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:
- I learnt how to set goals. It gave me different perspective of my situation. I learnt how to set my goal and job search is one of many goals that I want to achieve, not only one. It gave my peace and broad perspective.
- I improved my networking skills though the mentoring program. Job readiness sessions and the mentorship program helped me to understand right approach towards professional groups.
- I gained a better understanding of a multicultural working environment.
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!
Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.
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.