Mentor: Maryanne Duggan
Current job title: Organisational development consultant, NSW Office of Finance and Services (OFS)
Q: Tell us about your current role, education and career history
I work in equity and diversity where I develop programs and policy for diversity groups. Key current projects include the development of a gender equity strategy and a women’s mentoring program for regional women. I have a masters in industrial relations and human resources from the University of Sydney. Apart from my role with OFS, for the past four years I have also worked as a casual tutor for the Work and Organisational Studies discipline at the University of Sydney’s School of Business.
Q: Why did you decide to become a mentor?
I have a lot of experience across management, HR and academia, and an interesting career trajectory, so I thought this might offer useful insights. I’ve worked part-time for the past 10 years, so it’s also an opportunity to show that a flexible career can be interesting, challenging and successful.
Q: What have you learnt from Rochelle?
A lot. She’s energetic, passionate about her career, interesting and, best of all, very funny.
Q: What do you hope Rochelle has taken away from the mentoring experience?
I hope she realises she has everything she needs to have an amazing career. She just needs to continue setting career and personal goals, networking, developing her skills, building relationships and, most importantly, believing that she can do it.
Q: What are your recommendations for mentees to get the most out of the experience?
This program is a great opportunity to expand your network. But don’t stop at this mentor experience. Be prepared to look for informal and formal mentors and role models elsewhere in your career and personal life.
Mentee: Rochelle Rutman
Current job title: National diversity senior consulting, Deloitte
Q: What did you get out of the mentoring experience?
When I signed up for the program, I was at a crossroads in my career and conflicted about the direction I wanted to go in. Maryanne is easy to talk to and helped me build my confidence, realise my potential and work through my goals.
Q: What has been the most important lesson from this experience?
One is having a mantra. It’s something I learnt about through yoga, but Maryanne brought it into a work context and taught me the power of personalising a career mantra. The second is that I’ve learnt it is possible to combine a successful career and an academic role – and have a fulfilling family life at the same time.
Q: Tell us about your first session with Maryanne.
We arranged to meet at her office and I was a bit nervous at first, but we hit it off right away and couldn’t stop talking. We set expectations and shared a bit about ourselves, and she presented me with a mentoring toolkit.
Q: How often did you meet?
Every month to six weeks, either my end of town or hers.
Q: What would your dream HR job be?
I recently landed it. In October I started a new role with Deloitte, specialising in diversity and inclusion, which has always been a passion. It has been a challenge moving from a generalist advisory role, and there’s so much to learn, but I’m excited about this new direction my career is taking.
Q: What advice would you give a mentee beginning the program?
Prepare. Think about what you want to get out of it and reflect on your objectives before your first meeting. Also, take the initiative. As mentee, it is your responsibility to drive the relationship. You will get out of it what you put in.
Applications are now open for the AHRI mentoring program. Find out more on the AHRI website.
This article is an edited version. The full article was first published in the May 2015 issue of HRMonthly magazine as ‘Mentor. Mentee’. AHRI members receive HRMonthly 11 times per year as part of their membership. Find out more about AHRI membership here.