity to learn and improve other areas, but she showed it to me, I listened and this experience helped me to get a job offer.

Applications are now open

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications are open now. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Click here to apply for the mentee program

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Click here to apply for the mentor program

Want to know more about KMP?

Register for an upcoming online information session and find out everything you need to know about joining KMP cycle 1 2021.

The next mentoring cycle is running from January to May 2021. Applications are open between 1 October to 1 November 2020.

The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Thuy Le

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Thuy LeWe spoke with Thuy Le (LinkedIn), a current mentee Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country.
I am from Viet Nam. I was born in Ha Noi but grew up in Ho Chi Minh City (south of Viet Nam). Viet Nam is developing fast and changing a lot in recent years with a lot of foreign direct investments, local infrastructure and real estate development that leads to living standard improvement with a better education. We have many well-known delicious moreish foods such as beef noodle (Phở bò), spring rolls (chả giò), Vietnamese meat bread (bánh mì)

2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.
I graduated from Maritime Economics but landed with Human resources management as a career. My last role was a senior recruitment consultant for a British recruitment firm for three and a half years.

3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?
I have been in WA for two and a half years. I came here for my Master study in Human resources management at Murdoch university.

4. Can you tell me what challenges have you faced in your job search journey in WA?

All these gradually have eaten my confidence. Actually, as we all know, the real job need is not just on the active advertisement, but also come from passive recruitment such as referral, networking, direct application.

5. What skills did you gain from participating in the Mentoring Program and how did this help you in your job search?
The MP guides us from the basic principle of making a resume, write good selection criteria, prepare an interview, doing networking on social media (Linkedin) and also in real life, self-realisation, understanding culture, and I meet more new mentees and mentors. I did revise my resume and prepared my interview as per some suggestions, and it worked. Also the self-realisation session from Cema, it was intense, but I extracted what I need and applied areas such as focus, my values, having positive thoughts

6. What are three key benefits (e.g. confidence) you gained by joining the program?
Gaining confidence, be focused on my target, networking and learning from my mentor (I was nervous and lost before, especially the Covid-19 made everything worse).

7. What was the best part of being a mentee? 
Having all the comprehensive training, as mentioned above, from the program. Having the full support from my mentor, as I can ask almost any questions related to work, even though sometimes they are silly ones, but at least it clear the mind. Meeting new people from different careers and industries; mentors and mentees – on the orientation day.

8. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program?:
I understand more the recruitment culture and job application process. I needed to invest more time to tailor each application, besides sending “countless” applications and learn to accept if I don’t receive any calls from employers. I have been living and working overseas with different cultures before, so I believe I can adapt to Australian workplace culture. Besides, at my current workplace, everyone is very friendly, like in a family, and supportive. So, I continue to observe and learn to adapt and blend with the culture.

9. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?
For the moment, we connect through LinkedIn. But it is still powerful when we know some “techniques” from Cema session to expand our network and reaching to the community. Our mentee group also have a WhatsApp chat where we can share news, encourage each others, we also had an off-line meeting. My mentor is extremely helpful to connect me with his network for introduction and job opportunities.

10. What advice would you share with a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?
Everyone is unique. Be yourself. Don’t compare. Be resilient. Be focused on your target. You can break it down to small steps to achieve. Appreciate yourself. Dare to ask questions or help. Connect and expand your network, not only in your field. Every connection is valuable.

11. Can you tell us a little about your new job?

My role is a Recruitment Consultant. We support clients mostly in recruiting blue collar (trades and services roles), and sometimes some engineers or white collar roles. I am glad that I can again use and apply my skills and past experience into the role. I am still eager to learn more, especially in the manufacturing and mining industries: the resources movement, required skills.

Applications are now open

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications are open now. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Click here to apply for the mentee program

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Click here to apply for the mentor program

Want to know more about KMP?

Register for an upcoming online information session and find out everything you need to know about joining KMP cycle 1 2021.

The next mentoring cycle is running from January to May 2021. Applications are open between 1 October to 1 November 2020.

The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

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