CQUni mentor program shapes future business leaders

Published:06 November 2018

Celebrating the success of the 2018 Engage Mentor Program are (from left) Karen Reynolds (FK Gardner and Sons), Paul Harrigan (Glencore Hail Creek Mine), Lauren Dunne (Coombs Business Services), Aidan Cureton, Hannah Lewis, Sidonie Cromb, Kristen Lucas, Professor Lee Di Milia, Taitianna McGrath, Tamika Werder, Ashlee Chauntler, Amy Stratford, Program Manager Robyn Collins, Lee Jansen (Wisely Group), Dr Nicole Davis (Mackay Regional Council), Program Manager Maree Franettovich, Jade McAuley (Rebel Marketing), Justin Burnside (Glencore Hail Creek Mine), Marie Cameron (Glencore Hail Creek Mine).

CQUniversity Mackay’s Engage Mentor Program provides an opportunity for students to learn from successful local business professionals who are dedicated to enhancing the skills of the region’s future employment pool.

Now in its second year, the program is an initiative of the School of Business and Law in Mackay.

Supported by the Glencore Hail Creek Mine Community Development Fund, the program pairs CQUni students with mentors from esteemed organisations including Hail Creek, Mackay Regional Council and Wisely Group.

Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Business (Management) student Taitianna McGrath – one of eight handpicked students fortunate enough to be involved in the 2018 program – said the confidence her mentor, Dr Nicole Davis, instilled in her had encouraged her to seek out work-experience opportunities.

“Thanks to my mentor Nicole (Chief Operating Officer, Water and Waste, Mackay Regional Council) – who stressed to me the value of work experience – I was motivated to apply to the Achiever Program and was offered a work-experience placement at Bentleys in Brisbane in February,"  Taitianna says.

Bachelor of Business student Amy Stratford said her mentor, Wisely Group Corporate Services Manager Lee Jansen, helped her gain confidence and direction.

“Lee has encouraged me to find my voice and be confident to express myself,” Amy reflected.

“We also discussed my career options, and which subjects would be most relevant to the fields I’m interested in exploring including Human Resources and Corporate Governance.

“I now feel confident that I have the potential and opportunity to achieve great things.”

Business Lecturer Maree Franettovich said that, throughout the year, Engage Mentor Program students undertook a suite of engagement activities, including masterclasses and forums focusing on professional networking and branding, business etiquette, recruitment and selection.

“The program strives to equip students with skills that will enhance their employability and industry knowledge, and assist them with their transition into the workplace.

“The Engage Mentor Program also highlights regional career opportunities to students so that they may make a deliberate choice to live and work in the Mackay region.”

Glencore Hail Creek Mine Operations Manager Andrew McDonald emphasised the significant impact this program had on the region.

“By partnering with CQUni to deliver the Engage Mentor Program we are continuing to build the skills capacity of our region; this in turn benefits not just the resource sector but also a wide range of other industries,” he said.

CQUni Dean of Business and Law, Professor Lee Di Milia said education was integral to developing a skilled and innovative workforce and to ensuring a strong economic outlook for the Mackay region.

“Our students of today are – quite literally – the future leaders of our communities; engagement opportunities such as this provide our students with a competitive advantage,” he said.

“Thank you to all our mentors and other business professionals who have partnered with us on this project and generously committed time to providing our students with expert support and knowledge.”

Professor Di Milia noted the program had the potential to be rolled out across other CQUni campuses.

CQUni Mackay students who took part in the 2018 Engage Mentor Program (under the guidance of Program Managers Maree Franettovich and Robyn Collins) were: Amy Stratford, Ashlee Chauntler, Taitianna McGrath, Tamika Werder, Aidan Cureton, Hannah Lewis, Sidonie Cromb and Kristen Lucas.

Initially established as a two-year project with the first year (2017) as a pilot; the Engage Mentor Program has been so successful it will now be delivered for a third year in 2019.

Mackay region professionals interested in becoming a 2019 mentor are encouraged to call 0448 618 753 or email for more information and to register their interest.