3 minute read
Student employability initiative, Momentum, offered by The Australian National University (ANU) College of Business and Economics (CBE), gave mentee Meichen Liu the tools she needed to be successful in her CBE Internship.
Momentum pairs students with industry mentors who help them navigate the transition from university to working life. Throughout the initiative, both mentees and mentors have access to professional-development workshops run by the College and facilitated by industry guest speakers.
Meichen was mentored by Tianchen Wang, a Senior Consultant at Deloitte and CBE alumnus, who specialises in Finance Transformation and Technology Consulting. Tianchen noticed a gap in his professional experience when initially seeking employment, and felt he could contribute to the career development of other graduates through Momentum.
“I struggled when I was looking for my first job, and I would have appreciated someone from industry sharing their knowledge about career planning,” he says.
“Momentum is a fantastic opportunity for me to help students become job ready.”
Though the initiative is run for the benefit of students’ development, mentors also have plenty to gain from it.
“It’s a great platform to keep me updated with current students’ thoughts and insights, and helps me develop new perspectives,” says Tianchen.
Meichen is in the final semester of her Master of Business Information Systems. In Semester 1, 2023 she undertook an internship with CBE’s Student Services team. Her primary tasks were to deliver a new work manual and checklist to improve the on-boarding system.
In her interview, Meichen reflects on the advice Tianchen gave, which increased her efficiency in her internship, and the development opportunities that Momentum provides.
Q. Why did you decide to participate in the Momentum initiative? What was a highlight of your experience?
I discovered the Momentum initiative on CBE’s social media and saw that it offers one-on-one mentorship with industry seniors. As a third-semester student, I craved guidance and feedback from experienced professionals. I think the most exciting part was the last Momentum workshop, when I had a chance to speak with Madeline Bonfini, a director at RD Consulting and an ANU alumna. Madeline gave me valuable suggestions about building my personal brand for the consulting industry.
Q. You’re currently interning with the Student Services team at CBE. How did Momentum prepare you for the professional responsibilities you currently have?
The workshop on communication that I attended as part of Momentum provided valuable insights for my current internship role with the Student Services team at CBE. I learned important techniques like maintaining eye contact and using appropriate language in multicultural settings to prevent misunderstandings.
Momentum also helped to develop my teamwork skills, effectively preparing me for my internship, which includes collaborating with members of the Student Services team at all levels.
Q. What was some key advice your mentor gave you? What skills did you gain or enhance that you didn’t realise were important?
My mentor, Tianchen, emphasised the importance of being proactive and straightforward in the Australian business context. This advice has empowered me to confidently voice my ideas and concerns to senior colleagues, and actively collaborate with my peers during my internship. In particular, I realised that it’s ok to reach out to others when I have concerns or questions. Previously, I was overly cautious as a newcomer to the office, and didn't fully grasp the importance of knowing when to seek assistance or clarification from my colleagues.
Q. Why would you recommend Momentum to others?
I highly recommend Momentum to others for several reasons. Participating in the workshops and activities offered as part of Momentum has significantly enhanced my ability to work collaboratively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and contribute to shared goals. It has also been crucial in improving my critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential in a professional setting.
Additionally, Momentum provides a unique opportunity to learn from the experiences of industry experts, as well as useful insights on building a strong personal brand. This experience has been invaluable in equipping me with the necessary skills and mindset to thrive in real-world industries.
Applications to be a mentee or mentor for Momentum in Semester 2, 2023 close Sunday 18 June. Click here to find out more and apply.
The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.