In2science

Career benefits

for STEM mentors

In2science is committed to ensuring that you – our volunteer university mentors – get as much out of the program as you have given back to schools and students.

Through your In2science training, placement and professional development workshops you have built and refined your ‘soft’ and ‘transferable’ skills, which are invaluable career capital for STEM graduates. These skills are typically the top-ranked hiring criteria for graduate positions and internships, even above academic grades.

To help you take advantage of the professional development you gained through being an In2science mentor, we’ve prepared this guide on how to promote your In2science experience in graduate job or internship applications and on LinkedIn™.

In2science: your career capital

As discussed in the In2science post-placement career development workshops, promoting your In2science mentoring experience is all about showcasing the skills that employers value most and doing so in a way that helps you to stand out.

1. The increasing demand for 'soft' skills

Deloitte recently reported that ‘soft skills’ are just as important for modern employees as technical skills. ‘Soft’ skills include:

  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Resilience
  • Problem solving skills
  • Time management skills

Indeed, surveys of Australian employers repeatedly find that interpersonal and communication skills are given greater weight in hiring decisions than technical skills or academic grades. Your STEM qualification might make you eligible for the position, but it’s your ability to communicate effectively and to form productive interpersonal relationships that employers are ultimately looking for.

At the same time, employers typically view STEM graduates as being relatively weak in ‘soft’ skill development, compared to their non-STEM counterparts.

2. In2science and 'soft' skills

Fortunately for you, it’s these same ‘soft’ skills that were integral to your role as an In2science mentor.

Hence, when promoting your In2science experience, we recommend that you draw attention to the fact that as an In2science mentor you:

  • Learnt to communicate effectively with a wide variety of student audiences, conveying the excitement and importance of STEM in a way that was personally relevant to each student
  • Built strong interpersonal rapport with students over multiple meetings and nurtured these into two-way mentoring relationships
  • Developed creative solutions for challenges that you identified in the classroom and remained resilient whilst acting to effect change week by week
  • Balanced study (and work) with your weekly mentoring time commitments and In2science training sessions
  • Finally, you might like to mention your motivation for becoming an In2science mentor. What kind of social impact were you hoping to create? Which of your passions inspired you to volunteer your time for the program? This can speak volumes to potential employers about your personal attributes and character.

3. Get noticed on LinkedIn™

Despite the value and demand employers across STEM and non-STEM industries alike place on soft skills, fewer than 1% of Australians report possessing any soft skills on their LinkedIn™ profiles.

Since LinkedIn™ is used by almost 9 out of 10 company recruiters when selecting candidates, by showcasing your In2science mentoring placement on LinkedIn™ you can stand out as an exemplary STEM graduate.

Promote your In2science experience on LinkedIn™

Your profile - 'Experience' section

Due to current functional limitations of the ‘Volunteer Experience’ section on LinkedIn (e.g. searchability, endorsements), we strongly recommend that you list your In2science position on the main ‘Experience’ section of your profile.

1. Create a profile on LinkedIn. When viewing your own profile, click on ‘Add a new profile section’ in the top-right hand corner. Click on ‘Background’ and then ‘Work experience’ (more help on this step).

2. For ‘Title’, we recommend entering “Volunteer Peer Mentor”.

3. In the ‘Company’ field, type in “In2science” and select the option “In2science | Education Management” (with our logo) from the drop-down list that appears.

 

4. In the ‘Location’ field, enter ‘Victoria, Australia’

5. Enter ‘From’ and ‘To’ dates as appropriate to your In2science placement(s).

6. In the ‘Description’ field, we recommend you describe your mentoring role in a way that highlights the ‘soft’ skills involved, as described in the section above. You can also draw inspiration from the description of the In2science program on our website.

A couple of tips:

  • You can also list “In2science” as part of your university degree, under the category of “Activities and societies”.
  • Your LinkedIn profile is an ongoing work in progress, which you can refine over time, so you shouldn’t worry about it being perfect straight away. The ‘soft’ skills you developed through In2science will be relevant to every position you apply for, but the way you describe your In2science experience might change slightly depending on the industry / roles you’re aiming for.
  • Start your descriptions with strong, positive action words and use What + How + Why impact statements

Your profile - 'Skills' section

1. Create a profile on LinkedIn. When viewing your own profile, click on ‘Add a new profile section’ in the top-right hand corner. Click on the ‘+’ button in the ‘Skills’ section (more help on this step).

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2. Type in a skill you have gained through your In2science mentoring experience.

3. Once you’ve added one skill, you will have a ‘Featured Skills & Endorsements’ section on your profile. Scroll down to find this and click the ‘pencil’ icon next to ‘Add a new skill’ to add additional skills.

skills

A couple of tips:

  • We would recommend the valuable ‘soft’ skills described in the “Career capital” section above.
  • If appropriate to the types of roles you’re applying for, you can also add skills related to peer mentoring, STEM education, and science communication.

Skill endorsements and personal recommendations

Did you complete multiple In2science placements, or were you nominated for an In2science Award? If the answer is ‘yes’ and your placement was coordinated by one of the current In2science staff members, we’d be happy to ‘endorse’ the ‘soft’ skills relevant to an In2science placement and provide a personal recommendation for your LinkedIn profile.

To do so, add In2science to your ‘Experience’ section (see above*) and ‘connect’ with the relevant In2science staff member. Then simply follow the steps listed in this link to request a recommendation. (* LinkedIn only allows endorsements for positions listed in the ‘Experience’ section of your profile.)

Personalised career advice for In2science mentors

Speak with your In2science Coordinator

Your In2science Coordinator would love to help you make the most of your In2science mentoring experience. It’s the least we can do to thank you for your volunteering efforts!

After you’ve attended the In2science end-of-placement career development workshop and read through the guide above, have a chat to them about the kinds of graduate roles or internships that you’re thinking of applying for. They can help you to frame your In2science mentoring experience to best match the selection criteria and/or help you to set up a career counselling session (below).

Make an appointment with your university careers service

Each In2science partner university offers a careers service, with the option of individual, specialised careers counselling sessions (free of charge!). Qualified careers counsellors have extensive experience in helping candidates with graduate job and internship applications. They can help you to integrate your In2science mentoring experience into your cover letter, CV and selection criteria responses.

Case studies

STEM / industry
Jaydene Pearson

Graduate Engineer, Lendlease

“Being an In2science mentor helped me to develop crucial skills for this role.”

Alistair Grevis-James

Bioanalytical chemist, CSL Limited

“The In2science program was a critical stepping stone for my career.”

Teaching / education
Anthony Gonzales

Teacher, Epping SC

“My mentoring experience confirmed that teaching was what I wanted to do.”

Kathryn Sobey

Leading Teacher, Auburn HS

In2science “was so formative in cementing my desire to be a teacher.”