Mentees are building up their career-confidence with PACE

Two pictures put together. First picture is of a man smiling, sitting in a Cafe. Second picture is of a woman standing outside, smiling.

Left to right: former PACE mentees turned Stepping Into interns, Liam Moskvitch and Sarah Testa.

Our programs at AND build capability and skill for both business and people with disability.

For students who have minimal exposure or experience with the workforce, the PACE mentoring program has been instrumental in building confidence, expanding knowledge and preparing them for the world of work.

In 2019/20, after a successful round of PACE mentoring, multiple students were able to build their professional skillset and achieved internships in the 2020/21 Stepping Into intake, all through the guidance of their experienced mentors.

This article explores the learning and growth of candidates through the PACE program into our Stepping into Program.

PACE as a tool for building recruitment confidence

Mentees participating in the PACE program found that their recruitment confidence increased. For Liam Moskvitch, former PACE mentee, this confidence led him to a Stepping Into internship.

“I certainly found that the skills I developed with my mentor really helped me during both the recruitment process and working in the internship.”

Liam says that being able to have his mentors support throughout the recruitment process made it easy to know if he was “on the right track with my application and interviews.”

“I knew that the improvements that I worked on with my mentor would improve my overall presentation to the potential employer,” he says.

Liam, former mentee from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, secured an internship with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

PACE as a platform to explore career options

Unsure of where she wanted to go professionally, former PACE mentee Tracey* turned Stepping-Into intern credits PACE in assisting her with her career direction. Tracey formed a great connection with her mentor and continued to stay in touch after the program finished.

“Going to AND was a great choice for me,” she says. “I’m so grateful for these programs.”

PACE taught her how to apply for jobs in a wide range of industries and how to professionally transition into the workforce. Tracey was able to discuss career goals and aspirations and learn interview techniques which assisted easing her into the Stepping Into program.

PACE as a program to practice interviews

For PACE mentee Sarah Testa, PACE was instrumental in building her confidence and enhancing her skillset. Sarah’s Rabobank mentor taught her resume writing and how to communicate and present herself professionally.

Sarah’s mentor also organised a mock virtual interview to allow Sarah to practice her interview skills.

“I was able to make sure I spoke slowly and with clarity for the interview.”

Through the mock virtual interview, Sarah was able to reflect and gain professional feedback from her mentor. She used this feedback to assist her in the Stepping Into placement interview – where she was successful for the internship.

“I highly recommend doing the PACE program before Stepping Into, because a mentor can provide invaluable skills for internships and career development.”

Sarah secured an internship with Sanofi-Aventis.

PACE brings benefits for business and students alike

PACE provides benefits for mentees and mentors alike. Mentors in participating organisation develop their leadership skills and build up their disability confidence. Mentees have a first-hand look into the workplace, develop their skills through the guidance of their experienced mentor and build their networks.

The relationships PACE facilitates doesn’t have to end once the program does; 90% of mentees stay connected to their mentor after PACE has finished. Additionally 54% of mentees also stay connected to other networks they met through the program.

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