Global mentors for Monash University students

8 October 2015

The value of a mentor both personally and professionally to provide guidance, support and advice is almost universal. However, in the aid and development sector, identifying, approaching and building a mentoring relationship can be far from easy or natural.

Monash University Faculty of Arts
Study Master of International Development Practice at Monash (Photo credit: Monash University)

Dr Samanthi Gunawardana, Course Coordinator for the Master of International Development Practice at Monash University and professional development consultancy WhyDev have collaborated to create Colab m, an online mentoring program. Colab m facilitates a unique, two-way learning experience, between Monash Master of International Development Practice students and experienced development practitioners from around the world. The program has been designed as part of a collaborative research project that examines employability skills in development sector work.
“Colab m is intended to enrich students’ university experience by helping them understand and build the knowledge, skills and tools required for a career in international development,” said Dr Gunawardana.
The program will pair 23 aspiring and entry-level development workers with development professionals from around the world. During the 14-week program, mentors and mentees will spend up to four hours each month working through custom-designed mentoring modules, building a relationship, discussing development practice and sharing knowledge.
According to Brendan Rigby, co-founder of WhyDev the program also has more far reaching applications.
“Although this pilot is exclusively for Monash students, WhyDev’s vision is to roll out this program globally for students, volunteers and practitioners in the development sector within 18 months,” Brendan Rigby said.
The Master of International Development Practice is designed to address the complex political, economic, cultural and ecological challenges contributing to extreme poverty, reduced health, environmental vulnerability and fragile governance, factors that affect the well-being of millions of people worldwide.
WhyDev provides professional development and consultancy services to individuals, communities, and organisations committed to global development. WhyDev work in areas that are often overlooked, by supporting and building the capacity of individuals and communities committed to getting development right.

What is International Development Practice?

Delivered by specialists from the humanities, social sciences, medicine, business and economics, education and law, the course offers a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainable development with four streams: Democracy, justice and governance; Gender, conflict and society; Crisis, change and management; and Sustainable resource management.
Program: Master of International Development Practice
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Duration: 1 / 1.5 / 2 years (depending on candidate’s background)
Semester intake: February or July each year

Apply to Monash Master of International Development Practice!


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