I started to commit this opportunity since 25th August 2020 until the 22nd October 2020. Met with my assigned mentor @Dragana, every week for a minimum of 30 minutes. And attending 2-hour group sessions every Thursday which this year all meetings are held virtually through online collaboration tools — Webex Teams and Meetings.
What did we get from this following 3 months (once a week//2 hrs meeting every Thursday)? In a nutshell, I am summarising the information that turns into insights, things that I learned and would like to share to remind myself and others wanting to pursue in IT industry.
Earn a Certificate
When you complete the MentorMe program, it is about 180 participants, this exposure to Cisco combining undergraduate & masters across Australia and New Zealand virtual experience program. Due to this interest and number of universities involved, at times I always have to do extra to catch up with uni work, to ensure I am not overlapped with others exams or study stuffs. Being proactive by asking questions and connection, we all earn a personalised completion certificate to share with prospective employers and your professional network.
Be seen by Cisco
The power is in your hands. Opt in to share your work and profile with other mentors and mentees in the program. I connected with Cisco’s country manager, Cori Drogemuller, and she told us how her career went from non-technical to work in IT services, one of the best tactics to build technical and Sales teams across Asia Pacific.
“Tree growth in relation to the environment — just like a small bonsai, which is a tree that could grow/or not grow depending on the pot they placed. We are attentive to the needs of our beloved and appreciated plants (inner), makes sure that they have water, that the light is not too much and that the “place” where they are is comfortable so that they grow healthy and happy.”
Joining Cisco’s top products and getting to know the ‘more’!
5G — serious talk and innovation crisis by Daniel Hutchins,
Cisco Meraki — well, it is basically managed technology-based, from an intuitive, feature-rich interface, enables
organizations to rapidly roll out digital initiatives to stay ahead of business demands. Backed by over 10 years of data and insights. The current portfolio, extensible with open APIs, includes wireless, switching, security, SD-WAN, intelligent network insights, endpoint management, and smart cameras. With Sam Lloyd Green and Wendy Bechara.
This program is like an insider perspective and personal journey to
Career Journey (**very inspirational**) — Our guest speaker which is inspirational to be different and memorable is Miyuki Suzuki. She’s our inspirational guest speak from CISCO’s on the leadership topic. President of APJC! Her session is called Leadership for today and tomorrow! Any question is fair game — it could be about imposter syndrome, her guiding principles, what she sees as the role of the future, skillsets, speaking up in a male dominated environment. She has a wealth of experience and very wise.
Are you interested in delving into topics like Cybersecurity, Linux, IoT and Python? Don’t forget to take advantage of the Cybersecurity courses and earn a digital badge! There is the Introduction to Cybersecurity and Cybersecurity Essentials. A great way to start your certification ahead, learn something new and venture away from the ordinary and move toward new career possibilities. Start exploring the courses here: https://www.netacad.com/explore-something-new!
Take a glimpse of each career in IT
Business analyst — Padmaja Ravikumar
Cisco’s partnership and innovation — by Tom Goerke
UI/UX designer — Patricia Erdei
Data analyst — Adam Paruk & Emma Muscat
Cyber Forensics — Corien Vermaak and Marleese Attilakos
Purpose, Passion, and power of one girl — Jane kennedy and Barbara Harvey
# What I wrote here was our own exercise of flower petal, and here are their social media: https://www.facebook.com/agirlandherworld/
Tenacity (wow from a marine girl) — by Sionhan Sturdy, Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Australian Navin Perth
#recommend ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ yas girl!
Have your job application prioritised
It’s important to stand out when you apply for a job. This year is interesting since Covid-19 shifted all employees and employers to utilise online for your application to be prioritised for review when you apply for job application.
What is your own petal flower? Read mine and you can create yours too! What I learn from seeing good example of good and bad resume.
Data-Driven Design in Practice
Brand’s approach to several tools. Pratiwi’s tool-stack, and show practical examples of how they combine quantitative and qualitative data to identify user pains, shape their digital products and answer the difficult question: “What should we be developing right now?
