Like any risk professional, Jacob Butterick made sure he wasn’t leaving his career plans to chance when he signed up to FINSIA’s mentoring program.
After completing the Professional Banking Fundamentals course in 2022, the Bendigo and Adelaide banker opted to enhance his learning by signing up for mentorship.
“I’m pretty lucky to be at the organisation I'm at and I really enjoy being there,” Jacob says.
“But I am cognisant there's a big world out there and sometimes it's nice to get some independent advice and a fresh opinion - and that's something I've really been able to get through the FINSIA program.
“I've had a great mentor. Someone who I've gotten to know. I've got some great guidance from my mentor.
“In addition to that, it was great to speak to someone who in an ideal world is where I want to be one day.
“My mentor is a Chief Risk Officer. I’m currently working in Group Risk and maybe that’s the long-term plan, maybe it’s not. We will find out along the way.
“Just to be able to speak to someone with 25 – 30 years’ experience in the industry has been a really great opportunity.”
Jacob, who also had a brief mentoring connection with a bank while at university, says the main piece of advice he has for those thinking about mentoring is to give it a crack – as the conversations will prove “more and more fruitful”.
Beyond that, Jacob says that spending time planning pays dividends.
But he admits, like many mentors and mentees, that the relationships often evolve into motivational friendships.
Twelve months on and it has developed “to that organic, natural conversation with my mentor. We tend to meet monthly and there's enough happening in a month that you can cover it off,” he says.
“But I always try to make sure I spend 5-10 minutes before any time I catch up on my end recapping the month with any specific examples I want to go through with him before that conversation.
“I find that's the way we have a most fruitful conversation that's beneficial for myself and for my mentor as well, because I’m cognisant that I'm taking up his time, which is very valuable.”
While Jacob jokingly says that the program hasn’t translated into a promotion, he insists it has “definitely” been useful in his day-to-day work.
Talking to his mentor about something he is working on or struggling with in an aspect of his role, he explains: “It’s almost like that light bulb going off. He'd maybe give you a just a little carrot that you might be able to take a bit of and implement on in your day-to-day work.
“And it's really been positive for my work.”
Learn more about him and his journey through our latest podcast.