Momentum for the future

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4 minute read

The Australian National University (ANU) College of Business and Economics’ (CBE) professional-development initiative Momentum continues to be a success in its vision of making students work-ready.

Momentum pairs industry professionals with CBE students to create a mentor-mentee relationship that develops competitive graduates who can confidently enter the workforce.

The initiative complements the mentee’s academic studies and provides a strong foundation for continued professional development.

For ANU Students' Association representative and mentee Isha Singhal, the initiative fulfilled its vision.

“Momentum has given me insight into what employers expect, and what they don’t, and contributed to changing my perspective on skill-development for the workplace,” she says.

Isha is in her penultimate year of a double degree in Economics and Science at ANU. On top of being a student representative, she’s also an active volunteer in many student societies, and volunteers at United Nations Youth Australia and the United States Embassy Youth Advisory Council.

Currently working as a Policy Officer with the Department of Education, Isha hopes to pursue a career that will have a positive impact on society. It’s for this reason that she signed up for Momentum in Semester 1, 2022.

“I wanted to understand how I could develop myself both personally and professionally, and gain an industry perspective on my career goals,” she shares.

“Momentum has helped me feel less intimidated by the workplace. I have a stronger understanding of how I fit into it and what skills are valuable there.”

In this interview, Isha provides details on how Momentum has set her up for success and why she recommends it to other CBE students.

Q. What’s the best thing about your Momentum experience so far?

My mentor has been very supportive and has provided a good industry perspective. They encouraged me to consider things I hadn’t previously considered, and also helped me grow as a person.

Q. What insights are you gaining about effective communication?

Consistent communication is vital. I’ve learned that it’s important to communicate regularly and timely rather than sporadically. Sometimes communication can be daunting – especially for difficult conversations – but it’s better to have difficult conversations early rather than leaving them to the last minute.

Q. How has the Momentum initiative challenged or changed your views of what to expect in the workplace?

Momentum has taught me that there is no ‘one workplace’. Listening to my mentor’s experiences helped me realise that all workplace environments are different, and you need to be prepared to adjust your expectations and adapt. There is a lot out there, and it is important not to box yourself into one idea or way of understanding, especially early in your career.

Q. What skills are you developing that you didn’t know you needed?

Stepping out of my comfort zone. I realised that while it can be very easy to find a comfortable area and stick to it, in order to keep growing it is important to take steps outside your comfort zone and try something new

Q. Has Momentum changed your ideas on what you want for your professional life?

Momentum has made me think more about what I want from my professional life, and not just what my professional life wants for me. I’ve realised that the best professional life is one where you are a good fit, and that can only happen if you take time to understand where you belong.

Q. What is a key lesson you’re learning or have learned in this experience?

I’m learning how to look at the bigger picture. My interactions with my mentor and the Momentum leadership workshops have forced me to think about a number of important questions, such as who I am and what I want to do with my life, and to think more about the bigger picture rather than individual elements.

Q. What do you think is the biggest barrier for graduates commencing their first professional roles?

Understanding where they fit. You don’t know what you don’t know, and as a graduate you are often exposed to different types of work, so it can be hard to understand what one’s purpose is meant to be. This is why it’s important to set aside time for self-reflection so you can learn more about yourself and what kind of work environments you enjoy.

Q. Would you recommend Momentum to others, and why?

Yes! Momentum gives you a chance to get support and guidance from an industry mentor that you cannot get elsewhere. The initiative has helped me grow personally and has given me skills that will greatly benefit me in both my personal and professional life.


The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.