Melissa’s mentee experience leads to job success

Wed 4 April 2018

Positive Action towards Career Engagement or PACE Mentoring program, gives students and jobseekers with disability an opportunity to develop employability skills.

Last year, Melissa from Bracken Ridge in Queensland graduated QUT with a Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and was in her final year of a Graduate Diploma in Education. She’d been applying for graduate roles but was yet to find permanent employment.

Melissa’s experience with anxiety meant that interviews were often challenging. When QUT Disability Services emailed her about the PACE Mentoring program, she decided to apply.

“I wanted to be involved so I could get some professional guidance on how I could build confidence and improve my resume and interview skills”.

Australian Network on Disability (AND) matched Melissa with Jose Indopia from Cummins South Pacific (AND Gold Member). Jose was a Senior Project Manager, specialising in Electrical Engineering, who had volunteered to be a mentor as part of the PACE program.

Having had his own experience of living with disability, Jose wanted to participate in PACE to set an example of how determination can lead to professional success.

Throughout their meetings, Jose offered Melissa tips on application processes and how to make her resume stand out to employers. Jose even arranged a mock panel interview with his colleagues. After the mock interview, Melissa was given constructive feedback on her performance. 

“After I finished PACE, I submitted my resume to Indooroopilly State High School, where I was successful in obtaining an interview. Initially I was nervous, but I just relaxed and thought of the tips my mentor gave me. A week later I got a call from the principal saying that I had the job as a mathematics and science teacher.”

Melissa was once told she wouldn’t be able to be a teacher due to her anxiety, but she’s now in her second semester of high school teaching and has also taken on year 12 engineering classes.

“Not only do I get to use my postgraduate diploma in education, I also get to use my bachelor’s degree in engineering in the workplace!”

Find out more about PACE Mentoring

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