This program was initiated by the New South Wales Premier’s Department’s Office for Women in 2004 and since 2007 the University of Newcastle has been participating in the program. ‘Lucy Mentoring’ places the student mentee under a mentor in the workplace for 35 hours where she has the opportunity to learn more about the corporate environment.
I was placed under Helga Smit, the Director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning. As a Master’s student in Business Administration at the University of Newcastle, these 35 hours with Helga were very valuable for my future career growth. During my time with Helga, I learned a lot about how an organisation works and how it is managed. Attending the different executive meetings, I understood the importance of each department in the organisation and how departments are connected. The most crucial understanding I gained from Helga was the importance of teamwork and communication. The smooth functioning of any organisation needs a firm base of teamwork amongst the employees and different departments as well. It is vital that everyone gives 100% to achieve the goals and aims of the organisation. Also significant is the management of all the employees to establish firm teamwork and maximise results. I learned from Helga about how to work with different personalities and situations in the workplace and gain the desired outcome which benefits the organisation and minimises conflict among team members. This is a very creative thing which individuals develop as they accumulate experiences from life.
Helga has held various senior management positions and lived and worked in different countries. She has learned to adapt in an evolving industry and her experiences and insights helped equip me for the challenges I will need to face in my future.
The most important thing I learned is to trust myself and never be discouraged by a difficult situation because every day, I am becoming stronger and more able to face the challenges of life. My mentee experience with Helga has taught me to believe in myself and to persevere.