Anthony Vassallo FAIM is the business manager at Redeemer Lutheran College in Brisbane. His mentee, Jennifer Bisley AIMM, is based in Bundaberg as regional manager, curriculum support (North Coast region) at Queensland’s Department of Education and Training. Despite being 360km apart, they have talked each fortnight for the past year to set goals, discuss challenges and share ideas. Vassallo says mentoring is “a valuable refresher course” and Bisley believes it’s an essential part of professional and personal growth.
Why did you join AIM’s mentoring program, Member Exchange?
Jennifer Bisley: I wanted someone to talk to on a professional level who was totally impartial. It was great timing because I was experiencing enormous changes at work. Anthony wasn’t playing in my sandpit, so I could speak openly and confidentially with him.
Anthony Vassallo: I worked for many years in German banks where they had apprentices, and I was a mentor then. I found it very satisfying to help people develop their careers. When this AIM opportunity came up, I decided to become involved.
What did you learn from each other?
JB: What didn’t I learn! I learned practical applications for my role. Through Anthony, I was able to look at challenges or problems through a different lens.
AV: Jenny thinks a lot about the kind of leader she wants to be and this helped me to reflect on the type of leader I am and how I can improve.