It began in 2010 with just 12 students. An initiative of the NSW Government, Lucy Mentoring has since been delivered every year by Women in Engineering and IT at UTS. Last year the program paired 128 students with industry mentors, and as the 2024 program prepares to kick off, we’re inviting you to be part of it!
Help students build professional confidence
My mentee has achieved most of the goals as we planned. She is more confident in her role and what she is currently pursuing.2023 mentor
Lucy Mentoring is open to all cis- and trans- women and gender diverse people studying undergraduate degrees or Masters by Coursework at UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT. By connecting to industry in this way, students build career confidence, industry networks and knowledge, increase motivation to study and pursue a career in engineering or IT and get access to role models.
How does it work? After being paired with a mentor, students organise 20 hours one-on-one with their mentor and attend five mandatory events from March to September, including goal-setting workshops, a launch event, networking events, professional development workshops from industry partners and a graduation event.
Face to face mentoring sessions can include:
- Shadowing – attending meetings, design and development work
- Conversations over coffee to discuss student goals, progress and plans
- Meeting different people from across the business and understanding their roles
- Group discussions with other mentors and students
- Attending networking events with the mentor
Making an impact: stronger networks and industry connections
The program has increased my career confidence. I feel more confident about my skills/strengths, areas where I can improve, how I can improve and the more professional aspect of approaching employers and communicating with professionals. I am so grateful to be given this opportunity and for a mentor to volunteer their time to guide/mentor me.2023 Mentee
The Women in Engineering and IT team evaluates the outcomes of the Lucy Mentoring program each year. Our impact evaluation for 2023 shows that outcomes for students and mentors included increased career confidence, industry awareness, networks, and motivation.
You can also dive deeper into the experience and what it means for students in an article written by a mentee in 2022. Yashvi Luthra outlines what she learned from the process, and shares 5 mindset shifts she experienced in her ongoing interactions with two different industry mentors.
Give and take: benefiting as a Lucy Mentor
As you might expect, mentors have great feedback too, including the satisfaction and reward of giving back as well as learning about university student experiences:
I was able to share advice around the industry, the opportunities and how to present oneself to prospective employers. I benefited by being able to give back to a pretty incredible student.
It is always great seeing sparks in someone that you provide information to – I could see that I was offering information that was helping my mentee.
Gained knowledge about current studies, met other mentors, learnt about mentoring.
For some mentors, it also offers a chance for self-reflection and personal development:
I believe it has really challenged me to consider the problems which are faced today, as opposed to what I faced and adjust my leadership based on that. It has made me take note that personal stories are really important, and everyone’s life experience is different, so we need to be aware of unconscious bias.
It helped me realise where I had come from and where I am now, I am more confident and gained some more leadership skills from constant reflection of my career and the views of my mentee.
Ready to be a Lucy Mentor in 2024?
Lucy Mentors bring a diverse range of perspectives, from senior corporate leaders to former participants in the program who have now started their own careers. Generally, mentors have at least 2 years of professional work experience.
Can people of all genders be a mentor? Absolutely! We encourage women, men and non-binary people to contribute to bridging the gender divide in STEM.
What if you’re not an engineer or IT professional? All students applying to the program are studying Engineering or IT and may expect their mentor to have knowledge of the industry. If you are unsure, please apply and we will see if we can match you with one of our students.
If you’d like to chat more about getting involved, you can register for a short information session on Thursday 1st Feb (2:30pm) or Wednesday 7th Feb (11am). Mentor applications close on February 11th, and the program runs from March to September. We’d love to hear from you!