Learning the Ropes inspires and connects our young professionals
Wednesday, 30 August 2023

On June 1st this year we hosted our fourth edition of the career conversations event Learning the Ropes.   This biennial event recognises how valuable it is for students to hear real-life stories from graduates about their often-unconventional career pathways.    

The evening began with a panel of graduates from 2012 and 2013, expertly facilitated by Rhiona-Jade Armont (OA2013) who each shared their varied career journeys since leaving school.  

Studying in unusual ways at a variety of institutions, both in Sydney and overseas, their tales of straight, bumpy and curvy pathways since graduation were insightful and entertaining. It was a wonderful way to commence the evening and set the tone for the rest of the event. 

After the panel discussion, students and parents were invited to engage in casual conversations, either 1:1 or in small groups, with more than 85 Old Andrean and Hessian volunteers (parents of Old Andreans), who were at various stages in their career journeys, across more than 50 industries.  

The relaxed conversations worked very well, with students confident to ask questions and discover some of the joys and pitfalls of both study and work. 

Lynley Hurst (OA2013) said: “I wished this event existed when I was in school, which is why I come back and volunteer as a mentor every two years”.  

Recent graduates from a variety of tertiary institutions were also in attendance to chat to students about their experiences of university life. 

A programme with the biographies of each industry volunteer was made available prior to the event, allowing the students to select who they wished to speak to on the night.   

One Year 12 student who is unsure of her next steps said the programme was particularly helpful as she could choose who to speak to by looking at which school subjects she had in common.  Those conversations gave her some new career ideas and opened her eyes to new possibilities. 

Out of the many conversations had, a number of students were offered work experience, mentoring and even internships. 

Lyn Jarvis, Director of Community Engagement said: “We are most grateful to be able to partner with our Old Andreans for this event. 

“Building networks of connections between current students and graduates is invaluable.”