Katie Butterworth was one of our mentees on WIAN’s 2018/19 undergraduate Mentorship Programme. She studied B Laws (Hons) at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and was previously a graduate with B Social Science. She had 1-2 years of professional experience in entry level roles not relevant to international affairs upon starting the scheme. Katie wanted to join the mentorship programme due to her passion for human rights law, diplomacy, and peace-building, and in order to network with likeminded and driven women across the globe. Katie was paired with mentor Elena Killiakova, Policy and Research Assistant at the City of Ryde.
During the first couple of months of the scheme Katie was based in Newcastle, Australia, whilst her mentor Elena was based in Sydney. During this time they emailed weekly. Soon after, Katie relocated to Sydney, and since then they have caught up around once a month in person at different events. Katie had just secured a job soon after starting the mentorship scheme, so rather than focusing on CV editing or mock interviews, Katie sought industry knowledge from her mentor as well as greater awareness of her strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities to improve on these.
As a result of the scheme, Katie has said that her motivation to pursue a career in international affairs has increased massively. Coming from a smallish town, Katie expressed that it was an incredible experience being able to meet someone with the same interests and career goals as her, and she has gained a friend as well as a mentor from this programme.
Katie gained an increased confidence from the mentorship scheme, and an increased awareness of opportunities, saying that she now knows where to look for them. As well as this improved awareness, Katie now views these opportunities as attainable, and has the confidence to seek out opportunities or even create them herself.
When asked for advice for future mentees, Katie said: “I would definitely recommend the programme as I have had a great experience”.
She also advised prospective mentees not to be afraid to reach out to your mentor, and to be an open communicator. “Be honest with your worries or weaknesses in order to work on them and improve and ask for help in strengthening weaknesses and turning them into opportunities”.