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Young Sustainability Leaders Program – Speed Mentoring

I am fortunate to be a part of the 2018 Young Sustainability Leaders (YSL) Program, organised by the Adelaide Sustainability Association (ASA). The YSL Program offers 30 University of Adelaide students the opportunity to explore how sustainability can become a core component of their future career aspirations. The aim of the program is to provide us with the opportunity to develop our networks with industry leaders, take part in a structured mentoring program and attend events and seminars throughout the year focusing on living sustainably and professional development.

On the 28th of March the YSL program kicked off with a fast paced “speed networking” night. We were welcomed by the ASA committee and University of Adelaide Career Services for a quick briefing on what makes a successful mentor-mentee relationship. The take home message from this introduction was that the mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be from the same field of study and that often an external perspective can be more beneficial towards personal professional development.

We were fortunate to have over 30 mentors from a wide range of disciplines attend the event in what was an exhilarating and exhausting night of speed networking. The first round commenced as students and mentors were randomly paired. We were only given 2 minutes to quickly introduce ourselves, express our passions, future ambitions and listen to the experiences and wealth of knowledge of the mentor before… Time’s up… A shake of the hand, exchange of business cards and onto the next mentor.

Before I could properly catch a breath, an hour had passed and I had met some of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable industry leaders in sustainability. Mentors and Mentees were successfully paired based on a preference system; however, I have already reached out to numerous mentors from that night to arrange future catch ups and each mentor was as willing as the next to spend their time educating the next generation of sustainability leaders. I can safely say this event was the best mentoring experience i have ever had!

On behalf of the 2018 student cohort, I would like to thank each mentor for their commitment to the mentoring program and to ASA for organising the Young Sustainability Leaders Program of 2018.

Adam Tomlinson