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When opportunity knocks – a mentoring success story!

By 17 July 2023News, Profiles

By Rachel Ella

The story begins with Jaidyn, a Bachelor of Engineering student at RMIT University, who joined In2science in 2021 after meeting Will, the RMIT Program Coordinator at the time, at an online engineering expo. Jaidyn was immediately attracted to the In2science program because he was fortunate enough to be mentored in years 7 and 8 by his science teacher who “seeded” his interest in STEM. Jaidyn wanted to pay this experience forward, so he applied to be an In2science mentor.

During a successful placement at South Oakleigh College Jaidyn applied to be a part of our 2022 Mentor Leaders Program (MLP). The MLP is generously supported by Toyota Community Trust, and you can find out more about the amazing work they do in this companion article by Zach Wingrave. The MLP “flips the script” and the mentor becomes the mentee of an industry STEM Professional. Over a period of 8 months our In2science mentees had the opportunity to have regular meetings with their STEM Professional mentor to discuss career paths, interview techniques, resume writing, how to stand out in a crowd, and personal branding, among many other topics. Jaidyn took this opportunity with both hands and ran with it.

Jaidyn was paired with Dennis, Studio Engineering and Milling Manager at Toyota Australia. They shared a common interest in automotive engineering and a love of motorsport. Their meetings were held at the Toyota Centre of Excellence in Altona. During their meetings Jaidyn and Dennis would discuss Jaidyn’s career pathways, dissecting Jaidyn’s complicated thoughts about his future, as well as his presentation (resume building, interview skills, etc.) and his motorsport branding – Jaidyn is a passionate amateur rally driver. At the conclusion of the MLP in November last year, Jaidyn and Dennis spoke at our Wrap-up Event, describing the success of their mentoring relationship and the positive steps Jaidyn had taken in both his career path and personal branding in his motorsport pursuits. They also announced that Jaidyn had been offered a six-week internship at Toyota Australia as a Studio Engineering Coordinator in January 2023!

During the internship Jaidyn had “involvement in hand-clay modelling, 3D surface modelling for preparation of full-scale car, part design and prototyping and project management/Toyota design principles.” This is what Dennis had to say about Jaidyn at the completion of his internship:

“After being Jaidyn’s mentor last year, I got to know him very well and was impressed with his drive and passion. With the strong support from Toyota management, we were able to offer him the experience to temporarily work as Studio Engineer inside our design studio. He got exposed to all the different areas within our team; understanding not only the design‐thinking and development process, but also how Toyota approaches problems and works closely together to solve them. This is why I joined the In2science Mentor Leaders Program ‐ to give back to young STEM students and create motivated engineering leaders with real‐world experience.”

At the end of May 2023, Jaidyn commenced a part-time contract position as a Design Engineer to assist the Toyota Design Australia team with their sustainable development goals. This is what Jaidyn had to say just prior to commencing this position, about the opportunities he has been given:

“Surely, these opportunities would not have been presented if not for the generosity of Dennis, Toyota Design Australia, and the organisation of the student-mentor and MLP programs provided by In2science. For that, I truly am grateful and will continue to enjoy the student-mentor program and work hard when I start on Monday!”

So, the moral of the story… have the confidence to take your opportunities when they come your way. They may not come around a second time!

Thank you to Toyota Australia, Katarina Persic, and the team at Toyota Community Trust for their continued support of In2science and the MLP. A big thank you to Dennis for giving his time and expertise to mentor Jaidyn as part of the MLP. And congratulations to Jaidyn for having the confidence to back himself and work hard to attain the position he now holds at Toyota Australia. We hope you are proud of your achievements… I know we certainly are!