Karl Klemm, current student, Bachelor of Business and Gavin Bain, Bachelor of Business (1999). Gavin is currently CEO of Meerkats, an award-winning Perth-based ad agency.
“Career-wise, I knew I wanted to do something in marketing, but I didn’t really know what. Taking part in the mentoring program gave me more of an idea about my career direction, for example deciding between agency side and client side. I hadn’t given much thought to the two sides until speaking to Gavin, who was able to give me some great advice to help me decide on a direction that would suit me.
I feel like you get a bit of an inside track by having an industry mentor. Rather than just having a lecturer telling you ‘here’s the theory of it’, you actually have someone who is working in the industry saying ‘this is what we do, this is what we find works’. This is how it actually happens. It really breaks down that theoretical wall.
It helped having someone who graduated from ECU as a mentor, as they know a bit more about how ECU operates. It also has a community feel to it, and I felt that my mentor would have similar values, which I don’t think you would necessarily get from someone else from a different uni.
I would definitely recommend students take part – I’ve already recommended it to other people.”
“Taking part in this program was about giving back for me. I mentor in other fields as well, and I find it enjoyable, as well as having a passion for helping people understand what our craft is actually all about. The people who take part in these programs tend to be motivated, ambitious and passionate, and so I find that rewarding.
Equally, these people are the leaders of tomorrow and I plan to be in this business for a while. Karl could be the next Marketing Manager looking for an agency connection and now I feel confident he would think of us – so it develops our business too in the long run.
Employers are looking to know what you have done above and beyond your university degree. They’ll be looking for something like this, which is why I think it is great for the students.
The program isn’t a single stand-alone opportunity for me, it’s actually something more – Karl can call me for anything going forward. And that’s the alumni connection I suppose, that you can make it mean more.”
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