We 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?
- Vast information relating to job search information: there are a lot of job advertisement platforms and recruitment companies posting the same information.
- Human resource management system: there are lots of casual or part-time roles which I at first did not target in since, in my home country, we only do a minimum contract of 1 year full-time.
- Different screening process: must have well written cover letter or selection criteria, awareness of ATS – applicant tracking system, recruitment by referral
- The requirement of local experience (in Australia) or specific industry experience
- Feeling of different cultures leads to different thinking and behaviour/interview
- English communication issues, as most foreigners would have..
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!
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 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.