Resources that we shared and for me it is very helpful: https://www.fitt.org.au/resources/
Community groups I attend to in Sydney:
Women's Agenda | News for professional women and female entrepreneurs
Governance Institute's National Conference 2020 gives you unparalleled access to, 45+ the national and global leaders…
Make your CV and LinkedIn stand out
You’ll be able to include this experience on your CV and LinkedIn profile. Demonstrate that you’re ambitious, hardworking and have developed valuable practical skills. Hahaha smiling but not smiling inside. What is memorable from this sessions also include CISCO HR/recruiter, @Kate Hedley, @Adela Amanowicz, and @Stephanie Norris. 🙂🙂 #stillunemployed #sinnerforresume #continuouslearner
Understanding ourselves using Gallup Clifton strengths finder assessment
This is introduced to me and seriously I could not thank enough, tools that I think very accurate and recommend for everyone. You can read me more and sign up for free account to get yours here: LINK below
Those weeks we discussed with @Angela Charlton, we discussed the majority 8 out of 10 are learner. No wonder every woman participating are enthusiastic and super friendly!
Do it in your own time
Fit the MentorMe program: Undergraduate & Masters across Australia. Virtual Experience Program in with your busy schedule. Learn at your own pace and reach your personal goals.
I committed at least 30 minutes talk with my mentor in Cisco. At first, I was lost on what to say or ask beside getting to know one another and sharing that I basically need a working experience in IT. But, we managed!
My personal goal and expectations are putting myself useful to people surround me. Ultimately not like people pleaser, but it helps me to learn what is needed. Connecting me to what is important! It might be too much for me to grasp all the information in those 2 hours, but the recordings in Webex teams is very appreciated! Too much for uni student to rewatch our lecture, and these mentoring program’s recordings, so I make use of my time well by writing this blog.
Gain real work experience
Throughout the MentorMe program: Undergraduate & Masters Asia Virtual Experience Program, you’ll develop deep insights into what it is actually like to work at CISCO.
Cyber.. cyber.. Strong password and balance of using Spotify as everyday tools! I am amazed at how humble @Miyuki and @Corien talked, human to human, it does encourage me not to use buzz/hard words when we talk, it is not our time to shine! Look we need to be humble, that’s when our audience know that we are human just like they are 😊
Credits to Cisco! https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/trust-center.html
Learn direct from Cisco
A total of 26workshops with panel speaker. Undergraduate & Masters Asia Virtual Experience Program has been created by leaders at Cisco. You’ll receive instructions from the Cisco team and compare your work with real model solutions from Cisco.
Yes, I love hearing stories, this is also the reason why I am reminded to be grateful. We are privilege enough when we give
Trust starts with protecting the Cisco enterprise.
Leverage this experience in interviews
Next time you walk into an interview, you’ll be job ready with experience and an understanding of the role.
Here are some questions and answers that are compiled — Dragana recommended this interview skills ebook (it’s free) https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00AQ4CAFI
Some slide deck from the Resume & Interview Skills Workshop and here is the Recording and password — NdK5FKdB
Set yourself up for success
No more applying for jobs without knowing what the role involves. Build the confidence and practical skills that employers are looking for.
@Seema Hyne, @Holly O’Toole, @Mandy Jian, technology and MentorMe 2020s go to people :)
“Influence is the ability… For me it also includes how to present ourselves to others. The capacity to have others following or at least listen. This effect on the character development, or behaviour on someone can be learned by not receiving but to give an impact to others.”
Some of you may be thinking “I don’t know what to talk about with my mentor? that is like me seriously!”
- Lost??? This may be because you are looking for the path you want to take. So.. use open questions to explore what is out there. You don’t know what you like/don’t like if you don’t know what is out there. Talk about what type of activities you like and be specific with why. E.g. I like team work because I feel the interaction between teams gives me a belonging. By the way… being able to articulate yourself here will help your future interviews. At the end of the mentoring, your objective maybe to have more clarity about what path you want to take.
- I know?? If you know what you like and are sure, make sure you let your mentor know in the first session. If your mentor has different areas or expertise than you want,
- Option 1- Mentor can help schedule a session with someone that may align with your path
- Option 2 — Explore your mentor’s work role. I have always found that job role skills overlap. There is always something to learn. Organisation skills, people skills, presentation skills, networking skills, work ethics, working with a manager… etc.. these skills are needed in every role.
- At the end of your mentoring your possible objective is to have improved on a particular skills. If that is… think about how you will know you have improved. Where do you want to be?
Remember this is not high school anymore. You will not be spoon fed. So be proactive and start thinking.