Jeremy's PACE Mentoring Story

Thu 1 September 2016

When Jeremy was preparing to enter the workforce, he applied for the PACE Mentoring program in the hope of receiving personal coaching from someone in the finance industry. Jeremy sought the guidance of a mentor to help him further his professional skills, such as networking, time-management, development and team leadership.

PACE Mentee Jeremy Kwok at PWC

“I wanted to get a better understanding of what life is like in the corporate workforce. I wanted to learn ways to continue driving my personal development beyond further study after my Bachelor degree.”

Jeremy wanted a mentor who could help him with these goals, but who could also provide insight into the industry he was studying.

“I sought to connect with someone in the industry, to be able to have someone to turn to if I had any issues or concerns regarding professional work.”

Jeremy was matched with a mentor from QBE, and the pair’s relationship began with Jeremy initiating their first meeting.

“I felt that this was great as it placed the initiative on me to reach out.”

Once they had met and developed a rapport, Jeremy met with his mentor once a fortnight over a period of three months. The pair used their meetings to talk about professional development, but in an open, informal, and supportive setting.

“I had a close relationship with my mentor – he was very kind, understanding and easy to get along with. We were able to talk informally and I felt like I could speak my mind.”

Not only did the experience grant Jeremy with an ocean of newfound knowledge, wisdom and skills, but also a long-term friend in his mentor.

“I learnt about how to network and maintain a vast number of relationships throughout my working life. I also learnt how to continue to learn and develop both my personal character and professional knowledge and skills, such as through reading industry reports and attending industry training. I also understood how to conduct myself in an interview and my personal strengths and skills, which I can bring to the table when talking to prospective employers.

“I also felt like I came away with a mentor and friend for the long-term, whom I could remain in contact with and talk to when I need guidance. I also learnt about my mentor’s story and experiences moving through uni and his career, to get a greater sense of what career progression might look like.”

After completing the program, thanks to an introduction to a director from his mentor and later completing AND’s Stepping Into program, Jeremy received an offer for a graduate position with PwC.

“I far exceeded my expectations, as the skills and understanding I developed helped me to secure a graduate position at PwC.”

Jeremy credits much of his success to the quality and sincerity of the advice his mentor gave him. For now, Jeremy plans on putting this advice into practice in his new position, but has bigger plans for the future.

“In the medium to long-term, I would love to mentor others and share what I have learnt from my experiences, particularly on how disability is certainly no barrier to entering the workforce, particularly at large organisations.”

One of the key things that both Jeremy and his mentor came to realise was that disability does not have to be a barrier to employment.

“Disability is something which employers and employees might feel uneasy about. But disability is no different from any other problem, issue or weakness we have in life. The only difference is that disability often manifests itself in a physical form that might call for adjustments.” 

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