We spoke with Sina* Kazemian, a current mentee Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked him to share his experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.
1. Tell us a little about your home/country.
I’m from Iran, which is located in the Middle East. One of the most historical countries in the world with an old civilization and culture.
2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.
I am a Professional Engineer (CPEng, RPEQ, and NER) with the extensive and substantial design of infrastructure projects experience, working different countries in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan), Malaysia, and Australia. I have been moving seamlessly between industry and academia; I enjoy the challenges of real-life geotechnical practice, but also I love researching and do exceptionally well at both. I have been working for more than ten years in different universities in Iran, Malaysia, and now Australia as part-time lecturer/researcher. I have co-authored three books and have published dozens of papers in reputed journals and conference proceedings in the geotechnical engineering field.
3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?
Less than two years.
4. What challenges have you faced in your job search journey in WA?
The biggest challenges that I faced was the difference in culture, language and accent difficulties, and lack of knowledge for selling myself in Australia’s Industry.
5. What skills did you gain from participating in the Mentoring Program?
I gained self-confidence, and became familiar with the employment systems and workplace and Australian culture.
6. What are three key benefits you gained by joining the program?
I became familiar with Australian system and culture, and writing CV and cover letters to suit Australian employers.
7. What was the best part of being a mentee?
To improve my knowledge and skills about general issues in this country. Through being a mentee I finally could get a role a as Senior Geotechnical Engineer! Thanks for Cema Santos’ (KMP Mentoring Coach) guidance and help. I really appreciate that she introduced me to the best mentor that I’ve had in my life! Peter** is not just my mentor, he has become my friend due to him exactly understanding what my problems are, as a newcomer. I’ve promised myself to help other newcomers as a mentor in Kaleidoscope, after getting more local experience in this country.
8. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program?
Yes, I remember before joining the program, in most interviews that I was invited to attend, I was talking about my weakness; I was going to be faithful with them, but I found most of the weakness shouldn’t be shown due to the fact they will be improved quickly and so there is no need to talk about them.
9. Did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?
Yes of course.
10. What advice would you give to a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?
To have regular meetings with your mentor and to find your main problems and questions related to this country and desired job, and asking your mentor will help you to go up the ladder.
* To view Sina’s LinkedIn profile visit: www.linkedin.com/in/sinakazemian/
APPLY NOW to attend Kaledioscope’s Job Readiness Workshops in September. These workshops will assist you in preparing your application as a mentee for the next mentoring cycle running from January to May 2021. Applications are open between 1 and 31 of May.
The City of Stirling’s Kaleidoscope Initiative aims to harness the economic benefits of its diverse population by helping newcomers to Australia secure employment in their field of expertise and support employers to benefit from this diverse workforce.
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.