Dylan's PACE Mentoring Story

Thu 1 September 2016

As an IT student at Deakin University, Dylan wanted to prepare himself for the transition from studying full time to starting a career. So when he was offered the opportunity to become a mentee at IBM through the Australian Network on Disability’s PACE Mentoring program, he jumped at the chance.

Dylan at IBM

“I was asked about the program by Deakin Student Life initially because I had disclosed my disability with them. At the time, I was doing some casual work, but nothing in the IT industry.”

When Dylan first met with his mentor, they took the time to get to know each other, and shared what they both wanted to get out of the program. For Dylan, this was not only to learn more about the industry he was studying, but also to prepare for the job application and interview process.

“It helped us structure our sessions – in the first few weeks we focused on resume improvements and interview techniques, and then as time progressed she introduced me to a few of her work colleagues at IBM which was great.”

About halfway through the program, Dylan’s mentor suggested that he apply for an internship at IBM for the following year. Though he didn’t expect anything to come from it, Dylan took his mentor’s advice and applied. In preparation for the internship, Dylan’s mentor took him through a mock interview, and guided him through the application process.

“It certainly prepared me in case I was called up for real!”

Dylan’s hard work and preparation paid off, and by the end of the PACE program he had secured an internship at IBM, which led to a permanent position as a Technical Consultant.

“I finished the program with more confidence, a better resume, and an internship at IBM! I had a couple of interviews after the program and got an offer toward the end of the year.”

As a jobseeker with disability, Dylan’s experience was that while in some cases disability can be a barrier to finding employment, applying for a position at an organisation that focuses on diversity can make all the difference.

“That’s where this program really helped me out, I had some initial concerns and so I was very fortunate to get a chance to meet employees and talk about those things.”

“I would highly recommend the PACE program. If you know what kind of career or job you want but are unsure of how to get there, this could be a great first step to get into the workforce.” 

For more information on PACE Mentoring, please contact Program Manager Stephanie Littlewood at stephanie.littlewood@and.org.au or 02 8270 9200.

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