Emily Rose, 8 May, 2018
Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass! – Paul J. Meyer
Vanessa McCormack first came across this quote while completing her undergraduate degree.
“It took me six years to complete a diploma and my first degree, then a further three years to complete my masters, all whilst working full-time,” she said. She read the quote often during this time to keep her focused on her goal: to become a Human Resources (HR) Manager.
After achieving this, she developed and ran an HR Graduate program to support others starting out in their profession.
“Early on in my career, I saw the value in being mentored and in mentoring others,” Vanessa said.
Research has shown that workplace mentoring is associated with positive outcomes such as job satisfaction and performance for both the mentor and mentee. Being a mentor may also lead to increased perceived career success and connectedness to one’s organisation. However, only 54% of women have access to senior leaders who act as leaders or informal career sponsors (Leaders and Daughters, 2017). Promoting mentoring opportunities for women may lead to more women in leadership, which leads to improved organisational outcomes (LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co).
In 2013, Vanessa met Andrea Corcoran, Queensland State Director and Executive Coach and Facilitator at Stephenson Mansell Group. She is also a Graduate School of Business Executive Coach.
“We discussed the QUT Women in Leadership Excellence Scholarship, which encourages diversity and promotes gender equality and women in leadership roles. My application was successful, and the scholarship provided full tuition to undertake a Graduate Certificate in Business and complete the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) for Queensland public sector employees.”
She was also provided with three executive coaching sessions with Andrea, which allowed her to gain clarity and translate ideas into actions.
“Coaching can help you see possibilities, and enthusiastically go after them,” she said.
“I have grown as an individual, challenged myself with new concepts and ideas, and been able to integrate and apply my learnings to enrich my career,” she said.
Vanessa now mentors others, a role she finds the most rewarding part of her career. One of her mentees, QUT graduate Gabrielle Di Mauro, assists with project work at the State Library Queensland.
“Gabrielle adds value each day to this work and other work of the team, and will draw on what she is learning in years to come,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa is also a member of the Australian National Committee for UN Women, a role she says is an opportunity to give back to the community.
“Ultimately it’s about being able to accept and provide support as a mentor that is important to career success.”
This, she said, can make all the difference.
 Ghosh, R. & Reio, T.G. (2013). Career benefits associated with mentoring for mentors: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83, 106-116.