1. Tell us a little about your own employment/professional history.
I am a Civil Engineer from the University of Porto in Portugal. I also completed a Master of Science and a PhD in Water Resources Engineering and Management at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. I moved to Australia in 2006 to work as a Water Engineer. I then specialised in Asset Management, and worked in more industries such as rail and mining. Currently, I am the Chair of the Asset Management Council in WA.
2. Why did you sign up to be a mentor?
I read a LinkedIn post from Engineers Australia, of which I am a Fellow member, and found it an interesting initiative. I have been both a mentor and a mentee in other programs and always enjoyed participating.
In a way, the timing was good because I had just been stood down (and later made redundant) from my role as Innovation Manager at Monadelphous. So, I had free time on my hands. Given that I also live in the City of Stirling I thought, why not?
3. What was the best part of being a mentor?
Being an engineer, I am fascinated by problem solving. Helping someone find a job was a problem to solve with the benefit of making another person happy. It was very satisfying to help another water engineer.
Because I was made redundant, I also had a recent job-hunting experience and fresh ideas of how to go about it, because the job market and the employment processes constantly change. Now companies ask candidates to submit videos and ask them to record verbal/spoken answers using online software.
4. Tell us about the skills you have gained so far from participating in the program.
Improved communication and personal skills, developed leadership qualities, increased confidence and motivation.
5. Can you tell us about any challenges you faced as a mentor?
Besides finding the time to dedicate to the program and to my mentee, meeting via Zoom and later in person, the biggest challenge was to find exactly how I could help. My mentee had very relevant experience, a very good CV and cover letter, a great LinkedIn profile, excellent English and professional presence. I needed to understand what was missing that made him unsuccessful in his job hunt during the last two years! Employers in WA value, in my opinion too much, the so-called “local experience” and that was used frequently as an excuse. In my opinion, what he was missing was access to the local network. I moved to Perth in 2010 and through the years I have invested in networking, so I was able to introduce my mentee to a number of my contacts.
6. In your opinion, did you improve your cultural competency through participation in the program? In what ways?
Yes, I learnt a lot about Kurdistan, its culture and context. The training that was provided was of high quality.
7. Would you be more inclined to employ a skilled newcomer in your organisation, since undertaking the KMP?
I have always been open to newcomers. The program reinforced my beliefs in diversity and inclusion.
8. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?
It was an opportunity to have conversations within my network and I was positively impressed with the willingness to help from my contacts.
9. Do you think other professionals should start mentoring? Why?
Yes, so they can understand the difficulties that other highly qualified and experienced professionals have to deal with to get their first job in WA. It is rewarding to contribute to someone’s career and life and how much it impacts their families.
10. Do you have any tips that you would give to a new KMP mentor?
Introduce your mentee to your network.
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!
Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.
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.