What's it like to be a mentee?
5 questions with Out for Australia mentee, Kamalika Dasgupta
What's it really like to be a mentee within the Out for Australia Mentoring Program? We asked one of our mentees, Kamalika, about her experiences with the program and how it's helped her grow personally and professionally.
OFA: Why did you apply to be a mentee with Out for Australia?
KD: I decided to apply for the program because I needed professional guidance on my career. I was looking for someone who had more experience in the finance or accounting field.
OFA: How does your mentoring relationship work on day-to-day basis? How often do you meet and what do you talk about?
KD: We usually catch up once a month, just to debrief about what's been happening. We talk about a lot of things, but I guess the main reason I contact him is for any professional and personal advice. One thing we've focused on is networking, and my mentor has really helped me to enhance my social skills in a corporate context.
OFA: Has your mentoring experience changed the way you looked at the issues and challenges that you face at work?
KD: Yes, it definitely has. I'm much more confident about my career path now, I think in part because my career goals are more clear and concrete. The issues and challenges I once faced in my job have now been resolved thanks to my mentor's guidance. Interestingly, I also feel quite inspired to do more for the LGBTIQ community.
OFA: What have you learnt by being a mentee?
KD: I've learnt that it doesn't hurt to ask for someone's help and advice, especially when they have more expertise in the area. Your mentor-mentee relationships will eventually develop into an excellent one if you're both on the same page. Not being afraid to ask for advice and support really helps you in the long run.
OFA: Many mentees join Out for Australia’s mentoring program in search of career advice and job-seeking skills. Can you share how being part of a mentoring relationship can be helpful when the time comes for job applications and interviews?
KD: I think it really depends on the relationship you share with your mentor. It can be a very positive life experience generally and you definitely feel more confident with that shared knowledge. Trust me, you'll already be one step ahead of other interviewees when the time comes. I know I am.