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Mentors’ Breakfast

Queen Margaret College and the Old Girls’ Association held the annual Year 13 Mentor’s Breakfast in Term 2 at Premier House. We were lucky to have engineer and Old Girl Hannah Liddell as our key note speaker. Below are extracts from her speech:

Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. There is our “I want to be like them superstar” mentor, the career mentor, the “you can do it” mentor, the “out of the box” mentor, the “coach” mentor, and my personal favourite, the “stop taking life too seriously” mentor.

Funny thing about plans. The best ones are the ones that go wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in a good plan. But having the courage to change your plans in light of new passions or opportunities that might come your way – that’s even more important.

These days success is not so much a matter of learning the tools of the trade of a particular industry. That is no longer what sets us apart. We have robots or at least computers which can take care of most of that stuff for us. What sets you apart are your other skills – your ability to work with other people, to communicate, to learn and to listen is what sets you apart.

Me? I raced through my engineering degree, had a ball of a time travelling the world whilst doing it and four years later I found myself in the one of the best grad jobs in the industry that I could get my hands on….but I was still waiting for the passion part to kick in. I plucked up a bit of courage and asked one of the top dogs in my office out for lunch. After rambling on about my time hiking in various corners of the globe and talking about how I love losing myself in the outdoors, I asked her if she knew any fields of engineering that I would be well suited to. She looked at me rather blankly and said, “we’ve just been talking about it for the last half an hour haven’t we?” An example of mentoring at its finest.

I challenge you to find your passion. I challenge you to have the courage to take the opportunities that are not necessarily on the obvious path to success. I challenge you to chop and to change and to zig and zag, until you find something that you’re prepared to give ninety thousand hours of your life towards.