The Art of Networking for Success: Mentor Rob McIlwraith and Mentee Mercy Atukunda’s Inspiring Story

Masters in Civil Engineering student Mercy Atukunda and her mentor, Rob Mcilwraith, Director at Axter Australia Pty Ltd

Earlier this month, I caught up with Masters in Civil Engineering student Mercy Atukunda and her mentor, Rob Mcilwraith, Director at Axter Australia Pty Ltd., to learn about their mentoring partnership and some recent exciting developments in Mercy’s career.

Mercy is no stranger to the power of mentoring, having participated in mentoring programs back in her home country of Uganda. When she came across information about Griffith’s Industry Mentoring Program, she jumped at the chance to get involved.  Her primary intention was to learn from experienced professionals and to expand her local network.  As an international student, Mercy recognised the importance of gaining insights into trends and practices specific to Australia’s engineering landscape. She found exactly that when she requested Rob McIlwraith to be her mentor.

International student Mercy Atukunda, hailing from Uganda, jumped at the chance to get involved in Griffith’s mentoring program.

Rob joined the IMP in 2018 and has a wealth of global engineering experience and technical knowledge. He is passionate about the power of networking and providing students with a broader perspective on their future careers.   His unwavering commitment to helping Mercy expand her network in Australia resulted in Mercy gaining a part-time role with Engeny, where she is now gaining valuable industry insight and experience while continuing with her studies. When asked how this came about, Mercy said, “Rob generously extended invitations to me for several networking events and site visits, helping me make many connections that I would not have found otherwise.”  It was one of these networking opportunities that eventually landed Mercy the opportunity to deepen her learning about the Australian engineering industry with Engeny.

Rob and Mercy’s great rapport was obvious during our catch up, and I witnessed firsthand how Rob’s generous and insightful advice has helped empower Mercy to make informed decisions about her career path.  Mercy expressed her gratitude for the support, guidance, and encouragement that she has received from both Rob and the IMP Team and said that participating in IMP was “an amazing experience”.  Rob warmly added, “Being part of Mercy’s career journey has been a rewarding experience and I look forward to our paths converging in the future”.

In a world where information and connections are key drivers of success, the partnership between Rob and Mercy is a timely reminder of the way that mentoring can bridge the gap between potential and achievement.

The outcomes from this connection are a testament to the impact of a dedicated mentor on the trajectory of a mentee’s career, and that through mentoring, any professional can contribute to the future of the entire industry.

For more information please contact:
Breeda Crowley
Industry Mentoring Coordinator, Student Success, Griffith University
Phone: +61 7 5678 0573
Mobile: 0449 618 616
Email[email protected]
Program Email[email protected]
Website: www.griffith.edu.au/careers-employment/industry-mentoring-program