Jamie and Joseph's PACE Mentoring story

Fri 1 January 2016

AND’s mentoring program aims to give students or jobseekers a range of skills and advice about entering the workforce, as well as providing mentors with a rewarding experience.

Participants in Commonwealth Bank’s (CommBank) 2012 mentoring programs recently provided excellent feedback about their experiences, claiming the program to be beneficial and rewarding. 

 In 2012, CommBank offered two mentoring programs, providing opportunities to over 20 students and jobseekers with disability. During the second program, Australian Network on Disability and CommBank worked in partnership with Vision Australia, Northcott Disability Services and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia.

University graduate Joseph Kadib was eager to be part of the program.  Joseph had recently graduated with a Master degree in International Relations, and wanted to gain a related job in a government agency, which is a highly competitive process. He was mentored by Jamie Williams, Manager at CommBank, who guided Joseph through the job seeking process.

“I was blessed to have such a great mentor in Jamie,” said Joseph.  “He gave me great career advice. He was fair and realistic in the types of roles I should be applying for, explaining how these roles would put me in a strong position to progress up the career ladder. This allowed me to pin point the roles I needed to target.

“Jamie also helped me improve my resume. He explained what employers look for, which allowed me to prepare the right approach. Prior to the program, I had underestimated the amount of research that I needed to do before an interview."

Mentor Jamie Williams read about the program on his employer CommBank’s intranet and applied to be a mentor. He met once a week with Joseph, who was unemployed at the time.

“Joseph was the perfect candidate for the program,” he said. “He was eager to learn, was very proactive in booking weekly meetings, and his positive attitude was infectious.

“Joseph’s main goal was to get a job. I would set things for him to do, such as behavioural questions he had to answer. Then we’d go through his answers in our next session, and I’d give him feedback." 

Joseph had previously struggled to answer behavioural questions, but Jamie’s tips helped him to address this weakness and to become proactive in his job seeking.

“Jamie also outlined a structure for me to implement in my job seeking,” said Joseph. “This involved the number of jobs I should be applying for, along with the time I needed to spend daily. He also encouraged me to call up and find out the reasons why my application was rejected, to better prepare me for future applications.

“On a personal level, Jamie highlighted my strengths, which gave me great confidence. He emphasised how travelling can help a person to develop, so I have taken the first steps in exploring the world. Jamie highlighted how being independent would help in building confidence and self-belief.”

Jamie noticed the effects of their relationship over the weeks. “I noticed his confidence grew over time. He just needed someone to give him information and advice. He was a quick learner and took everything on board. I coached him for a particular interview – he hadn’t prepared in that manner before.”

Joseph was successful in gaining a customer service role at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, which he commenced two months ago.  

“I was very happy for him,” said Jamie. “I was one of the first people he called to let me know. That’s rewarding.

“I have nothing but admiration for Joseph. He has tried hard and really applied himself to the mentoring program and achieving a job, proving his drive and resilience to succeed. Hopefully our relationship will continue for a long time. The CommBank Diversity Support Mentoring program is a great initiative and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to make a difference in someone life.”

“It’s definitely worth it,” said Joseph. “It’s a chance to talk to someone more experienced in life. It might have taken me longer to get a job, without Jamie’s support.”

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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