Mentor investor

Nina Calski (MBusLaw 2012) has been a mentor with Monash University's Alumni–Student Mentoring Program since 2011. "What I like about the program is that it is about the young generation....

Nina Calski (MBusLaw 2012) has been a mentor with Monash University's Alumni–Student Mentoring Program since 2011.

"What I like about the program is that it is about the young generation. They are the future of this country, therefore it is important to invest our time and energy to build their competencies," she said.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the program, which was established to help provide direction to students as they move from study to a career.

Mentors aim to encourage their mentee's creativity and self-awareness and assist them to acknowledge and work with their strengths and weaknesses.

To date the program has united 1000 mentors and students.

Ms Calski, a risk management consultant, was inspired to become a mentor by her own experience as a mentee: "I had a great experience as a mentee and I wanted someone else to experience the same encouragement and support."

The program matches students with mentors who have similar qualifications and careers in their area of interest.

"My mentee in 2012 was Master of Business student Solange Pivan. From the beginning Solange was very clear about what she wanted to get out of the program, so I knew exactly how I could help her," Ms Calski said.

"We discussed career strategies and developed her curriculum vitae. We also developed a friendship that goes beyond the program. I have since helped her prepare for job interviews and advised her about how to present herself in relation to her capabilities."

In addition to her mentoring role, Ms Calski is an alumni representative on the Business and Economics Faculty Board.

"All of my volunteering work is with Monash University because that is where my interests lie," Ms Calski said.

"I had such a great experience as a student. I enjoyed being part of the Monash culture and had great tutors and lecturers during my study.

"I want to give my time and share my experience in the hope that others can have the same great experience that I had."

Ms Calski encourages other alumni to consider volunteering at the University.

"The rewards will be greater than you can ever imagine," she said.

"It will expand your skills into areas you would never have expected.

"It is also important to set a good example for young people. They may be more likely to become mentors themselves or participate in other volunteer work."